UK Top 100 Restaurants 2017A huge thank you to everyone who took part in our quest to find the SquareMeal Best UK Restaurant of 2017. Thousands of votes have flooded in from readers and reviewers from all over the country. So – drum roll, please – here are our top 100 restaurants outside London for the year ahead.

Congratulations to our Best UK Restaurant 2017, The Sportsman in Seasalter, Kent. It has been 18 years since self-taught chef Stephen Harris left a career in the City to take over what he called “a grotty run-down pub by the sea” with his brother.

The Sportsman Kent restaurant bar

The Sportsman is still a pub by the sea (Shepherd Neame is on tap at the bar) but the airy interior is anything but grotty. The kitchen garden outside the dining room window provides ingredients for the menus, food is seasoned from salt made from seawater while Harris sources other produce from as close to the restaurant as possible.  

On hearing the news of his win, Harris said, “I was always determined that we were going to be the best restaurant in the country, and that doesn’t happen accidentally. But you don’t tell anyone that. And we don’t take it for granted. You have your time in the sun and ours has come after 18 years – and that’s quite nice. We’re not trying to be flash. We find really good ingredients and we base our menu around that.”

Voters applaud the “locally sourced and home-created ingredients” that The Sportsman’s kitchen puts to use in “sublime dishes evocative of the seaside”. An “unpretentious and remote setting”, “surprising and well-chosen wine list” and “friendly, caring service” also get the thumbs up. All in all, readers say that, The Sportsman offers “fantastic food at affordable prices” and “a wonderful warm welcome” – “please don’t shout about it though!”

Apologies, but the secret is out – and we’re very happy to tell everyone. 

A place anywhere on the list is a major achievement – congratulations to all of the restaurants in our top 100. The full list is below, but you can also find more information on each individual restaurant in our SquareMeal UK top 100 selection.

The Sportsman Kent restaurant bar

Restaurants 1 - 10

1. The Sportsman, Kent (pictured)

2. Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, Oxfordshire

3. L’Enclume, Cumbria

4. The Fat Duck, Berkshire

5. The Hand and Flowers, Buckinghamshire

6. The Waterside Inn, Berkshire

7. Midsummer House, Cambridge

8. Restaurant Nathan Outlaw, Cornwall

9. The Elephant, Devon

10. The Artichoke, Buckinghamshire

UK's top 100 restaurants 2017

Restaurants 11 - 30

mark greenaway

11. Restaurant Sat Bains, Nottingham

12. Casamia, Bristol

13. Fraiche, Merseyside

14. Sticky Walnut, Chester

15. Restaurant Mark Greenaway, Edinburgh (pictured)

16. Stovell’s, Surrey

17. 64 Degrees, Brighton

18. Lake Road Kitchen, Cumbria

19. Raby Hunt, County Durham

20. Y Polyn, Carmarthenshire

21. Treby Arms, Devon

22. Andre Garrett at Cliveden, Berkshire

23. Gidleigh Park, Devon

24. Manchester House, Manchester

25. Simpsons, Birmingham

26. Adam Reid at The French, Manchester

27. The Kitchin , Edinburgh

28. Forest Side, Cumbria

29. The Man Behind the Curtain, Leeds

30. Restaurant James Sommerin, Cardiff


Restaurants 31 - 50

Craig Miller at 16 West End Fife Scotland restaurant

31. Orwells, Henley

32. Northcote, Lancashire

33. Craig Millar @ 16 West End, Fife (pictured)

34. Alimentum, Cambridge

35. Read’s, Kent

36. The Hardwick, Monmouthshire

37. Restaurant Martin Wishart, Edinburgh

38. Adam’s Restaurant, Birmingham

39. The Walnut Tree Inn, Abergavenny

40. Paul Ainsworth at No. 6, Cornwall

41. Freemasons at Wiswell, Lancashire

42. Bohemia, Jersey

43. Le Champignon Sauvage, Cheltenham

44. Restaurant Andrew Fairlie, Perthshire

45. Moor Hall, Aughton, Lancashire

46. The Three Chimneys, Skye

47. Hambleton Hall, Oakham, Rutland

48. Burnt Truffle, Merseyside

49. The Loft at the Bull, Anglesey

50. Castle Terrace, Edinburgh


Restaurants 51 - 70

The Salt Room Brighton fish seafood restaurant Sussex cod and braised octopus with shellfish bouillon

51. Purnell’s, Birmingham

52. Roger Hickman’s, Norwich

53. Winteringham Fields, Lincolnshire

54. Sir Charles Napier, Oxfordshire

55. The Salt Room, Brighton (pictured)

56. Little Fish Market, Brighton

57. The Pig, Hampshire

58. Oli’s Thai, Oxford

59. Bulrush, Bristol

60. Mr Cooper’s House & Garden, Manchester

61. Pompadour by Galvin, Edinburgh

62. The Seahorse, Devon

63. The Lord Clyde, Cheshire

64. Rocksalt, Kent

65. Seafood Restaurant, Cornwall

66. The Star Inn, North Yorkshire

67. Norn, Edinburgh

68. The Hinds Head, Berkshire

69. The Pointer at Brill, Buckinghamshire

70. The Crown at Burchetts Green, Berkshire


Restaurants 71 - 100

Galvin Brasserie de Luxe at The Caledonian, Edinburgh

71. Galvin Brasserie de Luxe, Edinburgh (pictured)

72. The Cross at Kenilworth, Warwickshire

73. Ondine, Edinburgh

74. Bourne Valley Inn, Hampshire

75. Benedict’s, Norwich

76. Ben’s Cornish Kitchen, Cornwall

77. The Pony & Trap, Somerset

78. Iberico World Tapas, Nottingham

79. The Art School, Liverpool

80. Ynyshir, Powys

81. The Great House, Suffolk

82. The Black Swan at Oldstead, North Yorkshire

83. Morston Hall, Norfolk

84. The Coach, Buckinghamshire

85. The Gardener’s Cottage, Edinburgh

86. L’Ortolan, Reading

87. The Witchery by the Castle, Edinburgh

88. Simon Radley at the Chester Grosvenor, Chester

89. Coombeshead Farm, Cornwall

90. The Peat Inn, Fife

91. Chapter One, Kent

92. The Clink, Cardiff

93. Luscombe’s, Oxfordshire

94. The Dining Room at Chewton Glen, Hampshire

95. Turners at 69, Birmingham

96. The Whitebrook, Monmouthshire

97. Llangoed Hall, Brecon

98. Hispi, Manchester

99. Timberyard, Edinburgh

100. El Gato Negro, Manchester


Congratulations to all at The Sportsman who join last year’s winner The Fat Duck in our SquareMeal Hall of Fame.

We conducted our survey in May and June this year, so you can rest assured that this is the freshest UK list there is. Don’t forget, you can find out more information on each individual restaurant in our SquareMeal UK top 100 selection.

Portrait by Peter Smith

This article was published 25 July 2017