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The great and good of the country’s hospitality industry were out in force last night at the AA Hospitality Awards. Twenty four award winners were celebrating after being presented with their coveted titles at the Grosvenor House Hotel on London ’s Park Lane including a new award for this year, The AA Spirit Award.
Often referred to as the industry’s ‘Oscars’ the AA Hospitality Awards is a key date on everyone’s calendar – a rare time when major players in the Hospitality world can get together – and recognise the commitment to excellence that so many establishments and individuals strive to provide their guests. Drawing on the unrivalled knowledge and expertise of the AA inspectorate and other industry professionals involved in the judging process, winners are selected in recognition of excellence and success within their chosen category, having shown a significant improvement in the preceding 12 – 18 months and proving their dedication to raising industry standards and enhancing both their guest and diner experiences. From top hotels and restaurants to the best of British pubs the AA Hospitality Awards celebrate everything that is great in British hospitality. All the winners will appear in the latest edition of the 2015 AA Hotel, Restaurant and Pub Guides which were launched at the event.
Guests at the awards ceremony, hosted by Fiona Bruce, were treated to a sensational gourmet meal created by 2013 AA Chefs’ Chef, Tom Kerridge, as well as entertainment from Britain’s Got Talent semi-finalists Light Balance.
Birmingham was represented by Chef Richard Turner of Michelin starred Turners Restaurant in Harborne. Upon receiving his award he commented “It is is always good to receive accreditation by the guides for our cooking. The 3 AA rosettes recognise consistency and seasonality in the cooking as well as intelligent service, and a well chosen wine list, and so I took my whole team down to help celebrate and share the in the achievement” continuing “we have undergone a top to toe assessment of Turners in recent months, including Read more »
The Shropshire town of Oswestry is set to welcome famous Two Michelin Star Chef Michael Caines MBE to the kitchens of the newly developed Town House.
The team at Michael Caines Limited will be supporting and advising the new Oswestry bar and restaurant in the lead up to the grand opening in October / November 2014 and beyond.
Michael Caines is one of Britain’s most acclaimed chefs. AA Chef’s Chef of the Year in 2007, and awarded an MBE in 2006 for services to the hospitality industry, Michael is the Executive Chef at Gidleigh Park, which was voted the number one restaurant by Sunday Times Food List in 2013. It is where Michael has earned his reputation – as well as two Michelin stars. Michael’s primary interest will remain at Gidleigh Park and The Townhouse will be added to his growing portfolio of consultancy interests which also include restaurants in Manchester, Chester and Exeter.
The agreement will see Michael Caines Limited assisting The Townhouse in all operational areas including overseeing the appointment of key staff, kitchen design and layout, menu creation and online reservation systems among other things. The venue will be known as The Townhouse and branded “a restaurant by Michael Caines”
Mike Scott and Ollie Jackson, owners of The Townhouse said: “We are delighted that Michael and his team are sharing their experience and expertise with us to launch The Townhouse in Oswestry. The Michael Caines brand is synonymous with quality and whilst a Michelin star is not on our agenda Michael’s team will be overseeing the creation of all menus, including some of our own signature dishes, designed to complement The Townhouse’s informal, yet sharp interior design and fit with the local market using the best local ingredients. This is really big news for Oswestry and we hope that it will be a massive boost for the town’s restaurants as a “restaurant by Michael Caines” will really put Oswestry on the food map.”
Michael Caines added: “The Townhouse is a really exciting project to have become involved with.” Michael Caines Limited brings many years of Read more »
The Shropshire based King and Thai restaurant has put Shropshire firmly on the National culinary map, by achieving what many Chefs aspire to, by being recommended in the prestigious Good Food Guide, for 2015.
At a star studded event in London this week the overall winners were announced – including the prestigious Top 50 UK restaurants – with the top spot going to L’Enclume, in Cumbria, headed up by two Michelin Star Chef Simon Rogan.
Controversially no Midlands restaurants were listed in the Top 50, although Carters in Moseley was crowned Midlands Restaurant of The Year – taking the crown from last years Winner, Turners Restaurant in Harborne.
