Marcus Wareing Is Toppled as London’s Best Restaurant for Food

The Ledbury
Staff set tables in preparation for the lunchtime crowd at The Ledbury restaurant in the Notting Hill section of London. Photographer: Adrian Brown/Bloomberg News.

London has a new best restaurant as the Ledbury displaces Marcus Wareing at the Berkeley as top for food, according to “Harden’s London Restaurants,” an annual guide that collates views from thousands of diners.

The Notting Hill establishment beat Le Gavroche, followed by One-O-One, the Square and Marcus Wareing. Le Gavroche led for service, followed by the Ledbury, the Ritz, Marcus Wareing and the Square. Wareing was first for service last year. The Square’s chef, Philip Howard, is co-owner of the Ledbury.

The Ledbury’s chef, Australian-born Brett Graham, 32, is only the third to hold the top food honor this century, following Gordon Ramsay (2000-2007) and Wareing (2008-2011). During disturbances in London earlier this month, the Ledbury’s kitchen brigade repulsed rioters who attempted to rob diners.

“Brett Graham and the team at the Ledbury, who acquitted themselves so well in defending their customers against a mob, deserve the highest credit for establishing the Ledbury as the restaurant where you find London’s best food,” the guide’s co-editor, Peter Harden, said today in an e-mailed release.

La Poule au Pot is toppled after 16 years as best for romance, a title that now goes to Clos Maggiore, in Covent Garden. The Wolseley retains its position as best for business, followed by the Don, the Square, Bleeding Heart and Galvin La Chapelle. The Wolseley is again named best for breakfast.

Marcus Wareing holds on to top place for best gastronomic experience, followed by Le Gavroche and the Ledbury. Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, which opened in February, came fifth. Chez Bruce is voted Londoners’ favorite for the seventh year in a row. The Anchor & Hope is named best for pub food.

Carnival Cleanup

“It’s an honor to get this support from our customers,” Graham said in a telephone interview. “I would go out to celebrate but I have a restaurant to run and people want you to cook for them. We spent the morning scrubbing the street after the Notting Hill Carnival.”

One of the big winners is the restaurateur Nigel Platts-Martin, who is part owner of the Ledbury, Chez Bruce, La Trompette and the Glasshouse, all of which win praise in the survey.

Harden’s collates reports from more than 8,000 diners across the U.K. The guide will be published tomorrow. The winners and losers in the U.K. Michelin Guide are scheduled to be announced on Oct. 6.

Here are some of Harden’s rankings:

Best for Food (85 pounds plus/$135)
1. The Ledbury
2. Le Gavroche
3. One-O-One
4. The Square
5. Marcus Wareing

Best for Food (65 pounds to 84 pounds)
1. Chez Bruce
2. Zuma
3. Min Jiang
4. Gauthier Soho
5. Yauatcha

Best for Food (50 pounds to 63 pounds)
1. Morgan M
2. Hunan
3. Trinity
4. La Trompette
5. Pollen Street Social

Top Gastronomic Experience (Last year in parentheses)
1. Marcus Wareing at the Berkeley (1)
2. Le Gavroche (2)
3. The Ledbury (3)
4. Chez Bruce (3)
5. Dinner (-)
6. La Trompette (5)
=7. The Square (7)
=7. Pied a Terre (-)
9. Viajante (-)
10. Gordon Ramsay (5)

Best for Business
1. The Wolseley (1)
2. The Don (5)
3. The Square (3)
4. Bleeding Heart (4)
5. Galvin La Chapelle (9)
6. Coq d’Argent (2)
7. L’Anima (6)
=8. Galvin Bistrot de Luxe (7)
=8. Scott’s (8)
10 The Ivy (10)

Best for romance
1. Clos Maggiore (2)
2. La Poule au Pot (1)
3. Andrew Edmunds (3)
   4. Bleeding Heart (4)
5. Chez Bruce (6)
6. Galvin at Windows (5)
7. Le Caprice (9)
8. Le Gavroche (10)
9. The Ledbury (-)
10. Oxo Tower Restaurant (-)

Most Disappointing Cooking
1. Gordon Ramsay at Claridge’s (2)
2. Oxo Tower Restaurant (1)
3. The Ivy (4)
4. Marcus Wareing at the Berkeley (-)
5. Gordon Ramsay (3)
6. Les Deux Salons (-)
7. The Wolseley (-)
=8. Skylon (-)
=8. Hibiscus (-)
=8. Maze

Most Overpriced
1. Oxo Tower (1)
2. Gordon Ramsay at Claridge’s (2)
3. Gordon Ramsay (3)
4. Marcus Wareing at the Berkeley (-)
5. The River Cafe (5)
6. Hakkasan (6)
7. Alain Ducasse (7)
=8. Maze (10)
=8. Le Gavroche
10. Nobu (-)

(Richard Vines is the chief food critic for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. He is U.K. and Ireland chairman of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards. Opinions expressed are his own.)

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