A LEYLAND college is celebrating after winning the first ever AA College Restaurant of the Year.

The award, presented at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London, has been developed in conjunction with People 1st, the leading workforce development expert for the hospitality, tourism, travel, passenger-transport and retail industries.

Foxholes operates a full restaurant service two lunchtimes and two evenings a week with the mission of having “pride in quality and service”.

Staff at the training restaurant say it has always aimed to embrace current trends and techniques to enhance the experience of both the customer and the students who want a career in hospitality.

It also prides itself on having a strong relationship with local suppliers including family butchers Haydock’s in Leyland, Wellgate Fisheries in Clitheroe, Ribble Farm in Longridge, Prospect Brewery in Standish and Barrica Wines in Samlesbury.

Each dish on the menu is selected to develop the students’ culinary skills as well as present a meal that is both current and meets customer expectations. This attention to detail and the high standards set by the staff and students ensures that the customers enjoy the food and dining, the restaurant said.

Garry Baldwin, senior hotel & restaurant inspector, AA Hotel Services said: ‘We are delighted to announce Foxholes Restaurant as the first winner of the AA College Restaurant of the Year Award.

"College restaurants are no longer the best kept secrets in their local community and are growing in reputation all the time and this award will allow them to really promote and showcase themselves.

"We were all impressed with the extremely high standards of all the finalists and especially the team at Foxholes Restaurants.’

Martine Pullen, director of membership and consulting at People 1st, said: “Our huge congratulations to the hospitality staff and students at Foxholes Restaurant on winning this inaugural award. It was an incredibly hard-fought competition, but the standard of the team was truly outstanding.

“We’re delighted to have worked in partnership with the AA on this award and to have given our accredited colleges another opportunity to be recognised for their outstanding work and dedication to the hospitality industry. I hope this will encourage more employers to work in partnership with accredited colleges.”