The restaurateur took the title, which is voted for by his industry peers, at a ceremony at Grosvenor House, London last night (24 September).
Atherton launched his first solo restaurant Pollen Street Social in 2011 and now runs 16 sites worldwide under The Social Company group.
This year he opened his first theatre bar at London’s Victoria Palace Theatre, and launched The Betterment restaurant in the Biltmore hotel in his old stomping ground of Grosvenor Square.
“For me to be voted by my peers it’s just incredible,” says Atherton. “I was not expecting it, I’m absolutely thrilled to bits.”
Hotelier Robin Sheppard won the Lifetime Achievement Award. Since 2000 he has opened over 200 properties under Bespoke Hotels, which is the UK’s largest independent hotel group, and is the Government’s Hospitality Sector Champion for Disabled People.
A total of 23 businesses and individuals were honoured at the event, which celebrates restaurants, pubs and hotels across the UK.
The winners of the 2019 AA Hospitality Awards are as follows:
- Jason Atherton
Restaurant of the Year
- England – Fordwich Arms, Canterbury
- London – Cornerstone by Chef Tom Brown, London, E9
- Wales – Bryn Williams at Porth Eirias, Colwyn Bay
- Scotland – Sugar Boat, Helensburgh
Pub of the Year
- England – Three Daggers, Edington
- Wales – Glynne Arms, Hawarden
- Scotland – Meikleour Arms Public House, Perth
Lifetime Achievement Award
- Robin Sheppard, Chairman, Bespoke Hotels
- Overall Winner – Hampton Manor, Solihull
- Regional Awards:
- England – Hampton Manor, Solihull
- Wales – Penmaenuchaf Hall Hotel, Dolgellau
- Scotland – Castle Terrace Restaurant, Edinburgh
Food Service Award
- The Ritz, London
College Restaurant of the Year
- Academy, Cheshire Colleges South & West, Cheshire
New 5 Rosettes
- Lympstone Manor, Exmouth
New 4 Rosettes
- Coworth Park, Ascot
- Gravetye Manor, East Grinstead
- Hipping Hall, Lancaster
- Hrishi at Gilpin Hotel & Lake House, Windermere
- Old Downton Lodge, Ludlow
- Roganic, London
- Sorrel, Dorking
- The Angel at Hetton, Hetton
- The Greenhouse, London
- The Dining Room at Whatley Manor, Malmesbury