Lady Helen awarded three AA Rosettes

The Lady Helen at Mount Juliet County Estate in Thomastown received the accolade at the AA Hospitality Awards. One of the most prestigious awards in the industry, the rosettes are given for quality of cooking and are similar in standard to a Michelin star.

Food at The Lady Helen was described by AA inspectors as “innovative cooking based on local seasonal supplies, including the kitchen's own herb garden”. They said this is seen to its best effect in the full-dress Lady Helen dining room where “presentations are creative and minutely detailed, and yet nothing feels overworked.”

The Lady Helen Restaurant is based in the historic 18th century Mount Juliet Country Estate in Thomastown. Situated on the River Nore, it serves international dishes by a team of Ireland’s most talented chefs in a stunning setting.

“The team are thrilled to see that all their dedication and effort has paid off. We have worked hard in the last two years to build up the Lady Helen’s reputation for excellent, top quality and creative food. Kilkenny is rich in artisan food and we use as much local produce as we can in preparing dishes.”

He added: “We are especially proud to be the only Irish restaurant to have earned this award this year. We are coming through tough economic times and people are more discerning than ever but are still willing to pay for quality and something special.”

AA Inspectors were impressed by the range of dishes served in the Lady Helen which is overseen by Mount Juliet Executive chef Ken Harker and head chef John Kelly.

Conor Faughan, Director of Consumer Affairs, AA Ireland, congratulated General Manager,  and all the team on this tremendous and well deserved achievement.

He said: “Our inspectors from both sides of the pond who have decades of experience between them were enormously impressed by the exemplary cuisine served at Lady Helen’s restaurant. Just a handful of restaurants in Ireland reach this level of culinary excellence and we wish their very talent team of chefs continued success in the future.”

Mount Juliet is a luxury hotel based 20 minutes from Kilkenny City and just over an hour from Dublin. It is steeped in heritage and has an internationally renowned Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course, a spa, river and lake fishing, woodland walks and horse riding.

AA Rosette Awards are assessed as part of unannounced inspections and are a hugely respected accolade in the industry. AA Inspectors have been awarding AA Rosettes for 50 years and they are graded on a scale of 1 – 5.

The Lady Helen is one of only five restaurants in Ireland to be awarded three AA Rosettes or more. It is the only Kilkenny restaurant to hold 3 AA Rosettes or higher, and one of only two in Leinster to boast the same.


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