Moor Hall in Lancashire has been crowned National Restaurant of the Year at The Estrella Damm National Restaurant Awards 2019. 

The Grade II listed restaurant with rooms, in Aughton, Lancashire, is overseen by chef-patron Mark Birchall and has built a strong reputation for its modern British cuisine using, where possible,produce grown on the five-acre estate.

It was bought by Andy and Tracey Bell in 2015 and underwent a multi-million pound renovation before reopening in 2017. Last year the restaurant was awarded two Michelin stars.

“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,” says Stefan Chomka, editor of Restaurant magazine, which runs the Estrella Damm National Restaurant Awards.

“This award reflects that vision. Moor Hall is an almost 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.”

Moor Hall’s victory sees the top spot return to a restaurant outside of the capital. In total, 46 of the top 100 restaurants are located outside of London, showing the true geographical spread of the list. This year also sees the highest number of Northern restaurants placed than ever before, with 23 Northern and Scottish restaurants on the list.

Second place goes to hit London restaurant, Brat, in Shoreditch, which is followed in order by four other restaurants in the capital, Cornerstone, Core by Clare Smyth and Sabor. Sixth place returns to the North West with Simon Rogan’s L’Enclume where Birchall was previously executive chef.

This year also sees three female chefs place in the top 10. Nieves Barragan of Sabor, in Mayfair, follows Clare Smyth from Core in Notting Hill, ranked at fifth in the list, while Monica Galetti’s Mere in Fitzrovia comes in at number six.

John Williams MBE, executive chef at London’s The Ritz, won this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award. William’s career spans more than four decades in some of London’s most prestigious hotels including Claridge’s and The Berkeley.

Clare Smyth, chef-patron at Core in Notting Hill, was named this year’s Chef’s Chef of the Year. The winners were announced this evening, Monday 10th June, at a ceremony held at The Hurlingham Club in London by Restaurant magazine.


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