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Fraiche makes big Top 50 food list

But not much else outside London. Should we really be surprised?

Written by . Published on October 27th 2011.

Fraiche makes big Top 50 food list

THE LEDBURY is the best restaurant for food in the UK according to 8,000 diners-out and members of the public. 

The North West has a thin offering of
our wonderful but usual suspects. 

The Notting Hill establishment came top of The Sunday Times Food List, announced at a reception in London’s Mandarin Oriental Hotel, hosted by Harden’s and Rémy Martin. 

The Sunday Times Food List is based on food quality alone and The Ledbury, headed by young Australian Chef Brett Graham, gathered an average score of 9.81 out of ten. Customers hailed the cuisine as ‘genius’. As a bizarre aside the restaurant’s staff fought off looters and protected customers during this summer’s riots. 

Brett Graham said: "It's a huge honour to top the List, especially as it comes from such a broad base of customers."  

Raymond Blanc’s Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons in Great Milton, Oxfordshire came second in the Food List while last year’s winner, Gidleigh Park, was third.  

Gidleigh Park also walked off with the Rémy Martin X.O. Excellence Award for Best All Round Restaurant (considering not just food, but also service and ambience).  

Marcus Wareing at The Berkeley won the Coeur de Cognac Award for Best Dessert, and Heston Blumenthal’s Dinner at the Mandarin Oriental received the Rémy Martin V.S.O.P Best Newcomer Award. 

The top five were (with last year’s positions in brackets):

1 (4)  The Ledbury, Notting Hill, London
2 (6)  Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons, Great Milton, Oxon
3 (1)  Gidleigh Park, Chagford, Devon
4 (7)  Le Gavroche, Mayfair, London
5 (5)  Waterside Inn, Bray, Berks

Of the rest, half of the top 100 restaurants are outside London (last year it was only 40%), the number of Asian eateries in the List has fallen by half and there are 31 new entries on the list. 

Couple of points here.

The fact that over half the top 100 are outside London is still no cause for celebration. It's still woeful to have slightly more than 50% of the Sunday Times list located in the rest of the UK, where 80% of the population lives.

It does cast doubt on the demographic of those 8,000 voters. If that demographic is spread from John O'Groats to Land's End then it shows how many people must be piling into London in food and drink despair at their local scene.

Or perhaps - more likely - it shows how many people out of the 8,000 came from the London area. 

It would also be interesting to find out why the number of Asian restaurants has fallen by half. Are we bored by it now? Are other cuisines from other parts of the world proving more exciting?

The North West has a thin offering of our wonderful but usual suspects. Only one is in Greater Manchester and only one in Merseyside.

Our five are (with ranking in brackets): 

Simon Radley at The Chester Grosvenor (21), Northcote, Langho, Lancashire (30), Fishers at Baslow Hall, Baslow, Derbyshire (33),  Fraiche, Oxton, Wirral, Merseyside (46),  Ramsons, Ramsbottom, Greater Manchester (73).

The full Sunday Times Food List, listing the top 100 restaurants in Britain, will be published in the paper on October 30. 

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AnonymousOctober 31st 2011.

If the scoring is based on average scores then it doesnt matter how many of the 8000 are in or out of the capital and therfore the location of the voters cant be the reason for 1/2 the restaurants being in the south.

If it is just average we might have to face up to the fact that our restaurants are just not up to scratch, and those of us who eat out are in many cases paying good money for second rate food. If thats the case then admiting the problem might be the first step to things getting better.


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