Eight London restaurants have been named amongst the hundred best local eateries across the UK. The Good Food Guide announced the winners this week, all of which were thoroughly inspected by their inspectors to compile an extensive list of places to eat across England, Scotland and Wales.
Tallow, a local joint in Southborough, Royal Tunbridge Wells, was named the overall Best Local Restaurant by The Good Food Guide, topping a list of 100 local favourites across the country. The other regional winners included Les 2 Garçons in London, The Sparrows in the North West, Homestead Kitchen in the North East, The Kinneuchar Inn in Scotland, Seasonality in the South East, Wild Artichokes in the South West, Rocket & Rye in Wales and Tropea in Central and the East of England.
But which London gaffs managed to snag a place on the list? Blackheath’s French and modern European Copper & Ink, run by MasterChef finalist Tony Rodd; modern British Sam’s Riverside , Hammersmith; gastropub The Holland in Kensington; West London Italian Giulia ; modern Palestinian Akub Restaurant , Notting Hill; Kew’s Hawthorn ; and Church Road in Barnes.
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Les 2 Garcons
(Image: Tripadvisor )
The London regional winner of Good Food Guide’s Best Local Restaurant was awarded to Crouch End’s Les 2 Garcons, which mixes “Gallic joie de vivre with simple yet flavourful classic French dishes”. They tell their customers to expect hearty French country food.
Headed up by Robert Reid and Jean-Christophe Slowik (JC), who met in 1998 at The Oak Room, where they both worked under Marco Pierre White. Between the two of them, they have an extensive CV which features stints as Commis Sommelier at Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, Roger Vergé’s Moulin de Mougins on the Côte d’Azur, Au Crocodile in Strasbourg, and Home House, Mayfair.
They serve a bistro menu alongside their daily changing blackboard options. Their list includes Snails with garlic Butter and French bread; Braised pig cheeks, mushrooms, carrots and ginger, mash potatoes; Roast cod, butter beans and chorizo ragu; and Apricot glazed Rum baba with Chantilly cream.
Copper & Ink
Headed up by MasterChef 2015 finalist Tony Rodd and his partner Becky Cummings, Blackheath’s Copper & Ink has cemented its name in the guide. It also happens to be a recipient of two AA Rosettes for culinary excellence.
The kitchen is overseen by Tony as chef patron and another MasterChef contestant by his side, Rob Parks. Semi-finalist Rob spent two years working for Marcus Wareing at the Gilbert Scott before heading to Copper & Ink.
Their menu takes influences from classic French and modern European flavours. They offer either a Tasting or Price Fix option, with the former costing £70 for seven courses, or two courses for £35 or three courses for £45.
Dishes include Orange marinated barbecued prawns, citrus, pistachio granita, avocado puree; Grilled courgettes, puy lentils, ricotta, smoked tofu sauce, courgetti fritti, salsa verde; Halibut fillet, mussel mousse, pickled carrots, carrot puree, curry sauce, fermented fennel; and Cherry frangipane tart, frozen blue cheese, blue cheese ice cream.
Opening back in 2019, Sam’s Riverside has been bringing food with view to locals as it faces the Thames, not far from Hammersmith Bridge. Their kitchen is passionate about working with our small artisan suppliers, from meat, fish and seafood to fruit and vegetables.
Their menu includes an extensive list of seafood, including Carlingford Lough and Jersey Rocks oysters, crevettes, white and brown crab meat, langoustines, cockles, mussels and whelks.
And if you’re really looking to push the boat out, they even serve an Oyster Happy Hour menu. Other dishes include Scallop Ceviche with mango, passionfruit and chilli; Twice-Baked Lincolnshire Poacher and asparagus soufflé with a bitter leaf salad; and Whole Brill with roasted chicken jus, anchovy and English peas. They even list the exact locations of their suppliers at the bottom of the menu, so you’ll know exactly where your food is coming from.
Some of Sam’s suppliers include Sciascia Storey Artisan Bakery, Severn & Wye Smokery, Chalk Stream, and Phoenix Farm, a community farm in White City.
The Good Food Guide wouldn’t be complete without a pub. The Holland, located just a stone’s throw from Holland Park (what a surprise), is a family and dog-friendly (more importantly) boozer.
