Food: Top 10 Restaurants to Visit in Britain
Written by Laurie Jo Miller Farr
Prior to the 1990s, Britain was not seen as a destination for foodies. British fare was boiled and boring, making curries the default choice. How things have changed!
According to Tim Zagat, co-founder of the restaurant survey guides that bear his name, "Thirty years ago the food here was a joke but today London is one of the top five cities for dining out in the world."
Let's consider a national top ten list:
1. Dinner by Heston Blumenthal at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, London
Reserve early. A full three months prior to opening day on Jan. 31, Dinner was fully booked. One of only four chefs to ever be awarded four Michelin stars in Britain, Blumenthal created an upmarket brasserie serving traditionally-inspired British dishes accompanied by their own fully researched historical footnotes, with names like Salagumundy and Rice & Flesh. Set lunch at £29. Address: 66 Knightsbridge, London SW1.
2. The Ledbury, London
With two Michelin stars, this Notting Hill eatery tops most 2012 and many 2011 lists as the very best in Great Britain. Australian Chef Brett Graham, 32, is being widely mentioned as 'one to watch' and 'best emerging' as The Ledbury quietly climbs up the charts since opening in 2005. Voted #1 by Zagat, Harden's, The Sunday Times, National Restaurant Awards, among others. An emphasis on seasonal, quality foods by a dedicated chef. Set lunch at £30/£35. Address: 127 Ledbury Road, London W11.
3. Gidleigh Park, Chagford, Devon
Clutching two Michelin stars and a handful of awards for the most excellent restaurant in the U.K., Michael Caines continues to hold forth in the heart of the West Country, since 1994, at the pretty 1928 Arts & Crafts Gidleigh Park country house hotel. Chef's key thoughts on food revolve around sustainability, seasonal and locally sourced from responsible suppliers. Set seasonal lunch at £37 or £47.50 at the Relais & Chateaux hotel, Gidleigh Park, Chagford in Devon.