The Church Green British Grill Named AA Restaurant Of The Year For England 2012-2013
The Church Green British Grill received national recognition last night when it was named AA Restaurant of the Year for England 2012-13 at the AA Hospitality Awards. Some four years ago Aiden Byrne purchased an old Cheshire pub located on the side of the Lymm Dam. He opened it as Aiden Byrne at The Church Green and earned three AA Rosettes. After assessing the local market and listening to his customers he decided to change direction slightly and relaunched the operation as The Church Green British Grill with two AA Rosesttes. As well as Aiden’s classical signature dishes and an exciting tasting menu, diners can enjoy amazing steaks sourced from small Cheshire farms. There are also some posh, upmarket twists on gastro pub classics such as fish and chips and beer battered Fleetwood scampi. The medium sized wine list offers some great quality and value for money wines, with a good selection of wines by the glass. Staff are friendly and attentive and they attract a lot of repeat diners. This is a popular winner of this sought after award.
Speaking of his win Aiden Byrne said, ‘We are over the moon with the recognition. The British Grill concept has gone from strength to strength and this award confirms to us that we made the correct decision to make the change.’
The AA Hospitality Awards, hosted this year by Kate Silverton, saw the great and good of the country’s Hospitality Industry come together to celebrate not only the amazing achievements of the individuals and establishments receiving recognition for outstanding excellence in their field but also 20 years of the iconic AA Restaurant Guide.
The evening opened with a tribute to the AA Restaurant Guide by Heston Blumenthal and Raymond Blanc before the superb gourmet meal created by chef Jason Atherton and the team at the London Hilton Park Lane and entertainment from glamorous string quartet Siren.
The award event also sees the launch of the 2013 AA guides to UK hotels, restaurants, pubs and B&Bs which contain details of all the winning establishments.
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The Church Green included in "The 20 best places to eat in Britain this summer"
Jay Rayner from the Guardian raves about The Church Green.
"When chef Aiden Byrne departed the Dorchester Grill, leaving behind the campest dining room in London – the murals of strapping men in kilts tossing their cabers, and the tartan upholstered chairs redefined the term Gay Gordons – it was assumed he would open a fine dining restaurant. Instead he went to his native Cheshire and took over the Church Green pub. "To be honest I thought I'd be doing fine dining too, but I quickly realised I was running a community pub." Some of the evolved dishes which made his name in London are still there but the business depends on the lower-key food he serves in the bar and, in particular, on the terrace in summer."
"It's the place for their platters of Richard Woodall's air-dried ham, their own pork pies and for piggy terrines made from the bits left over from all the Gloucester Old Spot they cook with. It's the place for gazpachos of cucumber or tomato, or big, rustic salads which change depending on the available ingredients. And then, of course, there is the view, over the church green that gives the pub its name and beyond that to Lymm Dam which brings walkers for miles around. Work up an appetite there, before trying the food of one of our most accomplished but least starry chefs. London's loss is everybody else's gain."
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Aiden Byrne’s Lymm Restaurant Ranks In The UK’s Top 10%
TV chef Aiden Byrne’s first restaurant venture – the Church Green gastro pub in Lymm, Cheshire has been awarded three coveted AA rosettes. Few eating places earn that level of restaurant grading in their first year … and it uniquely puts the village pub just one rosette behind the prestigious five-star luxury Chester Grosvenor Hotel.
Apart from the Grosvenor, it’s now the highest rated AA eatery in Cheshire and Greater Manchester and is ranked among the top 10 per cent of restaurants in the UK.
"Most three-rosette restaurants are also Michelin starred … so the Church Green is now in that sort of company," says Aiden, who collected the award at London’s Hilton Hotel last night. "I’m happy for the team," he adds. "It’s been a tough year but the hard work has paid off."
Three AA rosettes formally recognise "outstanding restaurants that demand recognition well beyond the local area". And, says the AA, it’s where "you can expect excellent and intelligent service, and a well-chosen wine list."
Aiden – who became the UK’s youngest Michelin star chef at the age of 22 – was the head chef at London’s Dorchester Grill before he moved north to convert the Lymm pub into a destination eating place earlier this year.
He is already planning to launch his second Cheshire venture with the re-opening of the White House restaurant in Prestbury.
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Best Newcomer, Northern Hospitality Awards
Thom Hetherington, Managing Director of Moorfield Media, the awards’ organisers said: "This year the standard has surpassed our expectations and the judges have had a really tough job.
"The current economic climate makes award ceremonies such as this all the more important – the industry needs its moment to congratulate the best of its colleagues and peers. The Northern hospitality industry certainly has a lot to celebrate and be proud of."
This year the awards ceremony moved to the Hilton, where the guests mingled at a cocktail reception and then enjoyed a delicious four-course dinner created by the hotel’s head chef David Gale, a finalist for Best Chef.
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"The desserts were a simple but satisfying end to a stunning meal, and we left the Church Green understanding why so much praise has been heaped upon the young Mr Byrne."
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Liverpool Daily Post
"I am never happier than when eating Aiden Byrne's clever, playful and - most importantly - delicious food. He is, without doubt, one of the new stars of Britain's food world."
Jay Rayner, The Observer
"A lot of chefs in London excite me, but some of the best food that I've eaten recently was by Aiden Byrne. Having worked with some of the best chefs in the country, he is now coming into his own."
"The perfectly judged mains marked out an outstanding technician who has worked in some seriously classy kitchens, notably as right-hand man of the fanatical Tom Aikens, in Chelsea. My roast breast and leg of pheasant was as good as I’ve ever tasted. Pear boulangere and a fibrous parsnip fondant matched it immaculately."
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