Prestigious Peak District hotel and restaurant East Lodge recently had the opportunity of adding yet more awards to an already bulging trophy cabinet – this time having its status as an AA ‘Inspectors Choice’ 3 Red Star top hotel presented at a star studded awards ceremony in London.
The accolade was presented to East Lodge director Iain Hardman at the annual AA Hospitality Awards 2010-2011, held on the 27 September at the Hilton on Park Lane. Iain was rubbing shoulders on the night with the great and the good from the industry, plus awards presenters Penny Smith and Liverpool and England midfielder Steven Gerrard.
Attended by world renowned chefs and prominent hoteliers like Iain, the AA Hospitality Awards are one of the keynote events in the hospitality industry’s calendar and allow the cream of the sector’s talent to network with their peers and share ideas and experiences. The event is always attended by some of the best known chefs in the business and as Marcus Wareing himself was overseeing the creation of the menu, this year was no exception.
Iain Hardman said: “It is a tremendous achievement to have been awarded the AA Red Stars once again and to receive them at such an amazing event makes it even more special. Our success is a testament to the hard work of all our staff and of course our own head chef Simon Bradley, who continues to deliver outstanding food and a dining experience that has helped to give East Lodge national recognition.”
AA Red Stars are simply the most prestigious national awards of their kind because they are only ever awarded to the most outstanding hotels in each category - singling out East Lodge not just as one of the finest hotels in the region, but as one of the cream of a select few country house hotels in the UK – as confirmed by the AA’s own Inspectorate.
Utilising local and regional suppliers Simon Bradley continues to deliver a culinary experience that marries the best of traditional ingredients and dishes, yet with a distinctly European vogue that comes of his years of working with some of the finest chefs in the world and honing his skills in the renowned Ritz in Paris: “Having personally been taught by Raymond Blanc I believe it is essential that we continually push the boundaries of exquisite cuisine,” said Simon. “My aim is to create dishes akin to the magnificent natural surroundings of East Lodge and in doing so provide our guests and diners with an exemplary dining experience.”
The AA Red Stars is yet another award to add to the East Lodge haul of accolades and comes hot on the heels of the Kellogg’s Breakfast Awards, which have once again acknowledged East Lodge for the quality of its Derbyshire Breakfast. Other numerous awards include ‘Small Hotel of the Year’ from East Midlands Tourism and a silver winner in ‘Hotel of the Year’ 2009/10 from the ‘Tourism Oscars’. East Lodge is owned by the Hardman family and the AA’s three red stars place the hotel in a select bracket of the top 150 hotels in the whole of the UK and this exclusive venue remains one of just 48 hotels in the country presented with a Visit England Gold Award.
Iain concluded: “Awards are always welcome, but outstanding cuisine in a first class hotel with service to match is why our guests and diners return time and time again. We believe if you work hard at making the hotel and restaurant as good as they can be, the awards will look after themselves. As the accolades continue to flood in, it would seem to demonstrate we are continuing to get the balance right at East Lodge.”