Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > U.K./Ireland >
Dec 20, 2012 02:32 AM

Your Top 5 of 2012

It's that time of year when there's always "best" lists around, so why not us as well. Which were your top five UK/Ireland restaurant experiences of the year?

In no particular order, I'll go with:

Aumbry, Prestwich
Fraiche, Oxton
Manoir aux Quat Saisons, Great Milton
L'Enclume, Cartmel
Waterside Inn, Bray

I can taste some of those dishes still :-)

And, if I was to cheat and add another, then it would have to be the lunch at Northcote in October.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Roganic(London)- best by a country mile. Some of the best food I’ve eaten

    Not in any particular order

    Rules(London)- Great space and exemplary service. Hare starter, grouse and sponge pudding. What’s not to like

    Ittenbari(London)- Finally decent ramen in London.

    St John Hotel(London)- wasn’t sure I’d like the new(ish) incarnation. Very relaxed dinner with old friends glad I persuaded them on the side order of Welsh Rarebit it was an excellent rendition.

    Terroirs (London)- Wasn’t sure when I first visited but glad I persevered. Great wine list and good charcuterie. Excellent spot to sit at the bar on ones’ own and chat to the knowledgeable staff.

    Honourable mention to the ever reliable Bonda(London)- who keep me satisfied on my weekly lunch visits.

    1. I can't believe Harters, that it's been 12 months since we did our top 10s of 2011.

      My top five in the UK is a tough one but I'll go for:
      1) The Square, Mayfair
      2) Martin Wishart, Edinburgh
      3) The Sportsman, Seasalter
      4) Kitchen Table, Fitzrovia
      5) Paul Ainsworth at No 6, Padstow

      Dabbous just misses out and an honourable mention goes to the whole sucking pig at St John on my stag do.

      If we went worldwide then Can Roca and Guy Savoy would take the top two spots with Blue Hill and Septime in the running for the top 5.

      I always end up with fine dining places, perhaps we should do a value top 5 where food is less than £30 a head.

      6 Replies
      1. re: ManInTransit

        Nope - worldwide is banned, MiT, - you're on a yellow card.

        1. re: Harters

          I'm just glad I was permitted to include the People's Nation of Cornwall.

          1. re: ManInTransit

            By the by, did you eat at Margot's when you were in "Padstein"?

            The chef/owner pops up on egullet periodically and it's always struck me as somewhere I want to try when I'm next down that way.

            1. re: Harters

              We didn't actually, we only had two nights (and were actually staying in Rock so did Ainsworth and Nathan Outlaw. I have read about Margot's, definitely on the list for the Spring when we're back down there although will take all my willpower not to return to No 6 which was fantastic.

              1. re: Harters

                Definitely go to Margot's. It's a simple place with very well prepared food. I liked that the chef pops out to chat with the diners.. at least he did when we were there. The sticky toffee pudding was maybe the best I've had, but I've only been eating them for going on 9 years. If anyone needs a lovely B&B for a Padstow stay, feel free to ask me privately.

          2. re: ManInTransit

            Good to see Guy Savoy still good after all these decades :-)

          3. Based on my two visits to London this year::
            1) Koffmann's at the Berkeley
            2) Dinner by Heston Blumenthal
            3) Pollen Street Social
            4) Sedap
            5) Bombay Brasserie

            1. In no particular order:

              Sushi Tetsu
              St John – Grouse and, pheasant and trotter pie
              Fat Duck – crazy but still so good
              Fino – Squid in pancetta with ink sauce
              Gerrards Corner – Pan fried turnip paste with XO sauce

              1. It's been an odd year for me foodie wise, as for the first 3 months was housebound being pregnant with twins, then for the next 3 was housebound having just had twins, then we moved to The North...but still managed some highlights:

                1. Ganapati in Peckham. Homecooked fierce Indian which helped bring the littluns into the world :)
                2. Crab and Lobster in Sidlesham
                3. The Square, especially his mackerel dish from the Great British Menu (and the Japanese businessman who fell asleep in his food)
                4. Marcus Wareing - 3 and 4 these two being my last hurrah in London
                5. Da Piero in Irby, especially the vongole

                Really looking forward to L'Enclume in Feb and Fraiche in March :)