Britain’s top restaurants are revealed from London’s Pollen Street Social to Castle Terrace in Edinburgh – so is your favourite local eatery listed?
A map of England and Wales shows the top 10 from this year’s Good Food Guide from number one in Cumbria to number 10 in London
Nestled in the higgledy-piggledy Cumbrian village of Cartmel, L’Enclume is more of a luxury countryside retreat than just a restaurant. Its name, French for anvil, is taken from the restaurant’s past life as a former wheel maker. The food offering is classic, with seasonal products like bee pollen, elderflower and nasturtium giving chef Simon Rogan’s dishes added sparkle. Out in the depths of the Lake District, L’Enclume also has room for a hotel and staff are always on hand to offer advice on countryside rambles, which begin with a glimpse of Rogan’s extensive fruit and vegetable gardens. With a lunch tasting menu priced at £65 and a more extensive dinner one at £155, its a reasonably priced for two Michelin starred dining
At only two years old, Core has already got itself two Michelin stars. Unsurprising, as its headed up by the woman dubbed ‘the best female chef in the world’. Core is Clare Smyth’s first restaurant of her own. After a four-year stint as Gordon Ramsay’s No 2 and after becoming the first and only female chef to run a three-star Michelin restaurant in the UK, Smyth has opened up her own fine dining establishment in London’s Notting Hill. The menu boasts the ‘finest British ingredients’, with an ’emphasis on natural, sustainable food’ sourced from across the British isles. From Cornish brill with oysters, cucumber and caviar for a main to a lemonade parfait for desert, diners are unlikely to go away disappointed. With a tasting menu at £125 a head, lunch will cost you around £70 and dinner £90
A treat for the eyes as well as the taste buds, Restaurant Nathan Outlaw sits at the top of Port Isaac overlooking the rugged Cornish coastline. Serving only one set fish and seafood menu, the inspiration for Outlaw’s dishes come straight off the boat. Its website boasts the chef ‘gives respect to every tail and scale that enters the kitchen’ to make for a ‘truly memorable dining experience’. Expect lobster salads and gloriously cooked seabass, with wines from all over the world to match. For seafood, the tasting menu price is reasonable and worth paying for the freshest catch of the day
Translated as Long Island in Welsh, a trip to Ynyshir is more like a holiday than just a dining experience. Set at the foot of the Snowdonia National Park, the quaint yet stylish white building that houses Ynshir strikes a bold contrast with the wild greens and browns of the Welsh landscape. With the tag line ‘Ingredient led, flavour driven, meat obsessed and fat fuelled’, head chef Gareth Ward focuses on flavours and textures, not just the ingredients he uses. The open kitchen allows diners a slice of the action while they sample a tasting menu of around 20 dishes. Tasting menus are £150 served at lunch or dinner, increasing to £180 from October onwards
Moor Hall’s history stretches all the way back to the thirteenth century, with the current manor house built in 1533. The Grade II-listed building is one of the most historically important in the UK and is set in five acres of gardens with lake views for every diner. Located in Aughton, West Lancashire, head chef Mark Birchall has bagged the restaurant two Michelin stars since it was taken over in 2015. With as much produce as possible coming from Moor Hall’s own gardens, everything is locally and and sustainable sourced. On the main menu you can expect guinea hens with elderflower, while in The Barn, there are 40-day aged sirloin steak to get your teeth into. If you’re not staying the night in the hotel, lunch or dinner will cost you £125 for eight courses, while the priciest dish in the barn comes in at a reasonable £36
Suitably housed in Kensington’s iconic Michelin House, two-star chef Claude Bosi offers French cuisine at its best at Bibendum. From his trademarked Nosotto snails in wine to Cornish turbot a la Grenobloise, diners on the reservation list at Bibendum are serious about food. ‘Raised in the kitchen’ of his parents restaurant in Lyon, Bosi’s menu is true to his classical background. While you can get a taste of his creations at the oyster bar, a table at Bibendum is the comprehensive Bosi experience. His reputation proceeds him and paying for both quality and location, the tasting menu comes in at nearly £200
With no need for introductions, Restaurant Gordon Ramsay does what it says on the tin. Twenty years of experience combined with the magic touch of one of the country’s most revered chefs, Ramsay’s signature eatery should be on every foodie’s bucket list. From fois gras with black fig to lobster ravioli, the menu has everything you would expect from a seven-star chef. The pudding offering is also a treat, whether you opt for plum pavlova, banana souffle or ice cream all the way from Tahiti. In view of his reputation, prices are fairly reasonable – at £120 for three courses
