Restaurant Nathan Outlaw in Cornwall has taken the number one spot in the Good Food Guide 2018, after a score of 10/10 for the second year running was enough to propel it to the top of the rankings.
It's the first time in five years that the guide, published by Waitrose, has announced a new number one, as the four-year reign of L'Enclume in Cumbria came to an end.
The guide, which has 1,235 entries in total, praised Outlaw's Port Isaac seafood restaurant for being "the whole package", with its relaxed dining room, a menu crafted around the freshest Cornish seafood, along with "perfect service" which "just happens in the most discreet and attentive way".
Outlaw won the Restaurateur of the Year - Independent - award at the Cateys last month.
Meanwhile, the guide continued to lavish praise on Rogan's L'Enclume for its "fiercely seasonal ingredients" and "knockout dishes".
Reacting to the news about reaching the summit of the Good Food Guide's top 50 restaurants, Outlaw said: "We've always been proud to have a place in the listings, but to hear that Restaurant Nathan Outlaw has made it to number one 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."
Guide editor Elizabeth Carter added: "Nathan Outlaw's food is characterised by the absolute freshness of ingredients and a clear sense of purpose. He has done an enormous amount to educate and encourage the public appetite for fish, driven by his supply of impeccably fine ingredients, and a special talent for creating unique and thrilling fish dishes. Moreover, nobody seems to leave Nathan Outlaw's staff - they just go and work in another one of his restaurants. They obviously think he's a pretty good boss as well as a fine chef."
New restaurants in the top 10 this year were: Claude Bosi at Bibendum (9th place, 8/10), The Three Chimneys, Isle of Skye (25th, 7/10), Moor Hall, Lancashire (26th, 7/10), The Ritz (28th, 7/10), and the Sportsman in Seasalter, Kent (42nd, 7/10), and The Man Behind the Curtain, Leeds (50th, 7/10).
Niall Keating's food at Whatley Manor in Easton Grey, Wiltshire, was also recognised for the first time since the rising star took over from Martin Burge at the end of last year. The hotel scored 7/10 and placed 38th on the list.
Those to fall out of the top 50 were: The Dairy, Lake Road Kitchen, Llangoed Hall, Hibiscus (closed), Fera at Claridges (following the departure of Simon Rogan), and Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons.
Commenting on Le Manoir's surprise disappearance from the top 50 this year, having been placed at 31 last year, Carter said: "There's no doubt that Raymond Blanc's Le Manoir is still one of the best country house experiences the UK has to offer - the richly decorated rooms and the beautiful gardens continue to thrill visitors. But the explosion of quality across the country has made a coveted spot in the top 50 more difficult than ever to secure.
"This year, even a cooking score of 7 - one of our best, and promising a ‘high level of ambition…and attention to the smallest detail' - isn't enough of itself to guarantee a place in the Top 50 listing. Our job is to leave aside our natural admiration for the UK's longest-standing restaurants, and rate the country's restaurants afresh each year, new or old. Le Manoir has retained its score of 7, but it's a measure of the UK's extraordinary wealth of talent that newer restaurants are beginning to make their mark at the top-end of the scoring system."
The Waitrose Good Food Guide 2018 Top 50 Restaurants
(cooking score out of 10 in brackets, previous position and score in square brackets)
1 Restaurant Nathan Outlaw, Cornwall (10) [2016: 2nd, 10/10]
2 L'Enclume, Cumbria (10) [2016: 1st, 10/10]
3 Pollen Street Social, London (9) [2016: 4th, 9/10]
4 Restaurant Sat Bains, Nottinghamshire (9) [2016: 3rd, 9/10]
5 The Fat Duck, Berkshire (9) [2016: 6th, 9/10]
6 Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, London (9) [2016: 7th, 9/10]
7 Hedone, London (8) [2016: 8th, 8/10]
8 Restaurant Andrew Fairlie, Tayside (8) [2016: 9th, 8/10]
9 Claude Bosi at Bibendum, London (8) New
10 Casamia, Bristol (8) [2016: 27th, 7/10]
11 Bohemia, Jersey (8) [2016: 24th, 7/10]
12 Ynyshir, Powys (8) [2016: 40th, 7/10]
13 Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, London (8) [2016: 2th, 7/10]
14 Fraiche, Merseyside (8) [2016: 10th, 8/10]
15 Marcus, London (8) [2016: 17th, 8/10]
16 Le Champignon Sauvage, Glos (8) [2016: 13th, 8/10]
17 Adam Reid at The French, Manchester (8) [2016: 18th, 8/10]
18 The Ledbury, London (8) [2016: 11th, 8/10]
19 André Garrett at Cliveden, Berkshire (8) [2016: =]
20 Midsummer House, Cambridgeshire (8) [2016: 12th, 8/10]
21 Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester, London (8) [2016: 14th, 8/10]
22 The Peat Inn, Fife (8) [2016: 20th, 8/10]
23 The Kitchin, Edinburgh (7) [2016: =]
24 Sketch, Lecture Room & Library, London (7) [2016: 36th, 7/10]
25 The Three Chimneys, Isle of Skye (7) New
26 Moor Hall, Lancashire (7) New
27 The Greenhouse, London (7) [2016: 25th, 7/10]
28 The Ritz, London (7) New
29 Castle Terrace, Edinburgh (7) [2016: 22nd, 7/10]
30 Forest Side, Cumbria (7) [2016: 37th, 7/10]
31 Orwells, Oxfordshire (7) [2016: 44th, 7/10]
32 Paul Ainsworth at No. 6, Cornwall (7) [2016: 28th, 7/10]
33 Restaurant Marianne, London (7) [2016: 45th, 7/10]
34 The Waterside Inn, Berkshire (7) [2016: 26th, 7/10]
35 Restaurant James Sommerin, Glamorgan (7) [2016: 34th, 7/10]
36 Artichoke, Buckinghamshire (7) [2016: 30th, 7/10]
37 The Raby Hunt, Durham (7) [2016: 42nd, 7/10]
38 Whatley Manor, The Dining Room, Wiltshire (7) [2016: 21st, 8/10]
39 Restaurant Story, London (7) [2016: 32nd, 7/10]
40 Simpsons, Birmingham (7) [2016: 35th, 7/10]
41 Restaurant Martin Wishart, Edinburgh (7) [2016: 39th, 7/10]
42 The Sportsman, Kent (7) New
43 Adam's, Birmingham (7) [2016: 41st, 7/10]
44 Freemasons at Wiswell, Lancashire (7) [2016: 43rd, 7/10]
45 Gidleigh Park, Devon (7) [2016: 33rd, 7/10]
46 Le Gavroche, London (7) [2016: 16th, 8/10]
47 Hambleton Hall, Rutland (7) [2016: 46th, 7/10]
48 Murano, London (7) [2016: 38th, 7/10]
49 The Whitebrook, Gwent (7) [2016: 47th, 7/10]
50 The Man Behind the Curtain, Leeds (7) New
The Waitrose Good Food Guide 2018 Editors' Awards
Chef of the Year
Peter Sanchez-Iglesias, Casamia, Bristol
Chef to Watch
Ben Crittenden, Stark, Broadstairs, Kent
Restaurant of the Year
The Three Chimneys, Isle of Skye, Scotland
Best New Restaurant Entry
Restaurant Sat Bains, Nottinghamshire
Best Pub Restaurant
The Crown, Burchett's Green, Berkshire
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