Cornish restaurant Rastella located at the Merchants Manor hotel has won its third AA rosette in this year’s AA Hospitality Awards.
The restaurant was presented with the award at a ceremony at Grosvenor House, London on Monday 24 September. Rastella has become renowned for its traditional Cornish cuisine made from local ingrediants and cooked on its authentic Bertha wood fired oven. Dishes at the restaurant range from freshly baked sourdough for lunch to smoked fish for breakfast.
Merchants Manor’s owner, Nick Rudlin told Catering Today: “We are absolutely delighted that Hylton and his team have been awarded an AA Three Rosette Award. Rastella has grown hugely over the last two years and we are ecstatic to be recognised as one of the best dining destinations in the country and one of only a handful in all of Cornwall.
“Of all the restaurants across the UK there are approximately 10% of a standard which is worth an AA Three Rosette Award and above.”
Head chef, Hylton Espey is credited with ensuring that all dishes combine fresh, sustainable and locally sourced ingredients, keeping the use of imports to a bare minimum. The chef joined the hotel in 2016 after moving from South Africa with his family.
Espey added: “I believe that what grows together, goes together. The location of the restaurant means we are within walking distance of perfect foraging spots where there are crystal clear rock pools brimming with life, sea cliffs abundant in green, hedgerows overladen with bounty and forests full of flavour.
“Our team is young and we are excited to carry on pushing what our plates mean and the story they tell our diners.”
The AA awards are notable for the fact they have no influence from hotels, restaurants or other guides, all accolades are awarded solely by AA Hotel and Restaurant Inspectors. AA inspector, Robert Martin praised Rastella and its team for its imaginative menu and their accuracy when balancing the flavours in each dish.
Martin said: “With skill and technique on the rise with each visit to Merchants Manor it is with great pleasure that Hylton and his team have achieved an AA Three Rosette Award, a notable achievement.
“The AA Three Rosette journey is tough with consistency over the seasons a key element, persistence and a dedication to the best ingredients has paid off well here.”
Simon Numphud, managing director of hotel & hospitality services at the AA added: “We would like to congratulate Rastella on the announcement of its AA Three Rosette Award.
“The AA have been inspecting and recommending fantastic destinations that offer superb hospitality and services for over a century and we are very excited to unveil our award winners for 2018.”