Holiday Inn Winchester celebrates recent AA 2 Rosette Award

The four star Holiday Inn Winchester is celebrating its recent AA 2 Rosette Award. 
The hotel already held a single AA Rosette Award and their general manager Siobhan Thomasson commented:  “We are thrilled that the AA inspector felt that we deserved to receive a 2 Rosette Award this year and that her visit was so perfectly timed, just after launching our new a la carte menu that our recently appointed  Head Chef Chris Keel had put so much time and creativity into developing.  It is wonderful to be recognised as a hotel that provides high quality food and service.  We are all so delighted and we can’t stop smiling!”

Head Chef Chris Keel recently joined the Holiday Inn Winchester after twelve years at Chilworth Manor. “We all hope that Chris will stay even longer with our hotel as he has settled in so well with his new team.  It is wonderful to have such an experienced and skilled head chef on board who is full of new ideas for exciting and inventive dishes, which were obviously enjoyed by the AA inspector,” commented Sarah Waddington, sales manager.

A sample of what the AA inspector enjoyed included a starter of New Forest Game Terrine with blood orange jam and toasted thyme brioche, followed by a main course of Roasted Guinea Fowl Supreme with red leg partridge mousse, braised red cabbage, fondant potato and puy lentil glace, followed by honeycomb parfait with lemon curd ice-cream, all enjoyed in the intimate and contemporary setting of the hotel’s renowned Morn Hill Brasserie.  “We are so fortunate to have such a well respected restaurant with such a talented head chef and team, including of course our front of house teams who all contribute to creating the perfect impression.  We have great food and a great team which makes for happy diners,” continued Siobhan Thomasson.

The AA Rosette scheme is long established and successfully recognises cooking at different levels nationwide. The success or failure in achieving

Rosettes is based on at least one visit to a hotel or restaurant whereby the entire meal including ancillary items are assessed.  The AA inspector’s visit to the hotel is always anonymous and the hotel’s do not have any notice of their arrival.


The AA inspector who visited the Holiday Inn Winchester commented on her experience: “The highlight of this stay, with the quality and skill level demonstrated at dinner, comfortably exceeding expectations for the grading.  Very good skill levels, quality ingredients and clean, clear flavours.  The honeycomb parfait and lemon curd ice cream was particularly memorable.  There was an appropriate choice offered at breakfast  with hot and cold items of good quality.  A friendly team who smile and are approachable and the reception staff made extra conversation. There was an upbeat atmosphere.”

The hotel’s food offering is extensive, besides the newly launched a la carte menu the hotel also offers a very varied and wide menu selection including a table d’hote menu, bar menu, children’s menu, afternoon teas and Sunday lunches. The hotel also hosts many business and corporate events, weddings, private parties and has their own special season of popular live music and dine events.

“Business breakfasts, lunches and meetings are also very popular in our restaurant as business people find the location of our hotel so convenient for connecting with each other, with plenty of free car parking.  The hotel has become a popular business hub and networking venue including casual meetings in our reception and bar areas where visitors can discuss business over a coffee or light lunch,” continued Sarah Waddington.

The hotel already has a long list of awards including those for sustainability and Sarah Waddington said: “Visitors to the hotel are also impressed with our sustainable approach and those who have electric vehicles can also recharge their cars for free at our charge point  by the hotel entrance.”

Other sustainable awards include the Carbon Smart, Green Tourism, PEA Award and Beautiful South Awards, with another recent Trip Advisor Hall of Fame Award.