In its 65th year Good Food Guide 2016 reveals Britain's best restaurants

The Staff Canteen

The top entries and award winners from the Good Food Guide 2016 have been revealed today ahead of the launch of its 65th anniversary issue.

The Good Food Guide, owned by Waitrose, is a guide to the very best restaurants and eateries across Britain. And it's not just fine dining that is being recognised. Whilst one leading restaurant has secured a hat trick of consecutive years in the top spot, a caravan park café in Wales has also been included in the guide for its high quality menu.

The Waitrose Good Food Guide 2016 Editors' Awards Chef of the Year 

Robin Gill - The Dairy and The Manor, Clapham, London 

Restaurant of the Year 

Ox, Belfast Best 

New Restaurant Entry 

Lake Road Kitchen, Ambleside, Cumbria 

Best New Pub Entry 

The Lickfold Inn, Lickfold, West Sussex 

Local Gem of the Year 

Flour & Ash, Bristol 

Wine List of the Year 

Tyddyn Llan, Llandrillo, Wales 

Readers’ Restaurant of the Year 

The Miller of Mansfield, Goring, Oxfordshire

Taking the top spot of 'number one restaurant', for the third year running, is L'Enclume, which also secured four years of 'perfect ten scores'. L'Enclume, located in the historic village of Cartmel in Cumbria, is run by chef Simon Rogan.

The guide entry calls it the "the UK's greatest restaurant" and "an unassuming location for an undoubted pinnacle of the new British cooking." It was awarded the very best score possible because "many of the dishes have become long-running masterpieces" with the most noteworthy the Cartmel Valley venison tartare and a "really special" apple tart with gingerbread ice cream. Many dishes at L'Enclume are made with ingredients sourced from the establishments own farmland.

>>> Good Food Guide 2016 top 50 restaurants - see the full list here

Speaking about his top entry in the Guide, Chef Simon Rogan said: "There are a lot of amazing restaurants around and for L'Enclume to be awarded #1 in the Good Food Guide for the 3rd year running is very special. And us having three restaurants in the top 17 is a massive achievement from the team."

The guide celebrates its 65th anniversary this year, with the very first Good Food Guide published in 1951. It was a hardback of 224 pages, cost five shillings and listed ‘600 places throughout Britain where you can rely on a good meal at a reasonable price’. The guide is still compiled with the reliance on reader feedback of eateries up and down the country together with anonymous inspections by a team of experts. It was a Good Food Guide inspector who suggested that a café in an unexpected location was worth further investigation.

The Marram Grass Café, a new entry into the 2016 guide, is run by twenty-something brothers, Liam and Ellis Barrie, on their parents' White Lodge Caravan Park in Newborough on the Isle of Anglesey. The café is housed in an old breeze block potting shed with a tin roof but offers a menu focussed on local ingredients sourced directly from farmers and fishermen in Anglesey.liamellisheader2

Speaking about The Marram Grass Café, Elizabeth Carter, Waitrose Good Food Guide Editor said: "When one of the guide’s longest serving inspectors tipped us off about a restaurant in a shed on a campsite, our curiosity was piqued. And what an extraordinary find Marram Grass Café turned out to be. The low building with its corrugated iron roof may channel scout hut and air raid shelter in equal measure, but the interior charms and the cooking shows ambition and skill. It’s a simple recipe for success that not many manage to get so right."

>>> Good Food Guide 2016 top 50 pubs - see the full list

Joint owner of The Marram Grass Cafe, Liam Barrie, 27, said: "When we first started out in 2009, we'd taken over what had been a greasy spoon with only four tables. It was just my chef brother Ellis and I with a couple of Saturday staff but now we have 30 people on our books and 40 covers. We changed the existing menu from one that relied on frozen food to ours which sources from as many local producers as possible. We are really proud of that. We like staying creative and are always experimenting with our dishes made with ingredients such as Menai mussels and line caught Anglesey sea bass." lake-road-kitchen

On the launch of the 65th anniversary edition, which goes on sale on September 7, Elizabeth Carter, has also spoken about the guide's history and its founder.

She said: "Raymond Postgate’s passionately held belief that if you shouted loud enough, the standard of restaurant food in Britain could and would be raised, inspired an army of like-minded people to report on places where the food was decent – and the rise of the consumer group as a force in the market place was born.

"Back in 1949, when Raymond Postgate wrote a heartfelt piece calling for a ‘campaign against cruelty to food’, a typical restaurant meal included soup from a tin, soggy steak from Argentina, synthetic cream and tinned Empire fruit. Postgate’s article inspired an army of like-minded people to report on places where the food was decent and The Good Food Guide was created. Sixty-five years of championing the best food around Britain – now that’s what I call a brilliant achievement."

>>> Read more on the Good Food Guide 2016  

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The Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 25th August 2015

In its 65th year Good Food Guide 2016 reveals Britain's best restaurants