The 32nd edition of the Harden’s guide (£18.99) was published this week (also available as an app.) The guide is now the only UK restaurant guide to be sold in bookshops that is based on feedback from ‘regular’ diners rather than professional inspectors. The results are accumulated from a total of 30,000 reports which have been submitted from a survey of 3,000 diners. 2,800 restaurants are listed in total at all price levels from street food vendors to the country’s most ambitious dining rooms.

The North West came out as one of the best performing regions outside London with an impressive 38 ‘Top Scoring’ restaurants, nine of which have made it into the acclaimed Harden’s Top 100. Only Edinburgh (49) had more listings than Manchester (47) establishing the city as one of the most vibrant restaurant scenes in the country.

Adam Reid at The French has been awarded a place in the list’s coveted Top 10 claiming the lucky number 7 spot, climbing a remarkable number of places from last year when it ranked at number 40. The Midland Hotel’s famous restaurant shot into the top end of the table for Adam Reid’s tasting menu food “that fully delivers on the hit to the tastebuds”. Diners commented: “It’s not all serious plates, with some playful dishes offering something a little different and intriguing”. Diners hailed it as “the best culinary experience in Manchester”.

Mana in Ancoats continues to be heralded as “undeniably one of the UK’s top tables” for Simon Martin’s “fabulous airy space within the foodie hotspot. “However, Manchester’s only Michelin starred restaurant has fallen from its previous Top 10 spot down to number 73. The guide notes that: “With stardom has come higher prices, and doubts are creeping in about the ultimate level of value it delivers. One in six [of polled diners] now consider it notably overpriced. The remainder agreeing that ‘it’s not cheap, but you pay for what you get”.

Cumbria was ranked 2nd in UK counties with most Top 100 restaurant listings (joint with North Yorkshire) including Simon Rogan’s world famous L’Enclume (8) and Aulis at L’Enclume (45) in Cartmel; The Forest Side (27) in Grasmere and The Old Stamp House (79) in Ambleside. An additional three restaurants from the North West region made it into Harden’s Top 100 including The Art School in Liverpool (33) the two Michelin starred Moor Hall (77) in Aughton; and Fraiche, Oxton (100) which has now sadly closed permanently.

Also read: Get out of town – Treat yourself to a visit to Heft at High Newton in Cumbria

Restaurant Andrew Fairlie at The Gleneagles Hotel in Perthshire was crowned the UK’s best restaurant in the new Harden’s Top 100 list. Scotland’s world famous restaurant hailed – ‘a memory to be treasured’ – shot to the top spot for its luxurious ingredients prepared with ‘impeccable skill and creativity’ and attentive staff who are ‘knowledgeable in all respects’.

Peter Harden, co-founder of Harden’s, commented: “The North West is home to some of the country’s most renowned restaurants and consistently performs well in the Harden’s Top 100 due to the high quality, diverse nature and depth of what’s on offer.

“Interestingly, it’s also an area where, like London, restaurant price increases have caused some guests to question whether they still see the same value in the overall proposition when dining out. What is an enjoyable experience at £100 per head can soon lose its lustre when prices as good as double.

“Restaurants are currently facing increasing costs from every angle so it’s no surprise these are being reflected on menus, but some of our polled results and diner comments this year show that customer expectations are struggling to keep pace and it’s easy for restaurants to begin to fall out of favour as a result.”

The Harden’s 100 ranking of the UK’s best restaurants in full:

1 Andrew Fairlie, Gleneagles Hotel, Auchterarder
2 Evelyn’s Table at The Blue Posts, London
3 Waterside Inn, Bray (39)
4 Endo at The Rotunda, London (4)
5 The Kitchin, Edinburgh (23)
6 Core by Clare Smyth, London (5)
7 Adam Reid at The French, Manchester (40)
8 L’Enclume, Cartmel (19)
9 Maru, London
10 Pine, East Wallhouses
11 Da Terra, Town Hall Hotel, London (3)
12 The Five Fields, London (10)
13 Sorrel, Dorking (13)
14 Restaurant Martin Wishart, Edinburgh (61)
15 Hjem, Wall (56)
16 Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons, Great Milton (37)
17 Adam’s, Birmingham (29)
18 PLU, London
19 The Araki, London
20 Muse, London (24)
21 Lumière, Cheltenham (46)
22 Estiatorio Milos, London
23 The Little Fish Market, Brighton (15)
24 Lympstone Manor, Exmouth (6)
25 Kitchen Table, London (12)
26 Hambleton Hall, Hambleton (32)
27 The Forest Side, Grasmere (36)
28 LPM, London (45)
29 Paul Ainsworth at No6, Padstow (85)
30 Joro, Sheffield
31 The Little Chartroom, Edinburgh
32 SOLA, London (31)
33 The Art School, Liverpool (18)
34 Anglo, London (21)
35 Morston Hall, Morston (38)
36 A Wong, London (64)
37 Ynyshir Restaurant and Rooms, Eglwys Fach (7)
38 Meadowsweet, Holt (98)
39 The Ledbury, London
40 Nobu, London (27)
41 Roots, York (97)
42 Alchemilla, Nottingham (14)
43 House of Tides, Newcastle upon Tyne (57)
44 Outlaw’s New Road, Port Isaac (74)
45 Aulis at L’Enclume, Cartmel
46 The Latymer, Pennyhill Park Hotel, Bagshot
47 Club Gascon, London (95)
48 ChefsTable at TRUEfoods, Melmerby
49 Oxeye, London
50 Cail Bruich, Glasgow (59)
51 Roketsu, London
52 Cornerstone, London (50)
53 Chez Bruce, London (42)
54 SY23, Aberystwyth
55 Trinity, London (47)
56 Aulis London, London (33)
57 Robin Wylde, Lyme Regis
58 Bibendum, London (99)
59 The Clove Club, London (17)
60 Opheem, Birmingham (100)
61 Bohemia, Jersey
62 Restaurant Twenty Two, Cambridge
63 Outlaw’s Fish Kitchen, Port Isaac (49)
64 The Angel, Hetton (58)
65 The Black Swan, Oldstead
66 Frog by Adam Handling, London (82)
67 Umu, London
68 Unalome by Graeme Cheevers, Glasgow
69 Le Gavroche, London (52)
70 The Sportsman, Seasalter (41)
71 Pied à Terre, London (44)
72 Ekstedt at The Yard, Great Scotland Yard Hotel, London
73 Mana, Manchester (9)
74 The Sea, The Sea, London
75 Midsummer House, Cambridge (78)
76 The Peat Inn, Cupar (20)
77 Moor Hall, Aughton (16)
78 The Whitebrook, Restaurant with Rooms, Whitebrook (53)
79 Old Stamp House, Ambleside
80 The Moorcock Inn, Sowerby Bridge
81 Lyle’s, London (66)
82 Sollip, London (88)
83 Imperial Treasure, London
84 Gidleigh Park, Chagford
85 Behind, London (51)
86 Elderflower, Lymington
87 Wilson’s, Bristol (80)
88 BiBi, London
89 Amaya, London (69)
90 The Olive Tree, Queensberry Hotel, Bath
91 The Ritz, London
92 The Wilderness, Birmingham
93 Sketch, Lecture Room at Library, London
94 Quilon, London
95 Kol, London
96 The Fat Duck, Bray
97 Myrtle, London (90)
98 The Small Holding, Goudhurst (25)
99 The Cellar, Anstruther
100 Fraiche, Oxton (28)


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