Moor Hall, a restaurant with rooms in Lancashire that scooped two Michelin stars in two years, has been named the best in the UK at the National Restaurant Awards.
The seasonally focused modern British restaurant in Aughton won the top gong at an awards ceremony hosted by Restaurant magazine at The Hurlingham Club in London last night.
Housed in a refurbished Grade II-listed 16th-century farmhouse with seven guest rooms, the restaurant at Moor Hall is run by chef-patron, Mark Birchall, a protégé of Simon Rogan, who made a name for himself at Rogan’s L’Enclume in Cumbria.
Opening in 2017 after a multimillion-pound renovation by its new owners, Andy and Tracey Bell, last year Moor Hall picked up a second star.
Birchall works largely with produce grown in and around Moor Hall’s five acres of land. Dishes on the current menu include smoked eel with fermented garlic; langoustine with radish and nasturtium; turbot cooked on the bone with sea vegetables and mussel cream; and Berkshire fallow deer with elderberry.
“Mark is an incredibly talented chef who has a clear ambition to not just create one of the best restaurants in the UK but in the world,” said Stefan Chomka, editor of Restaurant magazine.
“Moor Hall is an immaculate experience. Mark’s food is clever and inventive but also delicious, the service is exceptional and the atmosphere is relaxed and friendly. It’s an outstanding restaurant that deserves its title as the best in the UK,” he added.
Moor Hall leaped from sixth place last year to the number one spot, knocking tiny Thai grill Kiln in London off its perch. However, London continues to dominate the list, with 53 of this year’s top 100 restaurants residing in the UK capital.
The awards are judged by a panel of 200 experts including food writers, chefs and restaurateurs. The UK is split into 11 regions, with judges voting for the top seven restaurants they’ve dined at in the last 12 months, in order of preference.
Nabbing second place on the list was Tomos Parry’s Brat in Shoreditch, a Basque-inspired venue best known for its signature dish – whole turbot grilled slowly over lumpwood charcoal.
Other London restaurants to appear in the top 10 were Cornerstone in Hackney (3), Core by Clare Smith (4), Nieves Barragan’s Sabor (5), Monica Galetti’s Mere (7), Claude Bosi at Bibendum (8) and The Ledbury in Notting Hill (10).