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Exeter College @34 Restaurant Receives Highest Possible Accolade with an AA Highly Commended College Rosette 

Exeter College’s fine dining @thirty-four restaurant has achieved the highest accolade for a college restaurant having recently been awarded a Highly Commended AA College Rosette. 

The AA College Rosette Scheme, developed by People 1st International and AA Hotel Services, recognises college restaurants for the quality of the food they produce and the level of service they deliver. The scheme has been designed to reflect current industry trends in the realistic working environment that college restaurants provide.  

John Laramy CBE, Principal and CEO at Exeter College said; 

“Our vision as a College is to be exceptional and this is truly an exceptional achievement.  This recognises the excellence that I see from the whole team in @thirty-four and while it would be a great achievement for any restaurant, for a College restaurant to reach this standard is sector leading.   

“I would like to congratulate the staff and students on this stunning achievement. They have created a vibrant, passionate, and relaxed dining experience which is now highly regarded in Exeter and beyond.” 

The staff and students behind the restaurant were subject to a full restaurant inspection, held to the same standards as other local restaurants and hotels. They were tested on their menu and wine list knowledge as well as the quality of the food and service. 

Level 3 Supervisory Hospitality student, Victoria Ames would like to be a Maitre’d when she leaves College. Speaking about the inspection, she said; 

“I supervised the service on that day, so I showed them to the table and talked a little about the restaurant before I brought over their waitress for the evening. I do rounds to ask people how their food is, and I stopped at their table once or twice. It’s just nice being able to talk to people like that about the things we do here and nice to be recognised for it too.” 

Speaking about what she will take away from the experience, Victoria said; 

“It’s the little things that count, giving that extra attention to detail and making sure they get the best experience dining here.  

“At Level 1 I was very shy, now I am Level 3, and I can’t stop talking. College has really bought out the good side in me. That’s something I think people would benefit from when they do this sort of course. It’s not just about cooking or serving people, it’s about building your own skills and it is wonderful. It’s the best experience I’ve had in my life so far, I wouldn’t change it for the world. I’m very happy here.” 

Dylan Fewings is studying for an NVQ Level 3 in Professional Cookery, and was in the kitchen on the day of the visit, he said;  

“I was on the starter section, responsible for the cauliflower soup and the chicken terrine. The experience was quite stressful due to the variety of dishes on the menu and things like chicken terrine are quite complex. 

“My lecturer and I tasted the dish and decided it was quite rich and needed something acidic to cut through. It’s helping train my palette as a chef and learn about the balance between dishes. 

“After College, I am moving to London. It’s where I want to be to learn my next steps as it’s such an exciting place to be when you are a chef. The end goal is to own a restaurant or to be as high as possible in an amazing kitchen where I am cooking good food and have happy customers.” 

The final report mentions several “WOW” moments including; 

“Quality of the food, some strong dishes, showcasing sound technique and clear flavour definition.” 

“A very enjoyable dining experience, underpinned by pride and purpose.” 

“A very supportive learning environment.” 

And finally; 

“Great value and good to see a busy restaurant.” 

Tracey Bennett, Head of Faculty for Hospitality, Hair, and Beauty said; 

“I am immensely proud of all the students and staff that have contributed to this accolade. They work incredibly hard and put in countless extra hours to ensure @thirty-four is a success. Their passion for their craft shines through in what they cook and how they serve our customers, and this is reflected in our excellent reviews.  

“Our students are very ambitious, so they deserve nothing less than Highly Commended as this truly demonstrates their talent and how exceptional they aspire to be.” 

To book a table in the restaurant, please call us on 01392 400334 or email [email protected]
Exeter College offers a wide range of outstanding hospitality and catering programmes. There is still time to apply for entry this September 2023.