Two Lancashire restaurants toast success at prestigious AA food awards

Nigel Haworth at Northcote, which has been named restaurant of the year
Nigel Haworth at Northcote, which has been named restaurant of the year

Two Lancashire restaurants have been given the AA seal of gastronomic approval after scooping top awards.

Foxholes at Leyland’s Runshaw College has become the first winner of the new AA College of the Year Award, beating off tough competition from across the country.

-Runshaw College's Foxholes Restaurant is the AA  college restaurant of the year.  Hugh Dennis, Simon Tarr Chief Executive of People 1st, Jenny Cruickshanks & Fiona Merrill from Foxholes Restaurants, Sean Wheeler Chair of the Employers Accreditation Panel and Kirsty Lloyd-Jukes AA Membership Services

-Runshaw College's Foxholes Restaurant is the AA college restaurant of the year. Hugh Dennis, Simon Tarr Chief Executive of People 1st, Jenny Cruickshanks & Fiona Merrill from Foxholes Restaurants, Sean Wheeler Chair of the Employers Accreditation Panel and Kirsty Lloyd-Jukes AA Membership Services

And luxury hotel Northcote, already Lancashire’s only Michelin star establishment, was named restaurant of the year.

Runshaw made the shortlist after a judging ceremony in London in the summer which lecturers Jane Crucikshanks and Fiona Merrill attended with students Max Daglish and Rebecca Orrell.

They were set a variety of culinary challenges, sat through an interview and had to wait a week before they found out they had made the final three.

On Monday night they scooped the top place at a glittering ceremony at the AA Hospitality Awards at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London.

Besides offering a top class training restaurant, which is open to the public, Foxholes has a strong relationship with local suppliers, including family butchers Haydock’s in Leyland, Wellgate Fisheries in Clitheroe, and Ribble Farm in Longridge.

A spokesman for the Langdale Road college said: “ We are absolutely delighted that the hard work and skill of our students and staff has been recognised in such a prestigious national forum.

“To be declared the AA College Restaurant of the Year is amazing, it’s still sinking in.”

At the same ceremony Ribble Valley- based, luxury hotel Northcote was awarded the title of AA hotel of the year.

The hotel’s Michelin star restaurant is renowned for its contemporary, innovative cuisine and chef patron Nigel Haworth was shortlisted for AA’s chef of the year award.

Northcote MD Craig Bancroft said: “Being awarded AA Hotel of the Year– England is one of those awards that you always dream of achieving but don’t always believe it will happen. We are absolutely delighted for the whole team at Northcote as this award is for them. It recognises their hard work, endeavour and tenacity to deliver an outstanding food and wine offering alongside genuine hospitality.”