Every year SquareMeal collates its thousands of customer reviews and expert opinions to determine the 100 restaurants in the UK (but outside of London) that are most worth a visit. Our food scene can often get a bad rep but these rankings prove that this country really does have an abundance of excellent chefs.
The extensive list has been months in the making, taking into account interiors, wine lists and general ambience as well as the food itself. Sustainability and good use of British produce were also rewarded. Now, we can’t go into each and every restaurant featured in this year’s list, but here are the five top restaurants in the UK right now, according to SquareMeal:
1. Grace and Savour, West Midlands
Tucked within the romantic walled garden of Hampton Manor, Grace and Savour is run by husband and wife team, David and Anette Taylor. The family vibes give the place a warm, homely aura and the seasonal menu reflects its commitment to biodiversity and sustainability. Diners are able to watch as each of their 15 courses are made by head chef David in the open kitchen.
2. Osip, Somerset
Last year’s winner, Osip, remains high in the rankings. Based in the village of Bruton, Osip boasts a farm-to-table ethos. It might be limited in size, but what it lacks in space it makes up for tenfold in its dishes, drinks and ambience. Visitors are invited to ‘put their faith in the kitchen’ as the menu changes on an almost daily basis depending on what produce is delivered to the Osip doorstep at dawn. Londoners may recognise head chef Merlin Labron Johnson from Fitzrovia restaurants Portland and Clipstone.
3. Ynyshir, Powys
‘Ingredient led. Flavour driven. Fat fuelled. Protein obsessed.’ This is the motto of acclaimed chef Gareth Ward’s rural Welsh restaurant. As the only two-Michelin-starred restaurant in Wales, Ynyshir promises 20 micro-courses and a musical soundtrack curated by a live DJ. Given how remote it is, you almost have no choice but to book an overnight stay as part of the experience.
4. L’Enclume, Cumbria
L’Enclume, in the village of Cartmel, is yet another establishment that prides itself on a seasonal menu. It offers a casual, low-key setting paired with truly exquisite dishes and ingredients sourced from chef Simon Rogan’s own farm. Adjacent to the restaurant is Aulis, a chef’s table that hosts an intimate six-person dining experience showcasing the techniques behind the magic.
5. Moor Hall Restaurant, Lancashire
Moor Hall is the Grade II-listed, sixteenth-century building that houses the Michelin-starred restaurant of the same name. Following a multi-million-pound renovation that involved creating a new open kitchen and floor-to-ceiling windows, the restaurant opened in 2016 and won its first star within six months. The kitchen at Moor Hall is led by Mark Birchall who, as it happens, was previously executive chef at L’Enclume.
Check out the full list here.
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