A CUMBRIAN fine dining restaurant is celebrating after retaining its coveted three AA Rosette award.

The accolade ranks Pentonbridge Inn, near Carlisle, among the top 10 per cent of restaurants listed in the prestigious AA Restaurant Guide.

Head chef Chris Archer and his team were recognised with the award in September at the AA Hospitality Awards at the Grosvenor House in London.

Chris said: “It’s our ambition for Pentonbridge Inn to be a must-visit destination for diners from across the country and retaining our three AA Rosettes is a brilliant testament to the team’s creativity, talent and hard work.

“It’s a proud moment for everyone. We’re creating something really special here and are committed to delivering excellence in everything we do across the whole dining experience.”

Pentonbridge Inn, which sits in countryside close to the Scottish border at Penton in North Cumbria, was first awarded three AA Rosettes last year. The restaurant was previously Newcomer of the Year in the Good Hotel Guide’s 2019 César Awards and picked up an Editor’s Choice Award for pub-with-rooms in 2022. It retained its listing in the Michelin Guide in 2022, having first been included in 2021.

Pentonbridge Inn recently launched an eight-course tasting menu featuring ingredients from the restored walled garden of its sister business, Netherby Hall, a historic stately home four-and-a-half miles away at Longtown, near Carlisle.

Chris, who has been at Pentonbridge Inn for three years, works closely with the garden team at Netherby Hall to source up to 70 per cent of the fruit, herbs and vegetables used in the seasonally-inspired dishes on the set tasting menu, as well as working with local suppliers from across Cumbria.

He honed his modern British style of cooking through working at Michelin-starred and AA Rosette restaurants across the UK including Winteringham Fields, Midsummer House and The Cottage in the Wood, near Keswick, where took on his first head chef role in 2014.

The AA Rosette scheme recognises successful cooking across the UK. Rosettes are based on one or more visits by an AA inspector to a hotel or restaurant and are solely awarded on the basis of the inspection, without external influences. About 10 per cent of restaurants nationwide are of a standard that is worthy of one Rosette and above.

According to the AA, three Rosettes recognises outstanding restaurants that achieve standards that demand recognition well beyond their local area. The cooking is underpinned by the selection and sympathetic treatment of the highest quality ingredients, with timing, seasoning and the judgement of flavour combinations consistently excellent, and the experience supported by other elements such as intuitive service and a well-chosen wine list. Around 10 per cent of the restaurants and hotels within the AA Restaurant Guide have three Rosettes or above.

The awards were announced ahead of the publication of the latest edition of AA guidebook.

Pentonbridge Inn is open Wednesday to Saturday. The restaurant-with-rooms has nine stylish and cosy bedrooms, all named after the Border Reiver clans for which the Borderland region around the pub was known.

The eight-course tasting menu costs £95. A five-course set lunch menu is also available. Visit www.pentonbridgeinn.co.uk for more information.