While Nottingham isn’t where you’d expect to find two Michelin star chefs, there is one with his name on it in the form of Restaurant Sat Bains. Despite being offered a job at Raymond Blanc’s Manoir Aux Quatre Saisons, he turned it down to help a group of men with a hotel in Nottingham that was on its way out. From then on he has worked relentlessly to turn it into the ultimate fine dining experience – not just for his customers, he says – but for his staff too. With a chance to sit at the chef’s table or at the ‘Nucleus’, where dishes can be tasted before they’ve even made it on the menu, everything at Sat Bains revolves around the food on your plate. The 10-course tasting menu starts and ends with the essential ‘five tastes’: sweet, salt, sour, bitter and umami, moving on to pigeon with shwarma spices and not forgetting the ‘tomato and thyme jammy dodger’ and ‘carrot and almond sherbet dib-dab’ to take you from savoury to sweet. With the tasting menu at £120 and chef’s table experience £135 a head, given the work he’s put for nearly two decades, it’s a small price to pay
Dining experiences at Casamia are wildly different depending on when you go – as it’s not just the ingredients that are seasonal, but the decor too. Housed in an impressive listed old Victorian hospital overlooking Bristol’s Bathurst Basin, Casamia is a family affair. What used to be their parents trattoria, was Peter and Jonray Sanchez-Iglesias’s brain child. Before Jonray’s death in 2015, the duo managed to bag Michelin stars and the reputation of one of the best restaurants in the UK. With impressive self-smoking and steaming dishes, Casamia’s menu is a treat for the senses. At the moment, key ingredients include carabineros, rainbow trout and lemon – but don’t expect the same when you next visit
Pollen Street Social describes itself as a ‘modern urban meeting point’ and a place to ‘eat, drink and socialise on special occasions and informal everyday affairs’ Chef and restaurateur Jason Atherton dares to serve up the humble fish and chips alongside a sophisticated seafood platter with oyster ice cream. From a cote de boeuf with mac and cheese to pig belly, Atherton’s dishes are a modern, refined take on classic British. Diners are told exactly how far the ingredients on their plate have travelled from, from butter made from Oxfordshire cows just 56 miles away to Orkney scallops a 709-mile trip. Its Michelin star means prices aren’t the cheapest, and perhaps too much for most people’s ‘informal affairs’, but with a tasting menu at £115 a head, its reasonable for a treat
Adam Reid’s ‘The French’ serves up sophisticated modern British food in an impressive Manchester dining hall.
At Restaurant Story, chef Tom Sellers offers six 10-course tasting menus to choose from boasting a ‘novel approach’ to British classics with his own culinary storytelling.
James Close offers ‘theatre and seasonality’ at his two Michelin star Raby Hunt in the County Durham hamlet of Summerhouse.
Andrew Fairlie’s restaurant at the Gleneages Hotel serves up high-end modern Scottish food complete with two Michelin stars.
For ‘tranquil dining in Mayfair’, visit The Greenhouse or chef Alex Dilling’s minimalist take on up-market French dining and a leafy roof terrace.
Brett Graham’s innovative dishes at The Ledbury in Notting Hill are full of drama and pay tribute to their rural origins.
Marcus Wareing’s restaurant at the Berkeley Hotel is one of the best fine dining experiences the capital has to offer, with two Michelin stars, he creates classic French dishes with British ingredients.
Heston Blumental’s original temple for modern British cuisine takes diners on a ‘journey of childhood memories’ with its three Michelin star offerings.
Simon Rogan is at number 19 as well as number one with his forage-focused London restaurant, where all ingredients are the freshest possible from his Lake District farm and other suppliers around the country.
Marc Wilkinson’s Fraiche is a creative take on French cuisine set in a stylish Merseyside dining hall.
Bohemia is a swish boutique hotel with an equally stylish, one star art deco restaurant where head chef Steve Smith makes the most of the island’s ingredients.
Midsummer House chef patron Daniel Clifford serves elegant French meals inside the conservatory of a Victorian-era riverside cottage next to the Cam.
Any visit to St Andrews isn’t complete with a trip to The Peat Inn for some of the best modern Scottish dining the region has to offer, courtesy of Michelin star chef Geoffrey Smeddle.
