L’Enclume has taken the top spot in the Waitrose Good Food Guide for the third year running, while Robin Gill of the Dairy and the Manor in London’s Clapham has won the Chef of the Year title.
Meanwhile, Ox in Belfast has taken the title of Best Restaurant, in the same year that it won the Menu of the Year award at the 2015 Cateys.
The top entries and award winners for the 2016 edition of the Guide were revealed today ahead of the launch of its 65th anniversary issue.
Simon Rogan’s L’Enclume, in Cartmel, Cumbria, not only made it a third year in the top spot but also secured a fourth consecutive year with a score of 10/10 for its cooking.
The Guide calls it “the UK’s greatest restaurant” and “an unassuming location for an undoubted pinnacle of the new British cooking”.
It was awarded the best score because “many of the dishes have become long-running masterpieces”. Among the dishes the Guide singled out for special praise were the Cartmel Valley venison tartare and a “really special” apple tart with gingerbread ice cream.
Speaking about his top entry in the Guide, Chef Simon Rogan said: “Three years at number one in the UK and 10 out of 10 makes me exceptionally proud of the team at L’Enclume. Their focus and creativity are consistently spot-on, and our customers give us such positive feedback.
“Fera’s quick climb to 8/10 is also remarkable – and to have the French solid as well at 8/10 two years running means that we now have three restaurants from Umbel Restaurant Group in the top 17. I’m very honoured.”
New entries in the top 10 this year are Fraiche and Midsummer House and first-time in the top 50 are Adams, Lake Road Kitchen, the Dairy, Llangoed Hall and Sketch. Those to fall out of the top 50 were: the Fat Duck, Berkshire; Michael Wignall at the Latymer, Surrey; the Pass, West Sussex; Hélène Darroze at the Connaught, London; Paris House, Bedfordshire; Simon Radley at the Chester Grosvenor, Cheshire; Chiltern Firehouse, London; and the Clove Club, London.
The Waitrose Good Food Guide 2016 Top 50 Restaurants
(cooking score out of ten in brackets)*
1 L’Enclume, Cumbria (10) [2015: =]
2 Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, London (10) [2015: 3rd, 10/10]
3 Pollen Street Social, London (9) [2015: 6th, 9/10]
4 Restaurant Nathan Outlaw, Cornwall (9) [2015: =]
5 Hibiscus, London (9) [2015: =]
6 Restaurant Sat Bains, Nottinghamshire (9) [2015: 7th, 9/10]
7 Midsummer House, Cambridgeshire (8) (new in top 10 this year)
8 The Ledbury, London (8) [2015: 10th, 8/10]
9 Fraiche, Merseyside (8) (new in top 10 this year)
10 Le Champignon Sauvage, Glos (8) [2015: 9th, 8/10]
11 The Square, London (8) [2015: 8th, 8/10]
12 Fera at Claridges, London (8) [2015: 19th, 7/10]
13 Le Gavroche, London (8) [2015: 15th, 8/10]
14 Andrew Fairlie at Gleneagles, Tayside (8) [2015: 11th, 8/10]
15 Marcus, London (8) [2015: 20th, 7/10]
16 Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, Oxfordshire (8) [2015: 13th, 8/10]
17 The French, Manchester (8) [2015: 14th, 8/10]
18 André Garrett at Cliveden, Berkshire (8) [2015: 18th, 7/10]
19 Whatley Manor, The Dining Room, Wiltshire (8) [2015: 16th, 8/10]
20 The Kitchin, Edinburgh (7) [2015: 22nd, 7/10]
21 Bohemia, Jersey (7)
22 The Waterside Inn, Berkshire (7) [2015: 23rd, 7/10]
23 Artichoke, Buckinghamshire (7) [2015: 28th, 7/10]
24 Restaurant James Sommerin, Glamorgan (7) [2015: 30th, 7/10]
25 Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester, London (7) [2015: =]
26 Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, London (7) [2015: 21st, 7/10]
27 Paul Ainsworth at No. 6, Cornwall (7) [2015: 33rd, 7/10]
28 Casamia, Bristol (7) [2015: 39th, 7/10]
29 Adam’s, Birmingham (7) (new in top 50 this year)
30 Restaurant Martin Wishart, Edinburgh (7) [2015: 27th, 7/10]
31 Pied à Terre, London (7) [2015: 24th, 7/10]
32 Restaurant Story, London (7) [2015: 37th, 7/10]
