A Lake District restaurant has been named the AA’s Restaurant of the Year for England 2023. The highly regarded accolade recognises the work of the two brothers behind Ambleside’s Old Stamp House; chef patron Ryan Blackburn and co-owner and front of house manager Craig Blackburn.
Each year the AA Hospitality Awards celebrate excellence across the UK hospitality industry, with the 15 award categories, honouring the crème de la crème of hotels, restaurants, spas and their teams across the UK.
The Old Stamp House, set in the heart of the Lake District village of Ambleside, boasts a number of culinary accolades, including three AA rosettes for culinary excellence, which were presented in October 2020, in recognition of the restaurant’s food offer and its celebration of the distinctive food and cultural heritage of Cumbria.
Diners are invited to embark on ‘’a journey around Cumbria’’, to experience dishes from aspects of the landscape and the coast. Dishes include Arctic charr, traditional potted charr, with cured seaweed, pickled cucumber, dill and horseradish; Yew Tree Farm Herdwick hogget, broth, braised shoulder, celeriac, garlic and bread made with Herdwick fat; and Brambles, gingerbread, bee pollen, marigold and a sweet cheese mousse.
Ryan Blackburn commented: ‘’There’s no doubt at all that this award speaks volumes about the dedication and unwavering commitment of every single member of the Old Stamp House team in making sure every guest has the best possible experience and we’re hugely proud to be recognised in this way.
“We’ve come a long way since we opened our doors in 2014, striving to deliver quality and consistency across the board as we set out to create dishes that are inspired and reflect our deep-seated connection to the landscape in which the restaurant sits.‘’
Simon Numphud, Managing Director at AA Media said: “Every year we present awards to the very best AA-rated hotels, restaurants, spas and their teams across the UK. We introduced the renowned star rating scheme for quality in 1908 and are honoured to shine a well-deserved spotlight on individuals and establishments who consistently deliver excellence to their guests.”
Other winners at this year’s AA Hospitality Awards included Cumbria’s Forest Side hotel, which took home to accolade for Hotel of the Year and Allium and Askham Hall, a family-owned estate that won the AA Wine Award. Paul Ainsworth, Chef Patron at No.6 Cornwall took home the prestigious AA Chefs’ Chef win recognising his work at the cosy restaurant that sits inside a converted Georgian townhouse.You can view the full list of winners here.