The eponymous Albert and Michel Roux Jr at Inverlochy Castle and Windlestraw near Walkerburn in the Borders were the only two fine dining restaurants to be named as new recipients of the third rosette in this year's AA Rosettes- Awards.
Only 29 restaurants in Scotland and just over 200 UK-wide have three rosettes or more, with just one Scottish outlet currently holding five rosette status - The Kitchin in Edinburgh.
Windlestraw owner John Matthews, who set up his country house hotel in the Tweed Valley with his wife Syliva just five years ago, said: “To get to three-star level is beyond us frankly, it is more than I could ever have hoped for, and we are going to have to work hard now to maintain it.
"This is a truly remarkable achievement for Windlestraw. We are delighted that Chef Stuart Waterston’s talent, hard work and exceptional cuisine, long appreciated locally, has now been recognised on the national stage.
"Having achieved our five-star rating for accommodation, consistently offering an exceptional dining experience , and receiving 100% positive reviews from guests for five consequent years, we are delighted to now be recognised amongst the elite of restaurants in the U.K.”
Norbert Lieder, managing director of Inverlochy Castle Management International (ICMI) added: “We’re honoured to retain our three AA Red Rosettes at the Albert and Michel Roux Jr at Inverlochy Castle restaurant.
"The accolade is a hallmark of true quality, and a testament to the entire team under head chef Colin Nicholson who go to great efforts in creating a culinary experience for guests to savour, using the finest local produce.”
AA Rosettes have been awarded to restaurants since 1956, with the top award of five Rosettes first introduced in 1991.
The multi AA rosettes are traditionally awarded in January and September each year, with success determined by one or more visits by an AA inspector to a hotel or restaurant.
Simon Numphud, managing director at AA Media said “This has been an immensely difficult year for the hospitality industry, and yet restaurants across the country have continued to provide incredible dining experiences to the public despite these considerable challenges.
"The dedication and hard work of the teams behind these establishments is inspiring, particularly during this time, and we are pleased to be able to celebrate them with the announcement of these AA Rosettes.”