A LAKE District hotel has been awarded its first AA Rosette since opening its doors three years ago this month.

The Daffodil Hotel and Spa, in Grasmere, is celebrating the rating which sees them enter the 10 per cent of restaurants in the UK judged to be of one Rosette standard or above.

And the top award coincides with the arrival of a brand new executive chef Graham Harrower.

Despite only joining The Daffodil in March this year, the 36-year-old and his 10-strong kitchen team impressed the inspectors just a few weeks later to earn the four-star hotel its very first major food accolade.

The AA’s Rosette award scheme was the first nationwide scheme for assessing the quality of food served by restaurants and hotels and inspectors look for restaurants that stand out in their local area - offering food prepared with care, understanding, and skill using good quality ingredients.

The inspector tucked into a starter of Asian spiced monkfish with butternut squash, coconut, wild rice, and radish before moving onto a main of confit of free range pork belly with parsnip puree, charred hispi cabbage, black pudding, sage crackling, and granny smith apple.

His choice of dessert was Madagascan vanilla panna cotta with poached rhubarb, ginger crumble, and red vein sorrel.

Graham is no stranger to awards having moved to The Daffodil from the 3AA Rosette Fonab Castle Hotel in Perthshire.

He also received a Chefs Hotel Médailles d’Or at last year’s Scottish Hotel Awards and is now looking forward to similar success in Grasmere.

"I’m looking forward to really putting my culinary stamp on the menus at The Daffodil particularly as the seasons develop and with such fabulous local Cumbrian produce to work with," he said. "I spent a few years in Cumbria from 2009 so I’m already familiar with and hugely passionate about the local produce.

"Local, fresh, seasonal ingredients have always been a key part of The Daffodil’s food offering and this isn’t going to change.

"I have a highly skilled and dedicated team around me who are rightly proud of our recent success and excited to keep delivering top quality British food in stunning surroundings.”