The Good Food Guide (GFG) has revealed its top places to dine in the UK, along with its award winners. For the first time in five years, the guide, published by Waitrose, has announced a new ‘number one restaurant’. And it’s not just grand dining-rooms across the UK being celebrated, more quirky finds include an eatery housed in a former strip-club and a tiny 12 seater restaurant run by the guide’s ‘Chef to Watch’.
The restaurant awarded the top spot in The Good Food Guide 2018 is Restaurant Nathan Outlaw in Cornwall. It has also achieved a perfect score of ten for the second year running. The Port Isaac seafood restaurant has been crowned number one in the UK for being ‘the whole package’, with its relaxed dining room, a menu carefully crafted around the freshest Cornish seafood, along with perfect service which ‘just happens in the most discreet and attentive way’.
Outlaw says, “We’ve always been proud to have a place in the listings, but to hear that Restaurant Nathan Outlaw has made it to No 1 is phenomenal. I’d say the award has come due to the hard work and dedication of our team who have now been working together for a decade. It just goes to show that if you stay true to yourself, get your head down, look after your customers and use the very best ingredients available to you, you’ll make it to the top.”
Don’t miss our interview with Nathan Outlaw in Savour’s autumn edition – out mid September.
Outlaw takes the title of Britain’s best restaurant from L’Enclume in Cumbria after their four years at the summit. However, Simon Rogan’s L’Enclume still retains a perfect ten score for its ‘fiercely seasonal ingredients’ and ‘knockout dishes’. (Click here to read our interview with him).
Alongside the finest dining establishments, the GFG also champions more unusual eateries that you may not find in more traditional restaurant guides. In addition to anonymous inspections, the GFG’s research list is based on the huge volume of feedback received from readers and this helps uncover new foodie finds every year. This year’s edition features four new entries housed under railway arches: Umezushi in Manchester; Hart’s Bakery in Bristol; and Bala Baya and El Pastor, both in London.
Also new to the GFG this year is Vice and Virtue, a Leeds’ restaurant located in a former strip club. With its Art Deco style interior, this venue is now poles apart from its previous life – it now serves up three tasting menus, with dishes including ‘perfect’ lobster ravioli and organic apple strudel.
This is the fifth edition of the guide to be published by Waitrose, who has also announced their Editors’ Awards from The Good Food Guide 2018. These awards recognise restaurants and chefs for their talent and commitment to excellence. This year Chef of the Year has been awarded to Peter Sanchez-Iglesias from Casamia in Bristol, whose restaurant also climbs from no.27 (in the top 50) last year to no.10 this year. This coincides with Bristol also being host to the highest number of new entries of any city outside of London.
Chef to Watch has been award to Ben Crittenden, from Stark, located in Broadstairs, Kent. His tiny 12-seater restaurant only has a galley kitchen tucked in the corner but serves a well-prepared six-course tasting menu. The restaurant is so small it doesn’t yet have a loo, but a friendly landlady from the pub up the road welcomes Stark’s diners.
Restaurant of the Year has been named as The Three Chimneys on the Isle of Skye, Scotland. Run by chef Scott Davies, his menus are strongly rooted in the immediate area, with most ingredients sourced from a 20-mile radius. The Three Chimneys has also gone into the top 50 restaurants for the first time, at no 25. Best New Restaurant Entry is crowd-funded Salt, in Stratford-upon-Avon. Best Front-of-House, which celebrates the best customer service in the UK, has been awarded to Restaurant Sat Bains in Nottinghamshire, while Best Pub Restaurant has been presented to The Crown, in Burchett’s Green, Berkshire.
Top 50 Restaurants
The Good Food Guide’s annual Top 50 restaurant ranking is highly regarded by chefs and restaurant-goers alike, with particular attention paid to those chefs and restaurants who make it into the Top 10. The Top 50 recognises the very best talent in the country; a place on the list represents a huge achievement, with each position earned by its score in The Good Food Guide, editor appraisal and strength of reader feedback. Straight into the Top 50 at no.9 is Claude Bosi at Bibendum (London), while other new entries to the Top 50 are The Three Chimneys (Isle of Skye) at no. 25, Moor Hall (Lancashire) at no.26, The Ritz at no. 28 (London), The Sportsman at no. 42 (Kent) and The Man Behind the Curtain at no 50 (Leeds).
A top score of 10 means “Just perfect dishes, showing faultless technique at every service; extremely rare, and the highest accolade the Guide can give.
1 Restaurant Nathan Outlaw, Cornwall (10)
2 L’Enclume, Cumbria (10)
3 Pollen Street Social, London (9)
4 Restaurant Sat Bains, Nottinghamshire (9)
5 The Fat Duck, Berkshire (9)
6 Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, London (9)
7 Hedone, London (8)
8 Restaurant Andrew Fairlie, Tayside (8)
9 Claude Bosi at Bibendum, London (8) New
10 Casamia, Bristol (8)
11 Bohemia, Jersey (8)
12 Ynyshir, Powys (8)
13 Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, London (8)
14 Fraiche, Merseyside (8)
15 Marcus, London (8)
16 Le Champignon Sauvage, Glos (8)
17 Adam Reid at The French, Manchester (8)
18 The Ledbury, London (8)
19 André Garrett at Cliveden, Berkshire (8)
20 Midsummer House, Cambridgeshire (8)
21 Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester, London (8)
22 The Peat Inn, Fife (8)
23 The Kitchin, Edinburgh (7)
24 Sketch, Lecture Room & Library, London (7)
25 The Three Chimneys, Isle of Skye (7) New
26 Moor Hall, Lancashire (7) New
27 The Greenhouse, London (7)
28 The Ritz, London (7) New
29 Castle Terrace, Edinburgh (7)
30 Forest Side, Cumbria (7)
31 Orwells, Oxfordshire (7)
32 Paul Ainsworth at No. 6, Cornwall (7)
33 Restaurant Marianne, London (7)
34 The Waterside Inn, Berkshire (7)
35 Restaurant James Sommerin, Glamorgan (7)
36 Artichoke, Buckinghamshire (7)
37 The Raby Hunt, Durham (7)
38 Whatley Manor, The Dining Room, Wiltshire (7)
39 Restaurant Story, London (7)
40 Simpsons, Birmingham (7)
41 Restaurant Martin Wishart, Edinburgh (7)
42 The Sportsman, Kent (7) New
43 Adam’s, Birmingham (7)
44 Freemasons at Wiswell, Lancashire (7)
45 Gidleigh Park, Devon (7)
46 Le Gavroche, London (7)
47 Hambleton Hall, Rutland (7)
48 Murano, London (7)
49 The Whitebrook, Gwent (7)
50 The Man Behind the Curtain, Leeds (7) New
The Good Food Guide is published by Waitrose on 4th September. The 2018 edition is the fifth GFG to be published by the supermarket. RRP £17.99.