They specialise in British ingredient-led cuisine, serving a seasonal, regularly-changing menu with a strong commitment to sustainability. And to compliment their food offerings, they serve an extensive list of wine, changing cask ales and cocktails.
The Holland serves a set lunch menu, main a la carte, as well as Sunday lunch. Snacks include Oxalis hot wings with sesame and spring onion and Coppa with a kohlrabi remoulade. For mains, you’ll find Bavette steak, roast tropea onion, dripping crumb, dijonnaise; Hake with ink risotto, tomatoes and courgettes; and Gnocchi with broad beans and pistachio pesto, and datterino tomato.
Giulia restaurant was born from a project designed for the passion for hospitality; bringing the authenticity of the Chef’s dishes to your table, led by Endris Kerbizi and Giulia Quaglia. Having fallen in love with the area, the pair, who met in a five star luxury hotel, have been bringing Italian cuisine to the neighbourhood of Shepherd’s Bush.
Their menu includes Seared octopus with cauliflower, potato puree and nduja sauce; Paccheri alla Norma with aubergine, tomato and ricotta salata; and Pan-roasted quail served with confit legs, chicken liver pate, pak choi and plum puree.
Named after an akub, also known as cardoon, is a seasonal flowering thistle that embodies the essence of Palestine, this Notting Hill joint celebrates rich diversity of ingredients and culinary traditions from the region using proper British produce. Their site reads: “Palestinian hospitality is best experienced around an abundant tawla, a dining table with sharing plates offering the flavours and fragrances of the coast, the olives and figs of the Mediterranean terroir and the preservation methods of the desert.”
Headed up by chef Fadi Kattan, diners will find dishes split into ‘Land’, ‘Sea’ and ‘Meat’. Dishes include Homemade labaneh balls rolled in suman, zaatar, turmeric and Aleppo pepper; Arak Cured Seabass with arak, olive oil and sumac; and Crunchy Mansaf with rice, pulled lamb shoulder, laban jameed, shark and garlic.
Having opened its doors back in February this year, Hawthorn has already won the seal of approval by food writer and The Guardian columnist Grace Dent. Located on the edge of Kew Gardens, the restaurant now stands where The Glasshouse once stood.
The Michelin Guide wrote: “On the edge of Kew Gardens, on the site where The Glasshouse once stood, you’ll find this true neighbourhood restaurant that provides just what you’d want from a local eatery.
“Welcoming service complements the generous cooking, fed by ingredients that change with the seasons. The appealing menu features the likes of Iberico pork pluma and roast skate wing, with each vibrant dish brimming with flavour. The soufflé is always a good bet for dessert.”
For dinner they serve three courses for £65 and for lunch you can get three courses for £47.50. Dishes include Scallop and crab raviolo with sauce vierge, sea herbs and brown crab butter; Butter poached plaice with parmesan gnocchi, new season peas, smoked eel and braised gem lettuce; and Iberico pork presa with round aubergine piperade, grilled Tropea onions, padron peppers and pork jus.
Church Road champions looking after the environment and ensuring that all our suppliers go about their business ethically. When it comes to their food they focus on sourcing, sustainability, resources and education.
They described themselves as a “proper old fashioned neighbourhood restaurant” and make sure their diners leave happy. But what types of dishes will you find on their menu?
Find the likes of Salad of Cornish crab, Isle of Wight tomatoes and olives with heritage tomato gazpacho and basil oil; Parmesan gnocchi with Scottish girolles, peas and Wye Valley asparagus; Grilled whole native lobster with rosemary butter, chips and a small green salad; and Warm bitter chocolate fondant with milk ice cream.
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Elizabeth Carter, The Good Food Guide’s Editor, said of the winner of Britain’s 100 Best Local Restaurants 2023: “Tallow stood out, head and shoulders above what is a very strong list this year. For a chef of this quality to be so happily focused on running a neighbourhood restaurant is extraordinary. There’s a level of commitment here that would sit happily in many top restaurants.
“Everything is beautifully thought through, from food you really want to eat – delicious, simple, seasonal – to the remarkably at-ease service and the care of customers.
The menu offers choice (à la carte or tasting) , is affordable, completely changes each month, including the bread and the snacks; regulars like to visit at least once a month in order to try it out. Most live close enough to walk or are a short taxi ride away. They are very lucky.”
