Get the latest hospitality news and inspiration straight to your inbox. Subscribe to our newsletter.

Good Food Guide: Perfect 10 for Nathan Outlaw as L’Enclume stays top for fourth year

Written by:
Good Food Guide: Perfect 10 for Nathan Outlaw as L’Enclume stays top for fourth year
Written by:

L’Enclume has taken the top spot in the Waitrose Good Food Guide for a fourth year running while Nathan Outlaw’s eponymous restaurant in Port Isaac, Cornwall, moved to second place with a score of 10/10.

Restaurant Sat Bains moved up from sixth place in the 2016 guide to third place in the 2017’s top 50.

Meanwhile, Orwells in Oxfordshire has taken the title of Restaurant of the Year, and James Close, chef patron of the Raby Hunt just outside Durham, was awarded the honour of Chef of the Year.

The top entries and award winners for the 2017 edition of the Guide were revealed today ahead of the launch of the 66th anniversary issue.

Simon Rogan’s L’Enclume in Cartmel, Cumbria, not only made it a fourth year in the top spot but also secured a fifth consecutive year with a score of 10/10 for its cooking.

The Guide praised the “soaring sophistication of Mr Rogan’s cooking” and highlighted its 17-course tasting menu which offers “clever elements of technical wizardry to keep the ‘oohs’ and’aahs’ going,” with the “cooking forever breaking new ground”.

Rogan said: “It’s amazing news to be number one for the fourth year running. I’m really grateful to the Good Food Guide for their faith in awarding us top spot once more, and appreciative for the enormous effect it has on our business. It’s a huge achievement but could not happen without a massive team effort. For me, it’s a privilege to lead this outstanding group of people. There’s no doubt that L’Enclume is approaching the most creative period in its history, and achieving the quality I dreamed of when I first opened its doors.”

Meanwhile, the Guide’s consultant editor Elizabeth Carter, who this year celebrates 10 years in the role, described Restaurant Nathan Outlaw as “a role model of its kind – no pretensions or gimmicks, just first-class food and knowledgeable, welcoming service – and there is no doubt in my mind that Restaurant Nathan Outlaw deserves its place as one of the best restaurants in the country.”

Nathan Outlaw said: “I honestly thought I was dreaming when I found out. Over those years of continuously cooking and serving our customers we have always tried our hardest to do our best and when you get recognised like this it means the world to us all.”

Commenting on Restaurant Sat Bains, Carter said: “Sat Bains’ cooking is astonishing. I love his ideas, his sheer imagination and I’ve always been struck by the delicacy and balance of Sat’s dishes, and by the way he works the taste spectrum – the play between sweet and savoury, the use of texture (creamy, crispy, frozen, jelly). The chef fully deserves to be recognised as The Good Food Guide’s top scoring 9, it’s a brilliant achievement, and as far as I am concerned, Restaurant Sat Bains is quite simply one of the most alluring and impressive restaurants in the UK.”

New entries in the top 10 this year were: The Fat Duck, Bray (excluded from last year’s guide while the restaurant relocated to Melbourne); Hedone, London; and Restaurant Andrew Fairlie at Gleneagles in Auchterarder, Perthshire.

New entries into the top 50 this year were: Castle Terrace in Edinburgh; the Greenhouse in London; Simpsons in Birmingham; Forest Side in Cumbria; Orwells in Oxfordshire; Restaurant Marianne in London; and the Whitebrook in Gwent.

Those to fall out of the top 50 were: the Square, London; Pied à Terre, London; Fischer’s Baslow Hall, Derbyshire; Yorke Arms, Ramsgill, Yorkshire; the Sportsman at Seasalter, Kent; and Northcote, Lancashire.

The Guide also singled out some other unusual finds this year, including a reader discovery, Shuck’s at the Yurt, a restaurant housed in a quirky tent in Norfolk. The yurt eatery is located in an orchard and run by husband and wife team Phillip (head chef) and Beth Milner. It also highlighted Spoke and Stringer in Bristol, a café which is part of a bike and surf shop. It also made a mention of Gloucester Services on the M5, an independently run motorway services with a gourmet cafe, and three restaurants house in shipping containers: Cook House in Newcastle; Craftworks Street Kitchen in Truro, Cornwall; and Kricket in Brixton, London.

Interestingly, Restaurant Nathan Outlaw and Restaurant Sat Bains have in recent years both made the move to four-day-a-week operations.

