Monster 17-Course Tasting Menu Tops UK Restaurant Ranking

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Monster 17-Course Tasting Menu Tops UK Restaurant Ranking

A 17-course tasting menu that features “technical wizardry,” Aynsome carrots with scurvy grass and oxtail dumplings has allowed a restaurant in a tiny village in northern England to dominate a ranking of UK restaurants.

The Good Food Guide, an annual review of British restaurants, pubs and cafes, on Thursday named Chef Simon Rogan’s L’Enclume in the village of Cartmel the best in the country for the fourth year running. Rogan scored a perfect 10 for food.

The tasting menu—with dishes such as smoked eel with ham fat; and grilled lobster and parsnip, nasturtium and apple—costs £130 ($172). Wine pairings are an additional £70 for dinner and £40 for lunch.

If you think that’s expensive, consider the Fat Duck, which ranked sixth and scored a nine for food: To dine at chef Heston Blumenthal’s restaurant outside London, you must purchase a ticket costing £255 per person in advance. (Service and drinks cost extra.)

It’s the fifth year Rogan has achieved top marks. The only other restaurant with a perfect 10 for food this year was Nathan Outlaw, in Cornwall, which advanced to second place in the rankings from fourth last year.


If you don’t want to travel five hours north to L’Enclume, where many ingredients come from Rogan’s own farm, you can also try his London restaurant, Fera at Claridge’s. The set lunch there costs £39 for three courses, while the tasting menu is £110. Fera placed 15th in the Good Food Guide this year. I ate at Fera this month and enjoyed fine dishes such as pea mousse with cod and calamint.

Four London establishments made it into the Top 10: Pollen Street Social; Hibiscus; Gordon Ramsay; and Hedone, which jumped to eighth place from 37. Another big gainer was Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester, which rose to 14 from 25.

Chef of the Year was James Close of The Raby Hunt, Durham. In London, Pollen Street Social won Best Front of House, while Ben Murphy of the Woodford was named the Chef to Watch.

Top 50 Restaurants:

1. L’Enclume, Cumbria (1)

2. Restaurant Nathan Outlaw, Cornwall (4)


3. Restaurant Sat Bains, Nottinghamshire (6)

4. Pollen Street Social, London (3)

5. Hibiscus, London (5)

6. The Fat Duck, Berkshire (-)

7. Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, London (2)


8. Hedone, London (37)

9. Restaurant Andrew Fairlie, Tayside (14)

10. Fraiche, Merseyside (9)

11. The Ledbury, London (8)

12. Midsummer House, Cambridgeshire (7)


13. Le Champignon Sauvage, Gloucestershire (10)

14. Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester, London (25)

15. Fera at Claridges, London (12)

16. Le Gavroche, London (13)

17. Marcus, London (15)

18. The French, Manchester (17)

19. André Garrett at Cliveden, Berkshire (18)

20. The Peat Inn, Fife (39)

21. Whatley Manor, The Dining Room, Wiltshire (19)

22. Castle Terrace, Edinburgh (New to the top 50 this year)

23. The Kitchin, Edinburgh (20)

24. Bohemia, Jersey (21)

25. The Greenhouse, London (New to the top 50 this year)

26. The Waterside Inn, Berkshire (22)

27. Casamia, Bristol (28)

28. Paul Ainsworth at No. 6, Cornwall (27)

29. Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, London (26)

30. Artichoke, Buckinghamshire (23)

31. Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, Oxfordshire (16)

32. Restaurant Story, London (32)

33. Gidleigh Park, Devon (40)

34. Restaurant James Sommerin, Glamorgan (24)

35. Simpsons, Birmingham (New to the top 50 this year)

36. Sketch, London (35)

37. Forest Side, Cumbria (New to the top 50 this year)

38. Murano, London (33)

39. Restaurant Martin Wishart, Edinburgh (30)

40. Ynyshir, Powys (34)

41. Adam’s, Birmingham (29)

42. The Raby Hunt, Durham (47)

43. Freemasons at Wiswell, Lancashire (42)

44. Orwells, Oxfordshire (New to the top 50 this year)

45. Restaurant Marianne, London (New to the top 50 this year)

46. Hambleton Hall, Rutland (38)

47. The Whitebrook, Gwent (New to the top 50 this year)

48. Llangoed Hall, Powys (36)

49. Lake Road Kitchen, Cumbria (48)

50. The Dairy, London (45)