RESTAURANTS AND GASTROPUBS
& COOKING ARTICLE
restaurants and 'gastropubs' lead improvement in UK
dining out standards
London remains the gastronomic centre of the UK, the
rise of ethnic restaurants and the evolution of the
'gastropub' have done more than anything else to improve
standards and widen choice in dining out throughout
the British Isles. Some of the best restaurants can
be, oddly enough, found in the most far away places.
For example, one of the most remote - the Altnaharrie
Inn in Ullapool in the far north of Scotland - is
only accessible by boat. Yet it is described as 'near
perfect', and 'never less than stunning' in the latest
edition of Harden's
Top UK Restaurants 2001.
are also many more decent restaurants in London than
there were ten years ago. Even the French now acknowledge
that, in terms of variety and quality, the capital has
much to offer - even if they do frequently complain
about the cost of eating out. It is certainly true that
restaurant bills are outstripping inflation. At the
top end, many restaurants have hiked their prices by
10 per cent over the last twelve months. It is important
to remember though, that it is still possible to find
plenty of decent restaurants in London where you can
eat really well for under £25 a head.
best restaurants used to be packed into a relatively
small area of Central London stretching from Covent
Garden to South Kensington. The ubiquitous Terence Conran
broke the mould ten years ago when he opened the Pont
de la Tour (36d Shad Thames, SE1) on the south side
of Tower Bridge.
you can find some truly excellent restaurants in residential
suburbs which until recently were culinary deserts.
Lunching in the City - previously not an experience
for the gastronomically faint-hearted - has also greatly
improved, and there are signs that, lagging its emergence
as a financial and business centre, the Docklands are
finally beginning to show some signs of developing as
a decent place to eat.
Ramsay and Le Gavroche are probably the only
two world-class restaurants in London while The Ivy
and Le Caprice are the most perennially 'in'
London, Glasgow, Manchester and North Yorkshire are
the current gastronomic 'hot spots'. Glasgow has the
most complete restaurant scene whereas Manchester has
a huge diversity of ethnic choice. North Yorkshire has
become renowned for its wide range of reasonably priced
are still, however, some gastronomic black spots, including
the Welsh Capital. Although Cardiff's Le Gallois
restaurant is 'superb and unpretentious', what remains
striking about the city's quality restaurant scene is
how little of it there is, either indigenous or ethnic.
guide is based on the views of 15,000 'reporters', who
submitted 125,000 reports on all types of eating experience
- from 'haute cuisine' and country house restaurants
to local bistros, pubs and curry houses. This almost
certainly represents the most comprehensive independent
survey of UK restaurants ever.
restaurants throughout the UK have been awarded the
top '**A' rating for excellence of food and atmosphere
in our latest guide.
best rated include:
Assaggi; Babur Brasserie; Bibendum Oyster Bar;
Bombay Palace; Clarke's; Chez Bruce; Chezmax; Club
Gascon; The Gate; The Glasshouse; Gordon Ramsay; L'Aventure;
Nobu; Pétrus; Pizza Metro; The Real Greek;
J Sheekey; Tamarind; Zafferano and Zaika.
Blue Lion, East Witton; Chaing Mai,
Oxford; The Crab and Lobster, Asenby; Fischers
at Baslow Hall, Baslow; Glasnost, Bristol;
Horn of Plenty, Gulworthy; Lettonie,
Bath; The Lime Tree, Manchester; McCoys
at the Tontine, Staddlebridge; Merchant House,
Ludlow; Mr Underhills, Ludlow; Michael's
Nook, Grasmere; Nobody Inn, Doddiscombsleigh;
Ostrich Inn, Newland; Rococo, Kings
Lynn; Sharrow Bay, Ullswater; Star Inn,
Harome; and Winteringham Fields, Winteringham.
Altnaharrie Inn, Ullapool; Mother India,
Glasgow; Summer Isles, Achiltibuie; and Three
Bodidris Hall Hotel, Llandegla; Fairyhill,
Reynoldston; Nantyffin Cider Mill, Crickhowell;
and Plas Bodegroes, Pwlheli.
London Restaurants and Harden's Top UK Restaurants 2001
are published by Harden's Limited and are available
from all good bookshops, or directly from www.hardens.com.
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