263 restaurant: renowned Preston city centre establishment awarded three AA rosettes

263 Oli Martin.263 Oli Martin.
263 Oli Martin.
The Preston city centre restaurant - famed for its intricate menus featuring the best seasonal Lancashire produce – won its first two stars just three months after opening

A restaurant in Preston is celebrating after becoming the first in the city to be awarded three AA rosettes.

263, on Camden Place in Preston, is already featured in the Michelin Guide and recently picked up the Taste Lancashire award at the Lancashire Tourism Awards.The restaurant was opened in 2019 by Mark O’Rourke with Lancashire-born Oli Martin now onboard as chef director and Rikki Hughes serving as head chef. The business has continued to thrive, improve and adapt despite the intense challenges from the pandemic and cost-of-living crisis in the hospitality industry.Rikki Hughes, Head Chef at 263, said: “I’m immensely proud of the whole team here at 263 for working so hard! To be the first ever restaurant in Preston to get three rosettes is a phenomenal achievement!”Alex Blamire, Managing Director at 263, said: “To be the first restaurant in Preston awarded with three AA Rosettes is such an honour. Everybody has put so much effort into making 263 a destination restaurant and are continuing to do so, to achieve this accolade in just over 12 months is a credit to all of the hard work and dedication everybody has put in.“I know what this award means to each and every one of us and of course a big thank you to Rikki Hughes, our head chef, and Emese Pogany, our restaurant manager, for pushing the boundaries day in day out to deliver incredible food served to the highest standard.”

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What did the AA inspectors say about 263 in Preston?

263 Mark O'Rourke and Oli Martin.263 Mark O'Rourke and Oli Martin.
263 Mark O'Rourke and Oli Martin.

The restaurant offers tasting menus with up to seven courses, all featuring local, seasonal produce, and diners can expect an unpretentious and relaxed dining experience, the AA’s inspector say.

“It has a modern, pared back Scandi feel with wooden floors and walls hung with contemporary paintings,” they added. “The seven-course tasting menu changes with the seasons, and is robust and modern in style and technique, with straightforward clarity of flavours and an emphasis on foraged ingredients. The wine list is worth exploring and as well as wine flights they offer a beer tasting flight.”

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‘The whole team works tirelessly’

The restaurant is a popular city centre spot.The restaurant is a popular city centre spot.
The restaurant is a popular city centre spot.

The restaurant was first opened in 2019, with founder Mark O’Rourke naming the fine dining establishment after his son’s date of birth.

He said: “It's great to see a restaurant in Preston achieve such accolades. The whole team works tirelessly to produce the best food and service in the area and work tirelessly to do so! They really are an asset to Preston! It's everything I imagined it would be when I opened it and more.”

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263 stellar cooking team including head chef Rikki Hughes, who previously with as a sous chef at Tom Kerridge's Hand and Flowers in Buckinghamshire, and chef director Oli Martin, who has 17 years of experience in fine dining, having worked in Michelin Star and Rosette restaurants in the both the UK and France.