London may still have the best and most varied restaurants in the UK, but the rest of the country is now catching up fast, according to the latest Good Food Guide from Which?
This year's guide, published today, has found that, while London is still top for sheer numbers and variety of styles, some of Britain's most innovative and creative chefs have turned their backs on the capital.
They are preferring to work in regional centres and even places not normally associated with cutting-edge cooking, so helping greatly to improve quality outside the capital.
Editor Andrew Turvil said: "Some of the most creative and imaginative cooking in the UK is taking place outside of London."
He added: "The capital is not about to lose its position at the culinary vanguard, but it is great to see such good things happening all over the country, sometimes in unexpected locations.
"Anybody who thinks London is the be-all-and-end-all needs to expand their horizons."
Gordon Ramsay's flagship Chelsea restaurant continued to "dazzle", said the guide.
It got top marks for cooking and was also voted UK restaurant of the year.
But the Fat Duck in Bray, Berkshire, Le Manoir aux Quat' Saisons in Oxfordshire and Winteringham Fields, Lincolnshire, also did well, scoring nine out of ten for cooking.
For the full lists of top-rated restaurants and special awards, see the Which? website.
by Nic Paton
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