Harden's Guide 2023: Andrew Fairlie at Gleneagles crowned UK's number 1 restaurant

Alex South

Alex South


Restaurant Andrew Fairlie at The Gleneagles Hotel in Perthshire, Scotland has been crowned the UK's best restaurant in Harden's Top 100 Best UK Restaurants diners poll.

Scotland's world-famous restaurant shot to the top spot for its luxurious ingredients prepared with 'impeccable skill and creativity' and attentive staff who are 'knowledgeable in all respects'.

Commenting on the back of securing the top spot for 2023, Stevie McLaughlin, Head Chef at Restaurant Andrew Fairlie said: “While it is always an honour to receive commendation for the restaurant, the fact that Harden’s Top 100 is diner-led is a special honour and a particular testament to the hard work of the full team to ensure every guest has the best possible experience when they dine with us."

He added: “This time four years ago, we were dealing with the terrible loss of our wonderful friend and mentor, Andrew Fairlie, and committed to maintain his incredible legacy. I’m extremely proud that we’re here today achieving these fantastic accolades. People knew Andrew as a champion of great food and service, and this ethos remains the same. We have a fantastic, talented team who are all invested and continue to be driven to maintain - and exceed - the standards set by Chef Andrew.”

Peter Harden, co-founder of Harden’s, commented: “Chef Andrew Fairlie may sadly no longer be with us but his spirit lives on in this restaurant which bears his name. Reaching the top spot this year is a huge credit to his long-time lieutenants, head chef Stephen McLaughlin and general manager Dale Dewsbury.”

He added: “Evelyn’s Table at The Blue Posts being runner up is certainly something to celebrate from the Selby brothers as our diners were quick to point out that they are demonstrating “levels of skill and technique to compete with much better-known places that leave you with a far higher bill” – a point that has been further reinforced by the recent appointment of Luke Selby to Executive Chef at Le Manoir.”

The 32nd edition of the Harden's guide, published this week (ISBN: 978-1916076150, price £18.99: also available as apps for Apple or Android), is now the only UK restaurant guide sold in bookshops based on feedback from normal diners rather than a group of professional inspectors.

A total of 30,000 reports are submitted from a survey of 3,000 diners.

Restaurants at all price levels are listed from street food vendors to the country’s most ambitious dining rooms, with 2,800 restaurants listed in total.

The South West became the nation's strongest dining region after the South East and London with Cornwall alone landing three restaurants in the Top 100.

While the county's most famous son Rick Stein was noticeably absent, Nathan Outlaw and Paul Ainsworth were commended for delivering 'outstanding' experiences and 'face-slappingly good flavours' respectively.

An additional 18 top scoring venues in the elite ranking secured Cornwall as the county with the most Top 500 listings after London. But the national poll also revealed a growing discomfort amongst increasingly cost-conscious diners towards those restaurants whose prices are perceived to outweigh the value of the experiences they provide.

Peter Harden, who revealed in November that prices at some top UK restaurants have doubled since Brexit, commented: “Value is at the heart of the whole Harden's survey system, therefore any dip in perception of value-change in the restaurants visited by our diners results in them quickly slipping down the rankings.”

He added: "We're really seeing some pricing push-back in the comments being submitted by those surveyed. This could be why this year we've seen the likes of Ynyshir drop from number 7 to 37, and Restaurant Sat Bains, which took last year's top spot, fall out of the top 100 list entirely. We all know that high quality food comes at a price and diners are accepting of that but, at the same time, we're witnessing some restaurants charging staggering amounts that would have been inconceivable in the UK only a couple of years ago.”

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

The top 100 restaurants derived from the 30,000 reports with ratings submitted by 3,000 diners who contributed to the Harden's annual survey.

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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Alex South

Alex South

Editor 12th January 2023

Harden's Guide 2023: Andrew Fairlie at Gleneagles crowned UK's number 1 restaurant