33 Murano, London (7) [2015: 32nd, 7/10]
34 Ynyshir Hall, Powys (7) [2015: 40th, 7/10]
35 Sketch, London (7) (new in top 50 this year)
36 Llangoed Hall, Powys (7) (new in top 50 this year)
37 Hedone, London (7) [2015: 35th, 7/10]
38 Hambleton Hall, Rutland (7) [2015: 36th, 7/10]
39 The Peat Inn, Fife (7) [2015: 31st, 7/10]
40 Gidleigh Park, Devon (7) [2015: 34th, 7/10]
41 Fischer’s Baslow Hall, Derbyshire (7) [2015: 29th, 7/10]
42 Freemasons at Wiswell, Lancashire (7) [2015: 41st, 7/10]
43 The Hand & Flowers, Buckinghamshire (6) [2015: =]
44 Yorke Arms, Ramsgill, Yorkshire (6) [2015: =]
45 The Dairy, London (6) (new in top 50 this year)
46 OX, Belfast (6)
47 The Raby Hunt, Durham (6) [2015: =]
48 Lake Road Kitchen, Cumbria (6) (new in top 50 this year)
49 The Sportsman, Kent (6)
50 Northcote, Lancashire (6) [2015: 49th, 6/10]
*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.”
The Waitrose Good Food Guide 2016 Editors’ Awards
Chef of the Year
The Dairy and The Manor, Clapham, London
Restaurant of the Year
Best New Restaurant Entry
Lake Road Kitchen
Best New Pub Entry
The Lickfold Inn
Lickfold, West Sussex
Local Gem of the Year
Flour & Ash
Wine List of the Year
Readers’ Restaurant of the Year
The Miller of Mansfield
Another new entry in the Guide was the Marram Grass Café run by 20-something brothers Liam and Ellis Barrie on their parents’ White Lodge Caravan Park in Newborough on the Isle of Anglesey.
Speaking about the Marram Grass Café, Elizabeth Carter, Waitrose Good Food Guide editor said: “When one of the guide’s longest serving inspectors tipped us off about a restaurant in a shed on a campsite, our curiosity was piqued. And what an extraordinary find Marram Grass Café turned out to be. The low building with its corrugated iron roof may channel scout hut and air raid shelter in equal measure, but the interior charms and the cooking shows ambition and skill. It’s a simple recipe for success that not many manage to get it so right.”
Joint owner of the Marram Grass Café, Liam Barrie, 27, said: “When we first started out in 2009, we’d taken over what had been a greasy spoon with only four tables. It was just my chef brother Ellis and I with a couple of Saturday staff but now we have 30 people on our books and 40 covers. We changed the existing menu from one that relied on frozen food to ours which sources from as many local producers as possible. We are really proud of that. We like staying creative and are always experimenting with our dishes made with ingredients such as Menai mussels and line-caught Anglesey sea bass.”
The very first Good Food Guide was published in 1951. It was a hardback of 224 pages, cost five shillings and listed “600 places throughout Britain where you can rely on a good meal at a reasonable price”.
The guide is still compiled with the reliance on reader feedback of eateries up and down the country together with anonymous inspections by a team of experts.
Speaking about the 65th anniversary edition, Carter said: “Raymond Postgate’s passionately held belief that if you shouted loud enough, the standard of restaurant food in Britain could and would be raised, inspired an army of like-minded people to report on places where the food was decent – and the rise of the consumer group as a force in the market place was born.
“Back in 1949, when Raymond Postgate wrote a heartfelt piece calling for a ‘campaign against cruelty to food’, a typical restaurant meal included soup from a tin, soggy steak from Argentina, synthetic cream and tinned Empire fruit. Postgate’s article inspired an army of like-minded people to report on places where the food was decent and The Good Food Guide was created. Sixty-five years of championing the best food around Britain – now that’s what I call a brilliant achievement.”
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