L’Enclume named UK’s top restaurant, while the North West boasts 37 ‘top scoring’ food destinations

The three star restaurant strikes again

By Ben Arnold | 14 December 2023

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Iconic Lake District restaurant L’Enclume has been named the best restaurant in the UK on the annual list released by renowned restaurant guide Harden’s.

Chef Simon Rogan’s acclaimed three Michelin starred restaurant in Cartmel has featured in the Harden’s top 100 list every year since it opened in 2011.

Peter Harden, co-founder of Harden’s, said: “L’Enclume has always been consistent in its top quality offering.

“Coming in at £300+ it’s certainly one of the higher priced restaurants in our listings, but we see none of the resistance from diners with regards to paying those prices that we’ve seen at other top establishments. Those who’ve made the pilgrimage think it’s money very well spent.”

Elsewhere, Manchester’s Mana in Ancoats secured another top 100 spot, while Sam Buckley’s Where The Light Gets In landed in the Top 50, at number 48, thanks to its ‘major emphasis on sustainability and local sourcing’ with ‘delicious wine pairings’ all served by ‘lovely staff ‘.

Where The Light Gets In

Meanwhile, Moor Hall, chef Mark Birchall’s Michelin-starred restaurant near Ormskirk, has raced up the chart from number 77 last year to number six this year.

Peter Harden, co-founder of Harden’s, comments: “This year it has been interesting to note that London’s grip on the Top 100 list is the weakest that we have ever recorded (the lowest previous figure was 41 in the 2020 guide). Whilst 12 months is too little data for firm pronouncements, this swing to the shires may reflect the increasing excellence of dining out across the UK.

“The North-West has made a strong showing in this year’s list, not necessarily for the cities themselves but for top dining in leafy touristic locations such as the Lake District and Lancashire. 

“With more and more diners seemingly valuing and indeed seeking out these types of dining experiences, the region could have even more to gain by drawing further attention to its stunning countryside locales.”

The 33rd edition of the printed guide is out now, with its ratings taken from 30,000 reports submitted from a survey of 2,500 diners.