Chefs’ favourite UK restaurants

UK chefs favourite restaurants - chef-montage.jpgThe Hit List 2013 revealed what our UK reviewers and our readers thought were the best restaurants outside London. We asked four of Britain’s top chefs to tell us their favourites.

Raymond Blanc

The chef/patron of Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, in Oxfordshire – this year’s BMW Square Meal Best UK Restaurant – still finds time to eat out in the area (as well as the capital).

raymond blanc 2008 - Raymond-Blanc-2008.jpg

The Sir Charles Napier, Oxfordshire ‘I love the fantastic sculptures, and the gardens are beautiful.’

The Fishes, Oxfordshire ‘A fantastic menu with wonderful local ingredients – perfect.’

Trinity Restaurant, Clapham ‘Adam Byatt is a fantastic chef – he uses the very best seasonal ingredients and the menu is priced very fairly.’

The Artichoke, Amersham ‘Such a beautiful restaurant – well loved, with superb cooking.’

Shaun Dickens at The Boathouse, Henley-on-Thames ‘A great new restaurant with a fantastic terrace right on the river – wonderful for watching the boats and swans pass by!’

Tom Kerridge

Tom Kerridge at Royal Ascot - 1304_Ascot_Tom_Kerridge_IMG_5711_modified.jpgThe Hand & Flowers chef and co-proprietor recommends forward-thinking restaurants headed by confident, accomplished chefs.

Restaurant Sat Bains with Rooms, Nottingham ‘He’s the most incredibly driven and dynamic chef – the closest thing we’ve got to the Ayrton Senna of cooking.’

Midsummer House, Cambridge ‘Deep-rooted, solid French cooking with a modern twist.’

Restaurant Nathan Outlaw, Cornwall ‘Nobody in the country is cooking fish as well as Nathan.’

Paul Ainsworth at No. 6, Cornwall ‘Paul is really beginning to make a name for himself in a small town that has been dominated by Rick Stein.’

Casamia, Bristol ‘The Sanchez brothers are offering incredibly different and mature cooking for two guys of such a young age.’

Glynn Purnell

glynn purnell 2013 - Glynn-Purnell_-Purnells-2007.jpgPurnell’s chef/proprietor picks out the cream of the UK’s culinary crop, highlighting what makes the food outstanding at each.

Restaurant Sat Bains with Rooms ‘Sat is a fabulous chef who produces cutting-edge, creative food.’

Le Manoir Aux Quat’Saisons ‘This restaurant has an amazing setting and delivers impeccable food with a classical touch. Pure indulgence.’

Le Champignon Sauvage, Cheltenham ‘This restaurant represents consistency and longevity. Delicious.’

Restaurant Nathan Outlaw ‘Nathan is a true craftsman and always uses British produce, which gets a big thumbs up from me.’

Midsummer House ‘Classically styled restaurant presenting beautiful food with a modern twist.’

Simon Rogan

simon rogan 2012 - simon_rogan-0821.jpgL’Enclume’s chef/proprietor is a sentimentalist about his favourite restaurant choices, picking places that have personal meaning to him.

Look and Sea Centre, West Sussex ‘I always visit this restaurant when I go home. When I think about it, I imagine sitting eating breakfast on the terrace in the sun, looking down the River Arun.’

The Bluebird Cafe by the Lake, Cumbria ‘This is where I go to relax.’

La Lupa, Southhampton ‘It reminds me of my childhood growing up in Southampton.’

Rhinefield House, Hampshire ‘This is where I had my first serious chef job, as an apprentice.’

Terre à Terre, Brighton ‘I always visit this restaurant when I am in Brighton.’

And what about you, the readers?

As part of The Hit List UK, every year we ask you, the readers, to send us comments about your favourite restaurants as part of our reader survey. This year, the responses revealed a mixture of old favourites plus the odd surprise…

Le Manoir aux Quat'Saissons - Le_Manoir_aux_Quat'Saissons_2013_-_Aerial_View_le_Manoir.jpgTop 10 most visited UK restaurants on SquareMeal.co.uk:

1. The Fat Duck, Berkshire
2. The Waterside Inn, Berkshire
3. The Hand & Flowers, Buckinghamshire
4. The Riverside Brasserie, Berkshire
5. Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, Oxfordshire (pictured, right)
6. Bank, Birmingham
7. Whatley Manor, Wiltshire
8. Purnell’s, Birmingham
9. Midsummer House, Cambridge
10. Restaurant Sat Bains with Rooms, Nottingham

Readers’ top restaurants with rooms:

L'Enclume_2010_-_l'enclume_-_garden_summer_morning_WEB.jpg1. L’Enclume, Cumbria (pictured, left)
2. The Waterside Inn, Berkshire
3. Andrew Fairlie @ Gleneagles, Perthshire

Readers’ top city restaurants:

1. The French by Simon Rogan, Manchester
2. Midsummer House, Cambridge
3. Purnell’s, Birmingham

Read the full Hit List UK for 2013.

This feature was published as part of The Hit List UK, in the summer issue of Square Meal Lifestyle.


The Hit List 2013 revealed what our UK reviewers and our readers thought were the best restaurants outside London. We asked four of Britain’s top chefs to tell us their favourites.


UK chefs favourite restaurants

The Hit List 2013 revealed our readers' favourite restaurants outside London. We asked four of Britain’s top chefs to tell us theirs, too.