The King and Thai in Broseley, Shropshire was entered for the first time as a ‘Local Gem’ which is a new category in the prestigious guide to highlight ‘rising stars’ who achieve consistent excellence, using fresh local ingredients – restaurants that, according to the guide ‘we all wish we have on our doorstep’ – Shropshire diners are treated to such a luxury and have voted in their droves for this favourite award wining Thai eatery, which sources their aged meats for the local butchers for their curries, and local free range eggs – with fresh fish being hand picked by Suree at Birmingham fish market weekly – “I was so delighted to be nominated” commented Chef Patron Suree Coates “It’s such a privilege to feature in such a prestigious guide amongst the best chefs and venues in the UK – I am humbled. Thank you to all our local customers, and the judges of The Waitrose Good Food Guide for considering us.” The King and Thai was also named by respected Food writer and TV presenter Tom Parker-Bowles, as being listed as his ‘Top Thai Restaurant Outside London” www.kingandthai.co.uk - Head Chef Dan Power was also crowned ‘Shropshire Curry Chef’ for 2014/15 earlier this year.
Chef Suree pictured inside the King & Thai with her letter from the Waitrose Good Food Guide informing her of the prestigious accolade, and outside proudly displaying her awards sticker.
Richard Turner, chef patron of the Michelin-starred Turners Restaurant, will officially open a new festival celebrating the city’s independent food and drink scene on 13 September.
A lynchpin of Birmingham’s culinary landscape, Richard Turner’s Harborne restaurant has been included in the prestigious Michelin guide every year since 2009, as well as receiving accolades from the Sunday Times and the Good Food Guide. The chef has seen Birmingham’s food scene explode, as he explains:
“If you’d told me when I started cooking that we’d have four Michelin star restaurants and this diversity, I wouldn’t have believed you. The city just wasn’t renowned for food. It’s pure passion from the city’s chefs that has put Birmingham on the culinary map – it’s in our blood.
“Birmingham Independent Food Fair, and the producers and traders who are supporting it, are what makes this city great. We should all shout about it, because no-one else will.”
The chef will also be inviting Birmingham Independent Food Fair visitors to experience the Michelin treatment at Turners Restaurant for a specially reduced price.
Other chefs taking part in September’s food fair will include Nathan Eade, the young chef entrepreneur of Epi Restaurant, and Alfonso Yufera-Ruiz, a native of Spain who trained at University College Birmingham before opening Don Diego Tapas restaurant in Sutton Coldfield.
Current students of gastronomy from University College Birmingham will also be at the food fair entertaining visitors with cooking demonstrations to include sausage-linking and sugar sculpture.
A total of 40 independent food and drink businesses will descend on Millennium Point on 13 September for Birmingham Independent Food Fair, with Purity craft beer and Langley’s Gin among the local drinks on offer. Tickets must be purchased in advance and are available at www.bhamindfoodfair.co.uk
“Birmingham offers the second best value city break in the UK”, according to an annual cost comparison study released today by TripAdvisor ahead of the August bank holiday.
An evening out and overnight stay in a four star hotel in Birmingham will set you back £166.06, almost half the price of a break in the UK’s most expensive city, Edinburgh, which costs £331.28.
The results were taken from this year’s TripIndex UK Cities, which compares the cost of an evening out in each of the UK’s twenty most popular cities, taking into account typical costs for two people to enjoy a pre-meal cocktail at a four star hotel, a meal out, taxis, and an overnight stay for two in a four star hotel during the month of August.
Emma Gray, director of marketing services at Visit Birmingham, the city’s official leisure tourism programme, said, “For anyone planning a UK break over the bank holiday weekend, Birmingham offers visitors great value for money and a wide range of choice to suit all pockets – from culture to Read more »
Chase The Prizes at Rock the farm.
Herefordshire’s ‘Chase Distillery’ is not only satisfied with creating some of the Worlds finest single estate spirits (official), but have now opened their annual drinks and music festival ‘Rock the Farm’ to the paying public!
In its third year, this ‘Uber Cool’ festival takes place at the much-revered Chase Distillery on Rosemaund Farm near Hereford. Tickets are open to the public for the first time, offering a privileged opportunity to be part of this unique & very British food & drink festival that has only previously been privy to those in the illustrious drinks industry.