The Waitrose Good Food Guide 2017 Top 50 Restaurants
(cooking score out of ten in brackets, previous position and score in square brackets)

1 L’Enclume, Cumbria (10) [2016: =]
2 Restaurant Nathan Outlaw, Cornwall (10) [2016: 4th, 9/10]
3 Restaurant Sat Bains, Nottinghamshire (9) [2016: 6th, 9/10]
4 Pollen Street Social, London (9) [2016: 4th, 9/10]
5 Hibiscus, London (9) [2016: =]
6 The Fat Duck, Berkshire (9) [Back in the top 50 this year]
7 Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, London (9) [2016: 2nd, 10/10]
8 Hedone, London (8) [2016: 37th, 7/10]
9 Restaurant Andrew Fairlie, Gleneagles, Tayside (8) [2016: 14th, 8/10]
10 Fraiche, Merseyside (8) (2016: 9th, 8/10)
11 The Ledbury, London (8) [2016: 8th, 8/10]
12 Midsummer House, Cambridgeshire (8) [2016: 7th, 8/10]
13 Le Champignon Sauvage, Glos (8) [2016: 10th, 8/10]
14 Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester, London (8) [2016: 25th, 7/10]
15 Fera at Claridges, London (8) [2016: 12th, 8/10]
16 Le Gavroche, London (8) [2016: 13th, 8/10]
17 Marcus, London (8) [2016: 15th, 8/10]
18 The French, Manchester (8) [2016: 17th, 8/10]
19 André Garrett at Cliveden, Berkshire (8) [2016: 18th, 8/10]
20 The Peat Inn, Fife (8) [2016: 39th, 8/10]
21 Whatley Manor, The Dining Room, Wiltshire (8) [2016: 19th, 8/10]
22 Castle Terrace, Edinburgh (7) New to the top 50 this year
23 The Kitchin, Edinburgh (7) [2016: 20th, 7/10]
24 Bohemia, Jersey (7) [2016: 21st, 7/10]
25 The Greenhouse, London (7) New to the top 50 this year
26 The Waterside Inn, Berkshire (7) [2016: 22nd, 7/10]
27 Casamia, Bristol (7) [2016: 28th, 7/10]
28 Paul Ainsworth at No. 6, Cornwall (7) [2016: 27th, 7/10]
29 Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, London (7) [2016: 26th, 7/10]
30 Artichoke, Buckinghamshire (7) [2016: 23rd, 7/10]
31 Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, Oxfordshire (7) [2016: 16th, 7/10]
32 Restaurant Story, London (7) [2016: 32nd, 7/10]
33 Gidleigh Park, Devon (7) [2016: 40th, 7/10]
34 Restaurant James Sommerin, Glamorgan (7) [2016: 24th, 7/10]
35 Simpsons, Birmingham (7) New to the top 50 this year
36 Sketch, London (7) [2016: 35th, 7/10]
37 Forest Side, Cumbria (7) New to the top 50 this year
38 Murano, London (7) [2016: 33rd, 7/10]
39 Restaurant Martin Wishart, Edinburgh (7) [2016: 30th, 7/10]
40 Ynyshir, Powys (7) [2016: 34th, 7/10]
41 Adam’s, Birmingham (7) [2016: 29th, 7/10]
42 The Raby Hunt, Durham (7) [2016: 47th, 7/10]
43 Freemasons at Wiswell, Lancashire (7) [2016: 42nd, 7/10]
44 Orwells, Oxfordshire (7) New to the top 50 this year
45 Restaurant Marianne, London (7) New to the top 50 this year
46 Hambleton Hall, Rutland (7) [2016: 38th, 7/10]
47 The Whitebrook, Gwent (7) New to the top 50 this year
48 Llangoed Hall, Powys (7) [2016: 36th, 7/10]
49 Lake Road Kitchen, Cumbria (6) [2016: 48th, 6/10]
50 The Dairy, London (6) [2016: 45th, 6/10]

The Waitrose Good Food Guide 2017 Editors’ Awards

Chef of the Year
James Close
The Raby Hunt, Durham

Chef to Watch
Ben Murphy
The Woodford, South Woodford, London

Restaurant of the Year
Orwells
Oxfordshire

Best New Entry
Forest Side
Cumbria

Best Front-of-House
Pollen Street Social
London

Best Small Group
Dishoom
London

Local Restaurant of the Year
Wine & Brine
Moira, Armagh

L’Enclume tops Good Food Guide as Robin Gill wins Chef award >>

Good Food Guide Awards crowns the Miller of Mansfield >>

Jonray and Peter Sanchez-Iglesias Chefs of the Year in Waitrose Good Food Guide >>

Start the discussion

Sign in to comment or register new account

Start the working day with

The Caterer’s free breakfast briefing email

Sign up now for:

  • The latest exclusives from across the industry
  • Innovations, new openings, business news and practical advice
  • The latest product innovations and supplier offers
Sign up for free