The Roux family's Waterside Inn and Le Gavroche downgraded in 2020 AA Restaurant Guide

25 September 2019 by
The Roux family's Waterside Inn and Le Gavroche downgraded in 2020 AA Restaurant Guide

The Roux family's Waterside Inn and Le Gavroche have been demoted in the newly published 2020 AA Restaurant Guide, with the rating for both sites dropping from four to three rosettes.

Run by cousins Alain Roux and Michel Roux Jr respectively, the restaurants were the only two to lose rosettes earlier this week as the 2020 Guide was unveiled.

The Waterside Inn, in Bray, Berkshire, has held four rosettes since 1996, as well three Michelin stars since 1985.

It was opened by brothers Michel, father of Alain, and Albert, father of Michel Jr, in 1972 following their success with Le Gavroche, which launched in 1967. Alain slowly took over the chef patron reins from his father during the 2000s.

According to its entry in the AA Guide, the location of the restaurant on the banks of the Thames means "the word ‘idyllic' soon flies to most lips, and the cooking plays its part" with "Alain Roux maintaining the formidable standards of the legendary Michel Roux père".

Le Gavroche in London's Mayfair, which has had four AA rosettes since 2014, has been led by Michel Jr since 1991. It was the first restaurant in the UK to receive three Michelin stars, which it retained until 1993 when it lost a star.

The AA Guide entry described Roux Jr as a "genially familiar figure from foodie TV" who is "only too happy to make a tour of the dining room towards the end of service, dressed in his pristine whites".

Of the food at Le Gavroche, the entry said: "Dishes as straightforward as roasted sea-fresh scallops with fresh peas, pea puree, cured pork and crispy pork crumb are virtuoso displays of culinary artistry, while main course saddle of Herdwick lamb with turnip, beetroot and fennel is the ultimate in meaty comfort food."

Commenting on the adjustment to the two Roux dynasty restaurants, Paul Hackett, head of inspections & assessments at the AA told The Caterer that its rosette scheme recognises restaurants that offer excellent dining experiences.

"Only approximately 10% of all the restaurants we inspect hold the higher awards of three AA rosettes and above. Four AA Rosettes and five AA Rosettes are a further relatively small group of restaurants in the UK that show remarkable consistency," he said.

"We review our rosettes every year and based on our various inspections and benchmarking, make appropriate rating recommendations. The Waterside Inn and Le Gavroche remain outstanding, destination restaurants which for this year have achieved three AA Rosettes"

Both restaurants declined to comment.

The AA scheme rates restaurants from one to five rosettes. Only one restaurant was promoted to five rosettes this year: Michael's Caines' Lympstone Manor, near Exmouth, Devon.

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