Four AA Rosettes for 21212

By Luke Nicholls

- Last updated on GMT

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Paul Kitching, head chef at 21212 restaurant in Edinburgh, with business partner Katie O'Brien
Paul Kitching, head chef at 21212 restaurant in Edinburgh, with business partner Katie O'Brien
Restaurant 21212 in Edinburgh is the only restaurant in the UK to be awarded four Rosettes, while 13 establishments have taken three Rosettes in the latest round of inspections by the AA.

The new three-AA-Rosette restaurants range from Simon Rogan’s Rogan & Co in Cumbria through to Paul Ainsworth’s eponymous restaurant at No. 6 in Padstow. Only one of the newly-awarded restaurants, Dabbous, is based in London.

But chef Paul Kitching’s 21212 restaurant in Edinburgh’s Royal Terrace, which also has a Michelin star to its name, is the big winner, with four Rosettes placing it in an elite group of only four other restaurants in Scotland to hold such an accolade.

“I’m thrilled,” said Kitching. “The four AA Rosettes are a real boost to all the staff in recognising what we’re doing here at 21212.”

Unique menu

Paul Kitching with his wife and business partner Katie O'Brien and 21212's sous chef Kate Johnson

The name of his restaurant sets out the culinary concept of Kitching’s Edinburgh venue; the menu format offers up to five courses with diners choosing from two starters, two mains and two desserts with small morsels in-between.

The venue features a 38-cover restaurant, open kitchen, drawing room, private dining and four luxury bedrooms. Kitchen, his partner Katie and their business partners invested £4.5m into the project and have been heavily involved in restoring the townhouse to its former glory since its inception in May 2009.

AA Hotel Services manager Simon Numphud said: “We are delighted to award four rosettes to 21212. To be awarded four rosettes a restaurant must show a passion for excellence, superb technical skills and intense ambition as well national recognition for its cooking and 21212 certainly covers all these.”

With four AA Rosettes, Kitching joins the ranks of Andrew Fairlie at Gleneagles , Edinburgh-based Martin Wishart & Tom Kitchin and Charlie Lockley at the Boath House in Nairn.

Fairlie, who’s also currently ranked the UK’s top chef by the Sunday Times and Harden’s, said: “I'm delighted for Paul, Katie and the team at 21212 on their latest award. It has been great watching the restaurant develop over the years, I’ve enjoyed many great meals there and this is testament to Paul's skill in the kitchen and Katie’s approach to relaxed and professional service.”

The 13 restaurants awarded three Rosettes:

  • Rogan and Co, Cartmel, Cumbria
  • Freemasons Country Inn, Wiswell, Lancashire
  • Wynyard Hall, Billingham, Co Durham
  • 1851 Restaurant, Peckforton Castle, Peckforton, Cheshire
  • The Sir Charles Napier, Chinnor, Oxfordshire
  • Titchwell Manor, Titchwell, Norfolk
  • Dabbous, London
  • Lewtrenchard Manor, Lewdown, Devon
  • Royal Crescent Hotel, Bath
  • The Feathered Nest Inn, Nether Westcote, Gloucestershire
  • Marquis at Alkham, Dover, Kent
  • Paul Ainsworth at No 6, Padstow, Cornwall
  • Stoke Park, Stoke Poges, Buckinghamshire
Ollie Dabbous' eponymous restaurant in Whitfield Street was the only restaurant in London to achieve three Rosettes in this latest batch from the AA

Numphud from the AA added: “All of these restaurants have demonstrated a high level of consistency and accuracy in the overall cooking standards that our inspection team have experienced.

“Restaurants serving food of a three Rosette standard are worthy of recognition from well beyond their local area and I am delighted that these very deserving restaurants have been acknowledged for their efforts.”

AA Rosettes are awarded by AA Hotel and Restaurant Inspectors with no influence from hotels, restaurants or other guides. The success or failure in achieving Rosettes is based on at least one visit to a hotel or restaurant.

Of all the restaurants across the UK, the AA claims that approximately 10 per cent are of a standard which is worthy of one Rosette and above.

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