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U.K’s Best Restaurant Is Humble Pub, Toppling Ledbury

Kerridge award
Tom Kerridge (right) and his wife Beth receive the U.K. best restaurant award from chef Joan Roca of El Celler de Can Roca. Roca was guest of honor at the awards. Photographer: Richard Vines/Bloomberg.

Oct. 8 (Bloomberg) -- The Hand & Flowers, a provincial pub where the three-course set lunch costs just 19.50 pounds ($31.39), last night toppled the Ledbury as the U.K.’s best restaurant, a title the London venue had held for three years.

The Hand & Flowers owner, chef Tom Kerridge, presents the BBC TV series, “Proper Pub Food.” His inn in Marlow was the first pub in the world to win two Michelin stars, in 2011. He placed third in the National Restaurant Awards last year.

Lunch may include roast tomato soup with green olive tapenade and comte gougere; roast quail with allotment vegetables and smoked beurre blanc; and blackberry fool with garden apple sorbet and fruit tuile. Two courses cost 15 pounds.

The awards are based on the votes of an academy of 150 members, made up of chefs, restaurateurs, food writers, critics and other gastronomes. I am a voter for the event, which is organized by “Restaurant” magazine.

The results were announced at a dinner attended by dozens of chefs at the Old Brewery, in the City of London. The guest of honor was Joan Roca of El Celler de Can Roca, the Catalan establishment that holds the title of World’s Best Restaurant.

The Top 100, with last year’s ranking in parentheses:

1.   The Hand & Flowers (3) Best Gastropub
2.   The Ledbury (1)
3.   Pollen Street Social (2)
4.   L’Enclume (11)
5.   The Clove Club (-) Highest New Entry
6.   Restaurant Sat Bains (4)
7.   The Sportsman (6) Stephen Harris (Chefs’ Choice)
8.   The Square (7)
9.   Grain Store (-) Sustainable Restaurant of the Year
10.  Dinner by Heston Blumenthal (10)
11.  Dabbous (31)
12.  The Fat Duck (5)
13.  The Kitchin (8) Best in Scotland
14.  Hedone (52)
15.  Bocca Di Lupo (23)
16.  Brasserie Chavot (-)
17.  Restaurant Andrew Fairlie (60)
18.  10 Greek Street (12) Best Wine List
19.  Le Gavroche (63)
20.  The Hardwick, Best in Wales (17)
21.  Hibiscus (26)
22.  Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons (13)
23.  Quo Vadis (9)
24.  Restaurant Nathan Outlaw (20)
25.  Midsummer House (41)
26.  The Waterside Inn (16)
27.  The Quality Chop House (-)
28.  The Walnut Tree (19)
29.  HKK (-)
30.  L’Anima (25)
31.  The Seahorse Restaurant (53)
32.  Hawksmoor Air Street (-)
33.  Social Eating House (-)
34.  Chez Bruce (30)
35.  Paul Ainsworth at Number 6 (36)
36.  The Elephant (40)
37.  Michael Wignall at the Latymer (70)
38.  Kitchen Table at Bubbledogs (-)
39.  Alyn Williams at The Westbury (15)
40.  Le Champignon Sauvage (-)
41.  Viajante (43)
42.  St. John (22)
43.  Ondine (24)
44.  The River Cafe (37)
45.  The Royal Oak Paley Street (44)
46.  Barrafina (80)
47.  Polpo (88)
48.  Galvin La Chapelle (18)
49.  Zuma (14)
50.  The Chilli Pickle (49)
51.  Casamia (66)
52.  Koya (35)
53.  Bar Boulud (65)
54.  Timberyard (-)
55.  Zucca (27)
56.  Bistrot Bruno Loubet (77)
57.  The Pipe & Glass Inn (89)
58.  La Petite Maison (59)
59.  Locanda Locatelli (-)
60.  The Pig (29)
61.  Green Man & French Horn (-)
62.  Restaurant Gordon Ramsay (69)
63.  Jose (-)
64.  Arbutus (46)
65.  Tyddyn Llan (64)
66.  Bone Daddies (-)
67.  Loves Restaurant (97)
68.  Lima (-) Last year’s One to Watch
69.  Gidleigh Park (68)
70.  Pitt Cue (86)
71.  Galvin at Windows (58)
72.  The Seafood Restaurant (78)
73.  Hix Soho (67)
74.  Restaurant Martin Wishart (42)
75.  Purnell’s (90)
76.  Tom Aikens Restaurant (-)
77.  MeatLiquor (75)
78.  The Star at Harome (72)
79.  Balthazar (-)
80.  The Pass at South Lodge (87)
81.  Duck & Waffle (-)
82.  The Vineyard at Stockcross (-)
83.  Rocksalt (-)
84.  Drake’s (-)
85.  Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester (-)
86.  Shu (85) Best Restaurant in N. Ireland
87.  Hartnett Holder & Co (-)
88.  Hutong (-)
89.  Cinnamon Kitchen (-)
90.  Aumbry (57)
91.  Galvin Bistrot de Luxe (76)
92.  The Hinds Head (-)
93.  Goodman Mayfair (96)
94.  Hereford Road (-)
95.  Restaurant Story (-)
96.  Dinings (-)
97.  Newman Street Tavern (-)
98.  The Montagu Arms (-)
99.  Flinty Red (-)
100. Roka (73)
One To Watch: Manchester House

(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.)

Muse highlights include Mark Beech on arts, Zinta Lundborg’s interviews and Amanda Gordon’s Scene Last Night.

To contact the writer on the story: Richard Vines in London at rvines@bloomberg.net or http://twitter.com/Richardvines.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Manuela Hoelterhoff at mhoelterhoff@bloomberg.net.

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