Expect to be amongst some of the world’s best bar tenders, pioneers of the drinks industry, various legends of the entertainment world; Mystery Jets, Huw Stephens, The Cuban Brothers & such like and many of the bar industry’s finest all coming together to celebrate the best in British food & drink in the most unique festival setting.
The Chase Distillery, home to the prestigious Chase Vodka, already awarded a title of the world’s finest vodka and the hugely acclaimed Williams Chase Gin, both home grown at the distillery. What better venue could you ever conjure up for a boutique food & drink festival?
With a festival like this, you know the spread laid on will be exceptional. A mouthwatering food village, with pop-up restaurants, a mind blowing mix of bars & drinking taster sessions, 3 stages including the main stage in the Great Chase Barn, hidden cinema, botanical room, & don’t forget to check out Willy’s secret!
The Chase Cup is a must at the festival. One of the biggest accolades in the bar tending world & Rock The Farm hosts the Read more »
Chef Ron Faulkner Re-writes the recipe book for his popular Ronnies of Thornbury, Near Bristol
It’s been 7 years since Chef Ron Faulkner opened his eponymous restaurant ‘Ronnies’ in sleepy Thornbury,located North of Bristol, and according to the Sunday Times National Newspaper, helped establish the town as one of the ‘4th Best Places to Live in the UK!’ Quite an accolade for the town, and quite a gauntlet for Chef Ron – he continued to pick up series of awards and accreditations, including Good Food Guide restaurant of The Year for the UK.
Thornbury is becoming a destination for foodies once again, with the popular ‘Hawkes House café & Bar’ also in the square and ‘Romy’s Kitchen’ Indian Restaurant – Ever-one to push the boundaries, Chef Ron is now set to re-write the gastronomical guide for the region by undergoing a complete overhall of his popular Ronnies Restaurant, from the dishes on the hot plate through to the flavours on the customers palate, and everything in between, even including the furniture – “Alot has happened in the past Seven years” Comments Chef Ron “we were one of the first aspirational eateries in the region and were proud to be part of the renaissance that Thornbury underwent, and Bristol and the South West has certainly continued that accreditation for food – Styles have changed over the years, as have the desires and expectations of Read more »
The search is on to find the UK’s home-grown culinary superstar, with the launch of Aubrey Allen’s ‘Home Cook of the Year’ competition with the help of celebrity chefs, Brian Turner CBE and Andreas Antona as judges.
Entries are now being welcomed for this challenging new foodie initiative, which is being held in conjunction with the Leamington Food & Drink Festival on 6-7 September in the Royal Pump Room Gardens, Leamington Spa.
Aspiring home cooks of all ages are invited to enter by submitting their most favourite three course menu, which includes a cold starter, a hot main course using Aubrey Allen’s succulent ‘Farm Assured’ Cornish lamb and their very best dessert. Four finalists will be short-listed to take part in the Grand Final at the Leamington Food & Drink Festival on Read more »
The UK dining out market has in recent years undergone a battle with restaurant brands and supermarkets, to capture the price led ‘meal deal’ market in the pursuit of the magic £10 meal – however this has been to the overall detriment of the quality of the overall meal offering and the provenance of the ingredients sourced. A Warwickshire food pub has bucked the national trend to create an indulgent £10 lunch menu, that will challenge the quality of most high end eateries.
The close knit team at The Bluebell Restaurant & Free House in picturesque Henley in Arden, Warwickshire, have been working with some of the region’s finest producers and suppliers to create balanced dishes each day that provide quality, flavour and incredible value for their loyal customers.
A recent regional Winner of The Good Food Guide Restaurant of the year, and the proud holders of 2 AA Rosettes, and who count Heston Blumenthal as one of their customers, Head Chef James Devonshire believes in the provenance of his larder “We are spoilt by the choice and range of quality suppliers in the region, but are also aware of the demands on our customers pockets when choosing to dine out, or indeed choose to stay at home – so we have worked very closely with our suppliers to source and develop ingredients for our carefully considered menus, which we believe rival most of the regions finest eateries – whilst offering the value one would expect from shopping at a higher end supermarket to dine at home – we believe we have created the perfect Read more »