Two AA Rosette stars for Jedburgh restaurant - and a third is within reach

A tourism boost for Jedburgh is on the menu after a town restaurant famous for its gastronomic delights achieved prestigious two Rosette star status from the AA.

By Paul Kelly
Tuesday, 14th December 2021, 10:05 am
Chef and proprietor at The Capon Tree, Alasdair Wilkie. (Photo: BILL McBURNIE)
Chef and proprietor at The Capon Tree, Alasdair Wilkie. (Photo: BILL McBURNIE)

The Capon Tree at 61 High Street is renowned for its fine dining credentials and its vast range of wines.

Now it’s officially a ‘destination location’ courtesy of the the award of two AA Rosettes in recognition of its ‘culinary excellence’.

It’s a huge endorsement for restaurant boss and chef Alasdair Wilkie and his six staff.

Chef/proprietor Alasdair Wilkie, Elena Gargani, sommelier, Eden Fairgrieve, bar manager, with bar staff, Brian Caithness and Callum Mason. (Photo: BILL McBURNIE)

And Alasdair also believes it will provide the town with an additional influx of visitors.

He said: “If you go onto Google now and google AA restaurants in the Scottish Borders I’m now sitting number one on the list of leading restaurants and also sitting at number 35 for the whole of Scotland.

"Leading restaurants are done by the Michelin Guide and the AA inspectors, which are two totally different things. Michelin Guide stars and AA Rosettes are really hard to get and I’m sitting with two of them now.

"The inspectors come in secret and you don’t know they’re there until they announce themselves at the end of the meal.

"They came at the tail end of November and I was told that it was nearly three Rosettes but that it just needed a couple of tweaks to make it. So I’ve went from one Rosette up to two.

"It means that the restaurant now becomes a location and it’s really good for Jedburgh. There’s only two in the whole of the Borders and I’m one of them.

"We are fine dining and I have a sommelier, an in-house wine expert, Elena Gargani. I’ve got about 140 different wines, probably one of the biggest wine lists for restaurants in the Borders. I use a company called L’ Art Du Vin and they import directly from the vineyards.”

Alasdair, 38, started out as a chef at just 16 and opened his first restaurant when he was 23, The Clock Tower in Jedburgh, then opened Sweet Melindas in Edinburgh.

He added: “Now I’ve got the two Rosettes the plan is to go for three.

"That just means working harder, putting different things on the menu and tweaks here and there. We’re not too far away.”