There’s been an upsurge of 7/10** scores in this year’s Guide, given for a “high level of ambition and individuality”. Fraiche in Merseyside (30th) is one such new entry. Chef Marc Wilkinson’s cooking shows impressive technical ability: “None too shabby” is the understated verdict of one Guide reader.
There are some strong contenders scoring 6/10 too, including restaurants such as The Sportsman in Whitstable, a no-frills pub with a sophisticated kitchen. Its score has improved from 5/10 to 6/10**, and chef Stephen Harris, who has been given this year’s Best Chef award, is praised for his “brilliant,
There are also positive signs for the future, with a number of young chefs punching above their weight. Robert Thompson at the Hambrough, Isle of Wight (7/10, 37th) and Will Holland at La Bécasse, Ludlow (6/10, 50th) are both still in their twenties yet their cooking has made the big league.
It’s business as usual at the top of the table, with the Fat Duck at number 1 (scoring an impeccable 10/10** for the second year running) and Gordon Ramsay at number 2. Marcus Wareing at the Berkeley is third and Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons is fourth.
But the Guide’s editor says things could be set to change with such an explosion of new talent. Restaurant Nathan Outlaw (8/10**, 10th) has made the Top 10 for the first time and chefs like James Atherton at Maze (8/10, 11th) are snapping at the heels of the frontrunners.
Elizabeth Carter, editor of The Good Food Guide, says:
“There are so many great British restaurants hitting their stride at the moment that we just had to expand to a Top 50. Despite the credit crunch, the British restaurant scene has never been so vibrant.”
The Good Food Guide 2010 Top 50
1. Fat Duck, Bray, Berkshire (10/10) 2. Gordon Ramsay, Royal Hospital Road, London (9) 3. Marcus Wareing at the Berkeley, London (8)
4. Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons, Oxfordshire (8) 5. The Square, London (8) 6. Le Champignon Sauvage, Gloucs (8)
7. Le Gavroche, London (8) 8. The Vineyard at Stockcross, Berkshire (8) 9. Pied-à-Terre, London (8)
10. Restaurant Nathan Outlaw, Cornwall (8) 11. Maze, London (8) 12. Tom Aikens, London (8)
13. L’Enclume, Cumbria (8) 14. Restaurant Martin Wishart, Edinburgh (8) 15. The Capital, London (7)
16. The Waterside Inn, Berkshire (7) 17. Bohemia, St Helier, Jersey (7) 18. Hibiscus, London (7)
19. Danesfield House, Bucks (7) 20. L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon, London (new) (7) 21. Restaurant Sat Bains, Nottingham (7)
22. Gidleigh Park, Chagford, Devon (7) 23. Holbeck Ghyll, Cumbria (7) 24. Fischer’s Baslow Hall, Derbyshire (7)
25. Antony’s Leeds, Yorkshire (7) 26. Simon Radley at the Chester Grosvenor, Cheshire (7) 27. Andrew Fairlie at Gleneagles, Scotland (7)
28. Michael Wignall at the Latymer, Surrey (7) 29. Whatley Manor, Wiltshire (7) 30. Fraiche, Merseyside (new) (7)
31. Tyddyn Llan, Llandrillo, Wales (7) 32. Mr Underhill’s, Shropshire (7) 33. Murano, London (new) (7)
34. Midsummer House, Cambridge (new) (7) 35. Hambleton Hall, Leics (7) 36. The Crown at Whitebrook, Wales (7)
37. Robert Thompson at the Hambrough, Isle of Wight (new) (7) 38. The Creel, Scotland (7) 39. Harry’s Place, Lincs (7)
40. The Old Vicarage, Derbyshire (7) 41. The Ledbury, London (new) (7) 42. The Greenhouse, London (6)
43. Club Gascon, London (6) 44. The Kitchin, Edinburgh (6) 45. Galvin at Windows, London (new) (6)
46. The Sportsman, Kent (new)(6) 47. Purnell’s Birmingham, West Midlands (new)(6) 48. The Yorke Arms, Yorkshire (new)(6)
49. ramsons, Greater Manchester (new) (6) 50. La Bécasse, Shropshire (new) (6)
The Which? Good Food Guide 2010 – Scoring System Explained
**10/10 An extremely rare accolade given to a restaurant producing perfect dishes on a consistent basis; 9/10 Cooking that
has reached a pinnacle of achievement, making a hugely memorable experience for the diner; 8/10 A kitchen cooking close to
or at the top of its game showing faultless technique and impressive artistry; 7/10 High level of ambition and individuality,
attention to the smallest detail, accurate and vibrant dishes; 6/10 Exemplary cooking skills, innovative ideas, impeccable
ingredients and an element of excitement.
The Good Food Guide 2010 can be ordered on 01903 828557 (£16.99, p&p free)
or at www.which.co.uk or bought from bookshops.