Review site Tripadvisor has announced the winners of its Travellers’ Choice Best of the Best Awards.
The order was based on a full year of Tripadvisor reviews, prior to the lockdowns imposed as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
In its analysis, Tripadvisor found that North Yorkshire and Berkshire were the best-performing counties in this year’s competition, with each boasting two winners in the UK fine dining list. However, no restaurants in London made the final list.
The review site has also compiled a list of the best restaurants in the world, based on its reviews, while top restaurants by country can also be viewed. There is also an ‘everyday dining’ category, celebrating the eateries that offer good quality food that doesn’t break the bank.
Scroll down to the view the 10 winners in the UK fine dining category.
10. The Wildebeest, Norfolk
Fine dining restaurant The Wildebeest, located just outside Norwich, scored highly in this year’s awards. Under the stewardship of chef patron Daniel Smith and head chef Fabio Miani, the restaurant pays homage to seasonal and local ingredients. It is also currently running a dine at home service, with set two-course menus, as well as a Sunday lunch option, available for collection.
9. Maison Bleue Restaurant, Suffolk
Maison Bleue in Bury St Edmonds came in ninth place this year. Serving modern French food with chef patron Pascal Canevet at the helm, the eatery serves up the likes of halibut with a cauliflower crust, cockle emulsion, butternut squash and roasted cauliflower sauce, and soft meringue, pineapple, coconut ice cream, pineapple and lime coulis and shortbread for dessert.
8. Gravetye Manor Restaurant, Sussex
Gravetye Manor, which has a history dating back to 1598, opened its newly-designed restaurant in May 2018, with floor-to-ceiling glass presenting views out on the gardens. The restaurant at the historic hotel and gardens is presided over by executive chef George Blogg, who sources ingredients from local suppliers and from the on-site kitchen garden. The West Hoathly eatery won back its Michelin star in 2015, after losing it in 2008.
7. The Three Chimneys, Isle of Skye
Set on the shores of Loch Dunvegan on the Isle of Skye, The Three Chimneys is a well-known destination restaurant and hotel. The restaurant, which reopened on 30 July after the lockdown, serves up a menu where most ingredients are sourced from the island. The restaurant was sold by its owners last year after 34 years of running the business. Head chef Scott Davies, who finished as the runner up in the 2013 edition of the BBC’s Masterchef: The professionals, continues to head up the kitchen.
6. The Wensleydale Heifer, North Yorkshire
Boutique hotel and restaurant The Wensleydale Heifer is located in the Yorkshire Dales national park. With a long list of local suppliers as well as its own in-house smokery, the restaurant serves up classics like fish and chips, along with dishes including charred marinated Yorkshire beef fillet, rocket, Parmesan and white truffle salad with crispy shallot rings. It even as its own lobster and steak menu as well as separate vegan and vegetarian options.
5. Restaurant Sat Bains, Nottingham
Two Michelin-starred Restaurant Sat Bains has received numerous accolades over the years. Presided over by husband and wife Sat and Amanda Bains, the restaurant with rooms opened in 2002. It was previously called Hotel des Clos. Since then the eatery, known for its well-devised seven-course tasting menus, has gone from strength to strength, achieving its second Michelin star in 2011. As well as the main restaurant, visitors can chose to dine in three more intimate areas within the site: the chef’s table, the kitchen bench or in the development kitchen called Nucleus. The restaurant will reopen again on 26 August.
4. Waterside Inn, Berkshire
The Waterside Inn in Bray, situated on the banks of the River Thames, is known for being the first restaurant outside France to obtain three Michelin stars. It remains the longest standing starred restaurant in the UK. Opened in 1972 by brothers Albert and the late Michel Roux, it is now in the hands of Michel’s son Alain. Serving up classical French fare including a Challandais duck dish for two, it also boasts a highly-lauded cheese trolley.
3. L’Enclume, Cumbria
L’Enclume is Simon Rogan’s flagship restaurant in the picture postcard Lake District village of Cartmel. The holder of two Michelin stars, the restaurant serves up an ever-changing seasonal menu with a large percentage of the ingredients sourced from Rogan’s farm. Opened in 2002 in a former blacksmiths, the building’s history gave the restaurant its name – enclume means anvil in French. The acclaimed dining destination serves its tasting menu at lunch and for dinner, and its fame even earned it a feature on BBC comedy The Trip, starring Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon.
2. The Fat Duck, Berkshire
Also based in the foodie hub of Bray in Berkshire, Heston Blumenthal’s The Fat Duck remains a firm favourite. Opened in 1995, it soon acquired a reputation for molecular gastronomy and multi-sensory dining. The restaurant gained its first Michelin star in 1999, its second in 2002 and its third in 2004. Its playful dishes including its bacon and egg ice cream, snail porridge and mock turtle soup have gained worldwide fame.
1. The Black Swan at Oldstead, North Yorkshire
Tommy Banks’ The Blank Swan was crowned the most popular fine dining destination in the UK this year by Tripadvisor. With over 1,300 ‘excellent’ reviews, the Michelin-starred restaurant with rooms is a worthy winner. Due to reopen on 12 August, Banks has been offering food and cocktail boxes for nationwide delivery during lockdown. Known for its farm to fork philosophy and quirky cocktail and wine list, it offers just one tasting menu, which changes according to the seasons and ingredient availability.