To celebrate today’s release of The Good Food Guide 2020 by Waitrose & Partners, here at Food & Drink Guides, we wanted to take this opportunity to highlight the fantastic restaurants across the country that feature in both our regional eating out guides as well as The Good Food Guide 2020’s list of what they consider to be the top 50 restaurants in the UK.
An annual guide highlighting the top restaurants, pubs and cafes across the UK first published in 1951, Waitrose & Partners awards eateries with a score of between 1 and 10 to help determine the finest places to dine out, with a 1 signifying capable cooking with clear flavours but some inconsistencies, and a 10 signifying “perfect dishes showing faultless technique at every service”. An extremely rare accolade, only three restaurants in this year’s top 50 list gained a perfect 10, while seven were awarded a 9, and 14 were awarded an 8. Of the 50 restaurants included in the list, no restaurant scored below a 7.
This year’s list features 11 new restaurants, up from 7 in the previous year, and features 12 restaurants from London, which is down from 14 from the previous year.
Read extracts from our reviews of restaurants that feature in both this list and our regional eating out guides, and scroll to the bottom of the page to view the Top 50 Restaurants in the UK according to The Good Food Guide 2020 in full.
The Dining Room is overseen by executive chef Niall Keating, beholder of a Michelin star and a 7/10 grade in The Good Food Guide by Waitrose & Partners.
Rather than offering a tasting menu, Keating has compiled a true dining experience; a culinary journey of unforgettable destinations. Niall describes his food as modern British, but it’s also influenced by his worldwide travels. You’re invited into the heart of the kitchen for one of the courses, and some dishes are brought to the table by the chefs themselves, who explain the culinary process that goes into creating them. The menu is varied and interesting, truly an exploration for the senses. To study the menu in advance might take something away from the experience; it’s better to arrive with an open mind and an expectation of pleasure, and to let Niall’s innovation surprise you as the evening unfolds.
Situated at the top of the village of Port Isaac with panoramic coastal views, Restaurant Nathan Outlaw is the only eatery in Cornwall to hold two Michelin stars. Here, chef-owner Nathan Outlaw specialises in modern British seafood cookery, relying heavily on Cornish seafood and local produce.
Restaurant Sat Bains with Rooms firmly places Nottinghamshire on the gastronomic map. Just a few miles from the city centre, this enchanting farm conversion, on a tranquil stretch of the River Trent, has received international acclaim for its innovative and modern approach to cooking. It boasts two Michelin stars, five AA rosettes, is rated nine out of ten in the Waitrose Good Food Guide, and it was recently inducted into Les Grandes Tables du Monde, a prestigious guide featuring the finest restaurants in the world.
Having won a shining Michelin Star and recently been named Best Restaurant in Wales and 35th in the UK by The Good Food Guide, Restaurant James Sommerin has made a big impression on the Welsh dining scene since opening.
Having held a Michelin star as head chef at The Crown at Whitebrook, James Sommerin – along with his wife Louise – has taken fi ne dining and seasonal cuisine to the next level. Situated away from the hustle and bustle of Cardiff on the iconic Esplanade in Penarth, Restaurant James Sommerin boasts a picturesque seafront location and glorious panoramic views over the Severn Estuary and Bristol Channel.
Almost hidden from the bustle of traffic outside, the first thing you’ll notice as you enter Alchemilla is its unique setting within a 19th-century coach house, which lay empty for nearly 150 years. Exposed brick walls contrast with plants and a central living wall of lush green plants. It has a tranquil feel, akin to finding your own secret garden in the heart of Nottingham.
As you take a seat, you’ll be struck first by the friendly and informal ambience. An open kitchen adds theatre and anticipation as each dish is prepared. Modern cooking techniques are used to emphasise the flavours of seasonal vegetables and foraged plants. There’s something beautifully simple about the food at Alchemilla. The skill and imagination of head chef Alex Bond and his talented team is evident in every bite. When the first plate of your five-, seven-, or ten-course tasting menu reaches the table you’ll know you’ve come to the right place for creative gastronomy. Dining at Alchemilla is an experience to be savoured.