With Jay Rayner describing it as ‘one of the best meals of his life’, acclaimed restaurant Le Champignon Sauvage and chef-owner David Everitt-Mattias lives up to their reputation: high-end French food in sleek and quiet surroundings.
Tom Kitchin uses French techniques with Scottish produce to created refined dishes in his chic converted whisky warehouse on Edinburgh’s seafront.
Lake Road Kitchen is exactly what you’d expect from a restaurant in the heart of the Lake District – the best meat, fish and seafood the country has to offer mixed with home grown and wild Cumbrian produce, courtesy of head chef James Cross.
The Michelin star offering from head chef Kevin Tickle at Forest Side tells the story of the landscape of the Lake District with its dishes made from produce grown in its hill-side garden.
Orwells is an eighteenth century pub with a contemporary vibe and a modern British menu using local produce from chefs Ryan Simpson and Liam Trotman.
A. Wong is the highest-ranking Asian eatery on this year’s list, offering upmarket Chinese food, dim sum and a Taste of China tasting menu from chef Andrew Wong.
The Dining Room at Whatley Manor offers reasonably-priced Michelin star food dreamed up by executive chef Niall Keating in the heart of the Cotswolds.
Trinity offers Michelin star dining in the heart of Clapham’s old town with a seasonal menu and chic monochrome surroundings courtesy of chef Adam Byatt.
The Latymer is Matt Worswick’s fine dining restaurant, which uses locally-sourced, seasonal ingredients for a luxury culinary experience in Surrey’s Pennyhill Park.
Inver is a small, characterful restaurant on the shores of Loch Fyne, on Scotland’s west coast, where chef Pamela Latimer use only the freshest and wildest local ingredients for their fixed four-course menu.
At The Black Swan, chef Tommy Banks’s mantra is traditional Yorkshire with a swirling mix of creativity and eccentricity.
James Sommerin’s Michelin star restaurant on the Penarth seafront is bursting with fresh, seasonal produce with the bonus of panoramic views across the Severn Estuary.
Located in the heart of Lincolnshire, Colin McGurran’s Winteringham Fields uses homegrown ingredients to create impressive and refined modern classics.
The Sportsman is a must-try on any visit to Whistable. Chef patron Stephen Harris makes the iconic Whistable oyster sing alongside a blackboard full of fresh seafood offerings.
Chef patron Chris Harrod’s locally sourced dishes at The Whitebrook have earned him a Michelin star, not to mention the terrace that looks out onto the Wye Valley.
Michael O’Hare’s Man Behind The Curtain’s food is as unusual as its décor. Its eccentric offerings served on equally quirky plates have earned him a Michelin star.
Paul Ainsworth’s Padstow eatery makes the most of local ingredients to create a Modern British menu that is still affordable.
Alchemillia is a stylish, brick-clad British restaurant offering elevated & veg-centric dishes, headed up by former chef de partie at nearby restaurant Sat Bains Alex Bond.
At his self-titled restaurant, James Wilkins offers a sharing plate menu of Modern European dishes made with seasonal ingredients and wild foods.
Situated in Glasgow’s West End, Cail Bruich serves up inventive French-inflected food from Scotland’s natural larder dreamed up by chef patron Chris Charalambous.
Stockport is an unlikely location, but Sam Buckley’s Where The Light Gets in consists of a warm, airy open-kitchen serving elevated small meat-focussed dishes that will soon change your mind.
Located on the Isle Of Anglesey in an old butcher’s shop, Sosban is something a little different. With chef Stephen Steven’s Michelin star and unique atmosphere, it’s a must-visit.
Martin Wishart’s restaurant serves imaginative, elegant French dishes made with seasonal Scottish produce at reasonable prices.
Named after Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables character, Michel Roux Jr’s Mayfair basement is a must-visit on the London foodie trail, offering the best in classic French cuisine.
Chef-owner Laurie Gear serves up innovative dishes using local produce in a beamed 16th-century Amersham building with 21st-century style.
Adam Stokes and his wife Natasha bring up-market British tasting menus to Birmingham in their chic, contemporary dining room.
Upscale choice for acclaimed modern British tasting menus, in a chic, contemporary dining room.
Castle Terrace is all about presenting the best Scottish produce has to offer. Chef patron Dominic Jack uses his classical training to create classics with a Scottish touch.