A NEW Forest restaurant has joined the elite group of eateries which can boast three AA Rosettes.

The Elderflower, on Lymington’s cobbled Quay Street, was opened three years ago by husband-and-wife team Andrew and Marjolaine Du Bourg, in premises formerly occupied by The Bluebird, run by Georgina Campbell, daughter of Donald of land and water speed record fame.

Andrew, a former head chef of the famous five-star Chewton Glen Hotel, in New Milton, said the Elderflower team was “over the moon” with the AA award.

“I’d like to thank my team for their hard work in getting this third rosette, especially Julien Bailly, my restaurant manager, and Stuart Black, the sous chef. They have helped drive up the standards,” he said.

“I’m hoping it will have a knock-on effect to other businesses. It will help put The Quay and Lymington on the map for experiences other than just sailing,” he said.

Andrew, who trained at Bournemouth & Poole College and the renowned Academy of Culinary Arts, has cooked for The Queen Mother, The Queen, Prince Charles and Margaret Thatcher.

Andrew described The Elderflower’s food as modern British with a French influence and an emphasis on local produce.

Marjolaine, who is from La Rochelle, works front-of-house as restaurant director.

The couple met at the Club Gascon restaurant in London. Marjolaine worked next door at the bar Cellar Gascon and Andrew said: “It was love over the hot plate”.

The Elderflower has gained a reputation for its desserts with ‘Close But no Cigar’ being the most famous. This is a chocolate and whiskey mouse with a coffee ice cream, topped with vanilla milk foam with a “cigar” of smoked chocolate on the side.

The restaurant’s main dishes change on a regular basis. In the summer, the focus is on fish and in the winter, it is game. The fish is as locally caught as is possible, with sea bass from close to The Needles, crab and lobster from The Solent and Brownsea Island oysters.

Andrew is helping organise Lymington Seafood Festival (August 12-13) which will raise funds for the RNLI and Blue Marine, which is attempting to reintroduce oysters into The Solent.

Another plan is the ‘Gastronomic Adventure’ which will offer customers a high-speed Rib trip on The Solent followed by a meal at The Elderflower and accommodation in their B&B.

For bookings call 01590 676908.