Kate Nicholls, CEO of UKHospitality said of the awards; “Local restaurants are so often the heartbeat of communities; providing jobs, generating economic growth and, most importantly, providing fantastic food. It’s brilliant to see such huge support from the public for their local restaurants and is deserved recognition of their hard work. This sort of support is invaluable as venues face ever-rising costs and is essential in keeping valued businesses viable.”
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Good Food Guide’s 100 Best Local Restaurants
(Regional winners are indicated in bold)
Central & East of England
- Tropea, West Midlands
- Watson and Walpole, Suffolk
- Chapter, West Midlands
- Brix & Bones, Norfolk
- Stiffkey Red Lion, Norfolk
- Fancett’s Bistro, Cambridgeshire
- The Kilpeck Inn, Herefordshire
- Hitchen’s Barn, Rutland
- Lark, Suffolk
- The Silver Cup, Hertfordshire
- Les 2 Garçons, London
- Copper & Ink, London
- Sam’s Riverside, London
- The Holland, London
- Giulia, London
- Akub Restaurant, London
- Hawthorn, London
- Church Road, London
- Homestead Kitchen, North Yorkshire
- The Hispanist, East Yorkshire
- Hearth, East Yorkshire
- Ophelia, Tyne & Wear
- Coin, West Yorkshire
- Brooks, West Yorkshire
- Long Friday, Tyne & Wear
- The Orange Bird, South Yorkshire
- Bantam, North Yorkshire
- Hinnies, Tyne & Wear
- Tonco, South Yorkshire
- Hern, West Yorkshire
- The Spärrows, Greater Manchester
- Four & Twenty, Cumbria
- Belzan, Merseyside
- 10 Tib Lane, Greater Manchester
- The Yan, Cumbria
- Edinburgh Castle, Greater Manchester
- Another Hand, Greater Manchester
- Covino, Cheshire
- The Kirkstyle Inn and Sportsman’s Rest, Cumbria
- Parkers Arms, Lancashire
- Bombay to Mumbai, Greater Manchester
- The Nag’s Head, Cheshire
- The White Horse, Cheshire
- Lily’s Vegetarian Indian Cuisine, Greater Manchester
- Kysty, Cumbria
- Higher Ground, Greater Manchester
- The Kinneuchar Inn, Fife
- The Loveable Rogue, Strathclyde
- Celentano’s, Strathclyd
- Bar Brett, Strathclyde
- Eighty Eight, Strathclyde
- The Palmerston, Lothians
- L’Escargot Bleu, Lothians
- Ga Ga Kitchen & Bar, Strathclyde
- Gloriosa, Strathclyde
- Eusebi Deli, Strathclyde
- The Oystercatcher, Argyll & Bute
- The Dory Bistro, Fife
- The Galleon Bistro, Highlands & Islands
- KORA by Tom Kitchin, Lothians
- The Bothy, Moray
- Tallow, Kent – (Overall winner)
- Seasonality, Berkshire (South East regional winner)
- The Greyhound, Buckinghamshire
- The Dew Drop Inn, Berkshire
- Samphire, Kent
- Five Little Pigs, Oxfordshire
- Quince, Kent
- The Victoria Oxshott, Surrey
- The Pilgrim, Buckinghamshire
- Palmito, West Sussex
- The Purefoy Arms, Hampshire
- Pompette, Oxfordshire
- The Folkestone Wine Company, Kent
- The Goods Shed, Kent
- Fourth and Church, East Sussex
- Wild Artichokes, Devon
- Sonny Stores, Bristol
- Pythouse Kitchen Garden, Wiltshire
- The Greenhouse, Cornwall
- Art Sushi, Dorset
- Bank, Bristol
- Little Hollows Pasta, Bristol
- The Cotley Inn, Somerset
- Iford Manor Cafe & Kitchen, Wiltshire
- Caper and Cure, Bristol
- Brassica, Dorset
- Littlefrench, Bristol
- The Rocket Store, Cornwall
- Andria, Devon
- Beckford Canteen, Somerset
- The Exmoor Forest Inn, Somerset
- The Halfway at Kineton, Gloucestershire
- Rocket & Rye, Glamorgan
- Y Polyn, Carmarthenshire
- The Warren, Carmarthenshire
- Heathcock, Glamorgan
- Paternoster Farm, Pembrokeshire
- The Black Bear Inn, Monmouthshire
- Yr Hen Printworks, Ceredigion
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