SquareMeal Review of
“Fraiche just keeps getting better every time”, enthuses a fan of this pint-sized gem hidden behind a frosted-glass shop front in a pretty Wirral enclave. For chef/proprietor Marc Wilkinson, this is a single-minded labour of love – from the specially commissioned glass sculptures and suede chairs in the bijou “nature-influenced” dining room to the fantastical cutting-edge creations served on bespoke crockery. Wilkinson’s cooking is one man’s vision, as he singlehandedly opens new doors and explores the outer limits of gastro-science through a mind-bending six-course ‘signature menu’ combining art, theatre and entertainment: it’s an ever-evolving trip, but a typically “stunning” Michelin-starred journey might run from artichoke with chicken crisp and white port via Anjou pigeon with beetroots and lettuce to a post-modern take on lemon meringue pie or the enigmatically titled ‘salt or sugar’. Sunday lunch is a simpler four-course deal (think Middle White pork with carrot and cavolo nero), but the results are equally sensational. Service is relaxed and unobtrusive (although staff really know their stuff), and the top-class wine list includes some “brilliant” pairings – in fact the whole experience is akin to a fantasy journey through the wonders of contemporary gastronomy. In short, “relaxed fine dining at its best”.
UK Top 100 Restaurants
SquareMeal’s Best Restaurants in the UK 2018 is compiled using votes from our annual survey, last conducted in spring 2018. Thousands of readers took part and the results were moderated by SquareMeal’s editor and his nationwide team of professional reviewers. The UK survey does not include any restaurants in London. Click here for the full list of SquareMeal’s Best Restaurants in the UK.