Each year, the AA recognise the best hotels and restaurants in the UK across twenty-six categories.
This year the awards were hosted by TV presenter Gabby Logan at Grosvenor House in London on 26 September 2022.
The AA Awards celebrate the hospitality industry, with awards for restaurants and hotels.
Returning with an in-person ceremony for the first time in three years, the awards honoured the best hospitality establishments in the UK across twenty-six categories, including AA Restaurant of the Year, AA Hotel of the Year, the newly launched AA Accessible Award, AA Spa Hotel of the Year, AA Wine Award, AA Chefs’ Chef, AA Lifetime Achievement Award and AA Housekeeper of the Year.
Four restaurants in Scotland received new AA Rosettes, while Cameron House on Loch Lomond was awarded a prestigious five AA Red Stars.
The Cellar in Anstruther was crowned AA Hotel of the Year, Scotland; The Balmoral in Edinburgh was named AA Restaurant of the Year, Scotland; The Bonnie Badger in Gullane won the AA Restaurant With Rooms Award, Scotland and UNALOME by Graeme Cheevers in Glasgow won the AA Wine Award, Scotland.
The AA rosettes recognise quality and demand outwith the local area.
Establishments with three AA Rosettes are all outstanding restaurants achieving standards which demand national recognition well beyond their local area, while those awarded four AA Rosettes are considered among the top restaurants in the country.
Simon Numphud, Managing Director at AA Media said: “It was great to be back at Grosvenor House after three years and to celebrate the greatest hospitality establishments across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
"The past few years have been incredibly tough for the hospitality sector, from lockdowns to travel restrictions, supply chain issues to the rising cost of living, but these awards have highlighted how our industry, time and time again, has worked tirelessly to overcome adversity and create unforgettable experiences for the public.
"We would like to congratulate all the winners and shortlisted establishments for their hard work, passion and dedication to providing hospitality to the highest standards.”
The Cellar, Anstruther, Fife
The Balmoral, Edinburgh
The AA Hotel of the Year Award is the AA’s ultimate accolade for hotels in the UK. It is awarded to hotels that are recognised as being outstanding examples of their kind.
From the small family-run hotel to the most ambitious commercial ventures, hotels of every size and style are potential winners. The Hotel of the Year Award for Scotland is sponsored by GigRealm.
Richard Cooke, General Manager at The Balmoral, commented: “We are both proud and humbled to have been awarded this accolade.
"To have recognition for our passion and enthusiasm of providing our guests with memorable five-star experiences is an extremely rewarding feeling for the team. I am honoured to work with such a dedicated team of ladies and gentlemen.
"With them, The Balmoral will go from strength to strength, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank the entire team for their hard work in what has been a challenging few years for all of us.”
An AA Inspector said of The Balmoral: “This Edinburgh landmark hotel has really redefined itself as one of Scotland’s finest in recent years through both significant investment and the impact of General Manager Richard Cooke.
"Bedrooms and public areas have been beautifully refurbished to a very high standard, where Balmoral tartan, Hebridean blues, heather hues and classic Scottish art create a wonderful look and feel.”
The Bonnie Badger, Gullane, East Lothian
UNALOME by Graeme Cheevers, Glasgow
This award recognises an outstanding contribution to promoting, understanding and appreciating wine. Nominees are judged on the quality of their wine list and their ability to inspire customers to make wider and more adventurous choices in selecting wines. The award is sponsored by Matthew Clark.
Callum McCann, Graeme Cheevers and Stuart Bonis, Managers of UNALOME, said of their win: “We would like to thank both the AA Guide, our loyal customers and hard-working staff to be recognised for this achievement in the short space of time we have been open. It has made this an even more monumental year for the restaurant.”
An AA Inspector said of UNALOME’s wine list: “One of Glasgow’s most exciting new restaurant openings last year, its modern, compact wine list feels very accessible, with quality selections throughout.
"The judges loved the format of the list; divided by drinking style categories, with mature vintages, an interesting selection by the glass and a good selection of dessert wines.”
As well as the awards, The AA announced its 2023 Rosette Award winners, recognising the restaurants achieving the highest culinary standards in the UK.
The long-established AA Rosette scheme recognises successful cooking at different levels across the UK.
Success or failure in achieving Rosettes is based on one or more visits by an AA inspector to a hotel or restaurant. Essentially, the visit is a snapshot, whereby the entire meal, including ancillary items (when served), is assessed.
About 10% of restaurants nationwide reach a standard that is worthy of one Rosette and above.
This is indeed a huge achievement, and not to be underestimated.
Here are the new AA Rosettes for Scotland
Edinbane Lodge, Edinbane
The Glenturret Lalique Restaurant, Crieff, Perth & Kinross
The Dipping Lugger, Ullapool
HAAR, St Andrews