Three AA Rosettes triumph for chef Phil and his team at Thompson St Albans

PUBLISHED: 00:01 26 September 2017

Phil Thompson.

Phil Thompson.

Jet2 Holidays

A St Albans fine dining restaurant has become the first in the city to be awarded three AA Rosettes.

The accolade means Thompson St Albans, in Hatfield Road, is now considered among the top 10 per cent of restaurants in the UK.

The restaurant was awarded its first two AA Rosettes within three months of opening in 2013. It also received the St Albans Chamber of Commerce Best Restaurant Award 2015/16 and the Hertfordshire Life Best Restaurant and Best Chef Award 2015/16 as well as receiving an excellent score in the Waitrose Good Food Guide.

Head chef and owner Phil Thompson said: “This is a huge achievement for the team, me personally, and for my fiancée and business partner Marianne, who has put up with me for last seven years and for some reason stayed. ‘Thank you’ doesn’t even come close to what we want to say to our team, who have all worked tirelessly to achieve this very high standard. I don’t know where we would be without them!”

Phil stressed the importance of the restaurant’s guests in their success, with their customer-focussed ethos remaining the same since day one: “As an independent restaurant our success is measured by the enjoyment, pleasure and feedback of our guests.”

But the restaurant’s achievements can also be credited to his commitment to innovation: “I strive to develop new menu ideas and flavour combinations, with my own flair and modern twist, while staying true to my classic training and cooking style.”

Restaurateur Phil has come a long way from his humble beginnings washing pots in his Uncle Mick’s kitchen and dreaming of opening his own restaurant.

The proud Essex boy comes from a family of chefs and spent the early years of his career plying his trade in London and Hertfordshire, picking up two Michelin stars while working in Auberge du Lac at Brocket Hall.

The natural progression from this point was to open his own restaurant and he and Marianne subsequently took over the former Darcy’s restaurant.

The AA defines a three Rosette restaurant as one that “demands recognition well beyond their local area. The cooking is underpinned by the selection and sympathetic treatment of the highest quality ingredients”.

Awards are announced twice annually after a restaurant is monitored by the AA over a six to 12 month period to ensure consistency.

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