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The north of England has just been awarded more top restaurants than London for the first time

Only one London restaurant made it into the top five of this annual awards list

Hollie Richardson
Tuesday 17 August 2021 10:30 BST
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Moor Hall in Aughton topped the list.
Moor Hall in Aughton topped the list. (Moor House)

The friendly rivalry between the north and south of England just stirred up again, following the news that the north now has more top restaurants than London for the first time.

The annual Estrella Damm National Restaurant Awards names the top 100 places to eat across the UK, as voted for by an “elite academy” of chefs, restaurateurs and food writers nationwide.

After a hiatus in 2020, the 2021 results were announced on Monday: a Lancashire restaurant topped the list, while three other northern venues and just one London restaurant completed the top five.

For the first time, there was an equal split between restaurants located within London and those outside. Nine of the top 20 are from London and nine are set in the north.

Moor Hall in Aughton took the top awards’ top spot two years after first winning it. Based 10 miles outside of Liverpool, it is run by renowned chef Mark Birchall and has two Michelin stars.

The Angel at Hetton in Yorkshire came next in the lineup, followed by London’s Core by Clare Smyth, Newcastle’s House of Tides, and Lancester’s L’Enclume.

Tom Kerridge was given an Outstanding Achievement Award in recognition of his efforts during the pandemic, which included providing more than 100,000 meals to NHS staff and key workers.

Double-Michelin star chef Andrew Wong, of A Wong in London, picked up the chef of the year prize. Tom Booton, head chef at The Grill at The Dorchester, was named the chef to watch.

The UK’s best restaurants 2021, according to the Estrella Damm National Restaurant Awards:

100. Caractère, Notting Hill, London

99. Akoko, Fitzrovia, London

98. Chez Bruce, Wandsworth, London

97. 7 Saints, Notting Hill, London

96. Café Deco, Bloomsbury, London

95. Manteca, Soho, London

94. The Little Fish Market, Hove, East Sussex

93. Launceston Place, Kensington, London

92. Paradise, Soho, London

91. Ox, Belfast

90. Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, Chelsea, London

89. Decimo, Kings Cross, London

88. Wander, Stoke Newington, London

87. The Dining Room at Whatley Manor, Malmesbury, Wiltshire

86. The Mash Inn, Rednage, Buckinghamshire

85. Inver, Strathlachlan, Argyll & Bute

84. Lyle’s, Shoreditch, London

83. Pollen Street Social, Mayfair, London

82. Hélène Darroze at The Connaught, Mayfair, London

81. Alchemilla, Nottingham

80. The Grill at The Dorchester, Mayfair, London

79. The Hand & Flowers, Marlow, Buckinghamshire

78. Lake Road Kitchen, Ambleside, Cumbria

77. Purnell’s, Birmingham

76. Lympstone Manor, Exmouth, Devon

75. Etch by Steven Edwards, Hove, East Sussex

74. Trinity, Clapham, London

73. Maison François, St James’s, London

72. Ondine Oyster & Grill, Edinburgh

71. The Harwood Arms, Fulham, London

70. Outlaw’s New Road, Port Isaac, Cornwall

69. Gymkhana, Mayfair, London

68. The Crown at Burchetts Green, Burchetts Green, Berkshire

67. The Walnut Tree, Abergavenny, Monmouthshire

66. Perilla, Newington Green, London

65. Midsummer House, Cambridge

64. Luca, Farringdon, London

63. Coombeshead Farm, Lewannick, Cornwall

62. Sticky Walnut, Chester, Cheshire

61. The Clove Club, Shoreditch, London

60. Osip, Bruton, Somerset

59. The Fordwich Arms, Fordwich, Kent

58. Opheem, Birmingham

57. Brawn, Bethnal Green, London

56. Bentley’s, Mayfair, London

55. The Raby Hunt, Darlington, Country Durham

54. Restaurant Sat Bains, Nottingham

53. SOLA, Soho, London

52. The Seahorse, Dartmouth, Devon

51. Roots, York

50. River Cafe, Hammersmith, London

49. Flor, London Bridge, London

48. Paul Ainsworth No.6, Padstow, Cornwall

47. Erst, Manchester

46. The Guinea Grill, Mayfair, London

45. Carters of Moseley, Birmingham

44. The Ritz, Mayfair, London

43. Fraiche, Wirral, Merseyside

42. Muse, Belgravia, London

41. Le Cochon Aveugle, York

40. Kiln, Soho, London

39. Hrishi, Windermere, Cumbria

38. Freemasons at Wiswell, Wiswell, Lancashire

37. Claude Bosi at Bibendum, Chelsea, London

36. The White Swan at Fence, Burnley, Lancashire

35. Frenchie, Covent Garden, London

34. Northcote, Langho, Lancashire

33. Kol, Marylebone, London

32. Jöro, Sheffield

31. The French House, Soho, London

30. Da Terra, Bethnal Green, London

29. St John, Farringdon, London

28. Casamia, Bristol

27. Silo, Hackney Wick, London

26. Frog by Adam Handling, Covent Garden, London

25. Hjem, Hexham, Northumberland

24. The Cottage in the Wood, Keswick, Cumbria

23. The Parkers Arms, Newton in Bowland, Lancashire

22. Ikoyi, St James’s, London

21. The Quality Chop House, Clerkenwell, London

20. Noble Rot Soho, Soho, London

19. The Man Behind the Curtain, Leeds

18. Skosh, York

17. Hide, Mayfair, London

16. The Sportsman, Seasalter, Kent

15. Ynyshir, Machynlleth, Powys

14. The Moorcock inn, Sowerby Bridge, West Yorkshire

13. Davies and Brook, Mayfair, London

12. 40 Maltby Street, Bermondsey, London

11. Mana, Manchester

10. The Black Swan at Oldstead, Oldstead, North Yorkshire

9. Mere, Fitzrovia, London

8. A Wong, Pimlico, London

7. Brat, Shoreditch, London

6. Sabor, Mayfair, London

5. L’Enclume, Cartmel, Cumbria

4. House of Tides, Newcastle

3. Core by Clare Smyth, Notting Hill, London

2. The Angel at Hetton, Hetton, North Yorkshire

1. Moor Hall, Aughton, Lancashire

The full list of Estrella Damm National Restaurant Awards 2021:

One to Watch: The Pem

Best Restaurant in Northern Ireland: Ox

Best Restaurant in Wales: Ynyshir

Best Restaurant in Scotland: Ondine Oyster & Grill

The Sustainability Award, sponsored by Estrella Damm: Silo

Chef to Watch, sponsored by Belazu: Tom Booton

Chef of the Year, sponsored by Ritter Courivaud: Andrew Wong

Restaurateur of the Year, sponsored by OpenTable: Tommy Banks

Gastropub of the Year, sponsored by Estrella Damm: The Angel at Hetton

Outstanding Industry Contribution: Tom Kerridge

The Service Award, sponsored by Liberty Wines: Davies and Brook at Claridge’s

Estrella Damm National Restaurant of the Year: Moor Hall

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