Roald Dahl once wrote that ‘the greatest secrets are hidden in the most unlikely places’ – a sentiment never truer than in the case of Winteringham Fields. Just a stone’s throw from the Humber, the restaurant has become one of the area, if not the country’s, best foodie sanctuaries. Befitting its 16th-century old stone exterior, the restaurant itself is a snug warren of intimate and private dining rooms. Furnished in a rustic, country house theme with roaring fires, antiques and curiosities, and earthy, warming tones, Winteringham Fields exudes charm.
First opened in 1999 by the Sanchez family, Casamia started life as an authentic pizza and pasta trattoria in Bristol. Their parents’ passion for food soon rubbed off on the two Sanchez boys and before long Jonray and Peter had taken the reigns and propelled the restaurant into a whole new realm. These self-taught chefs questioned everything; learning and breaking down boundaries; challenging ideas and reinventing classic flavour combinations, gathering a Michelin star and four AA rosettes along the way.
Celebrated chef Paul Ainsworth’s eponymous central Padstow restaurant is situated in a beautiful Georgian townhouse. Paul Ainsworth at No. 6 has earned the award-winning chef, who appeared on the Great British Menu in 2011, a Michelin star, four AA rosettes and a place among the top 50 restaurants in the 2016 edition of Good Food Guide. Alongside his dedicated team and wife, Emma Ainsworth, Paul focuses on local, seasonal produce and creates stunning modern British food.
The Good Food Guide 2020’s Top 50 Restaurants in the UK.
1 L’Enclume, Cumbria (10)
2 Core by Clare Smyth, West London (10)
3 Restaurant Nathan Outlaw, Cornwall (10)
4 Ynyshir, Powy (9)
5 Moor Hall, Lancashire (9)
6 Claude Bosi at Bibendum, West London (9)
7 Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, West Londo (9)
8 Restaurant Sat Bains, Nottinghamshire (9)
9 Casamia, Bristol (9)
10 Pollen Street Social, Central London (9)
11 Adam Reid at The French, Manchester (8)
12 Restaurant Story, London (8)
13 The Raby Hunt, County Durham (8)
14 Restaurant Andrew Fairlie, Tayside (8)
15 The Greenhouse, London (8)
16 The Ledbury, London (8)
17 Marcus, London (8)
18 The Fat Duck, Berkshire (8)
19 Roganic, London (8)
20 Fraiche, Merseyside (8)
21 Bohemia, Jersey (8)
22 Midsummer House, Cambridgeshire (8)
23 The Peat Inn, Fife (8)
24 Le Champignon Sauvage, Gloucestershire (8)
25 The Kitchin, Edinburgh (7)
26 Lake Road Kitchen, Cumbria (7)
27 Forest Side, Cumbria (7)
28 Orwells, Oxfordshire (7)
29 A. Wong, London (7)
30 Whatley Manor, The Dining Room, Wiltshire (7)
31 Trinity, London (7) New
32 Matt Worswick at the Latymer, Surrey (7)
33 Inver, Argyll & Bute (7) New
34 The Black Swan, Yorkshire (7) New
35 Restaurant James Sommerin, Glamorgan (7)
36 Winteringham Fields, Lincolnshire (7) New
37 The Sportsman, Kent (7)
38 The Whitebrook, Monmouthshire (7)
39 The Man Behind The Curtain, Leeds (7) New
40 Paul Ainsworth, Cornwall (7) New
41 Alchemilla, Nottingham (7) New
42 Wilks, Bristol (7) New
43 Cail Bruich, Glasgow (7) New
44 Where The Light Gets In, Greater Manchester (7) New
45 Sosban & The Old Butcher’s, Anglesey (7) New
46 Restaurant Martin Wishart, Edinburgh (7)
47 Le Gavroche, London (7)
48 Artichoke, Buckinghamshire (7)
49 Adam’s, Birmingham (7)
50 Castle Terrace, Edinburgh (7)