National Restaurant Awards 2022: Welsh Hotel Ynyshir Named Best in UK
For the first time in 16 years, a restaurant outside England has been named the best in the UK at the Estrella Damm National Restaurant Awards, which were announced at the Hurlingham Club in London on Monday.
Ynyshir, the traditional country house hotel overseen by chef-patron Gareth Ward on the west coast of Wales, was described as ‘uncompromising’ in an Instagram post of the awards this morning.
He also described the dining experience at the restaurant like no other: combining a punchy soundtrack with a succession of tiny plates of punchy, fire-cooked Japanese-influenced cuisine.
The restaurant sources most of its produce locally and much of it is aged in-house, with chefs serving dishes directly to diners themselves.
“What Gareth Ward did in Ynyshir is remarkable,” says Stefan Chomka, editor-in-chief of Restaurant by BigHospitality, which oversees pricing. “Taking over a restaurant in a traditional country house hotel and putting such a personal, forward-thinking stamp on it was a bold and courageous move – a real statement of intent – but one that really paid off.
“Ynyshir is without doubt one of the most unique and exciting places to eat in the UK right now, perhaps in the world, and is a very worthy winner of this year’s awards.”
Amelia Eiriksson, creative director at Ynyshir, said The Independent“We’re all blown away and extremely humbled because we’re just doing something we love. We’re just trying to give our customers a huge experience, in a beautiful part of the UK. We get the best possible ingredients and prepare the food that we like to eat, store the wine that we like to drink and listen to the music that we like. And I hope people will like it too!
Moor Hall in Lancashire, which has ranked No. 1 for the past two years, took second place this time around, while the London Brat in Shoreditch took third place ahead of The Ritz, at No. ° 4.
The highest new entry, at No. 5, and the winner of the opening prize of the year went to Mayfair’s trendy new Indian restaurant, BiBi. Chef-patron Chet Sharma, who cut his teeth at Moor Hall and L’Enclume, said The Independent“It’s always a difficult time to open a new restaurant, but amidst all the challenges our industry faces, this success truly relies on the loyalty and continued efforts of the entire BiBi family.
“To enter the Top 100 list at #5 is such a huge achievement – I couldn’t be more proud of what we have started to build at BiBi. A big thank you to everyone who has been part of our journey to now.
Will Murray and Jack Croft’s Fallow, which opened its first permanent site in St James Market after a successful pop-up, also entered the list for the first time, at No 13. Murray and Croft wrote to The Independent via email: “We’re thrilled…It’s incredibly humbling to be alongside all these highly esteemed restaurateurs and restaurateurs.”
London topped the list this year, with 60 in the top 100 and just three restaurants outside the capital making the top 10.
Simon Rogan, chef-patron of L’Enclume in Cumbria, was named Chef of the Year, while the Ritz won the Service Award and Chef to Watch for Spencer Metzger. The Lifetime Achievement Award goes to Ruth Rogers, chef-owner of the River Cafe, who celebrates her 35th birthday this year and has played a pivotal role in transforming London’s culinary scene. “Ruth is one of those rare professional chefs who transcends the world of cooking and gives it a more human and personal element,” adds Chomka.
Inver, which Molly Codyre called “wonderful” earlier this year, was named Scotland’s best restaurant; Nuno Mendes’ Lisboeta, which opened to much fanfare on London’s Charlotte Street in March and which we visited last month, has been dubbed ‘One to Watch’.
Other notable wins of the night included Restaurant of the Year, which went one step further, at The Fordwich Arms and The Bridge Arms, both in Kent, run by Dan and Natasha Smith. The first Food Lovers Award, which was voted on by the public, goes to Beach House in Oxwich; and the Sustainability Award went to Stockport Restaurant Where The Light Gets In.
Juliane Caillouette-Noble, chief executive of the Sustainable Restaurant Association, which chaired the awards, said: “Chef-patron Sam Buckley exemplifies the fantastic steps many restaurants are taking to not only source and serve the best ingredients with minimal impact on the environment. , but it also goes further by bringing together farmers, their customers and the wider community to find solutions to some of the most serious problems in our food system.
Estrella Damm UK Country Manager James Healey said: “This year’s list includes a huge pool of incredible talent who deserve this recognition for being the best in the UK.
“We hope this list encourages everyone to get out there and support the best restaurants while celebrating industry success.”
The winners of the Estrella Damm National Restaurant Awards
Estrella Damm National Restaurant of the Year: Ynyshir, Wales
Best restaurant in England: Hall of the Moors
Best restaurant in Northern Ireland: Beef
Best restaurant in Wales: Ynyshir
Best restaurant in Scotland: Invert
Chef of the Year, sponsored by Ritter Courivaud: Simon Rogan, Umbel Restaurant Group
Restaurateur of the Year, sponsored by Entegra: Dan and Natasha Smith, The Fordwich Arms and The Bridge Arms
Chef to watch, sponsored by Belazu Ingredient Co.: Spencer Metzger
Opening of the Year, sponsored by OpenTable: BiBi
One to watch, sponsored by Woods Foodservice: Lisbon
The Sustainability Award, sponsored by Estrella Damm: where the light enters
Gastro Pub of the Year, sponsored by Estrella Damm: The Angel at Hetton
The Service Award, sponsored by Liberty Wines and Rathfinny Wine Estate: The Ritz
Wine list of the year, sponsored by Bibendum Wine: Noble Rot Soho
List of cocktails of the year, sponsored by Tito’s Handmade Vodka: K.O.L.
Foodie Prizes: The Beach House Restaurant, Oxwich
Life Achievement Award: Ruth Rogers, The River Cafe.
The 100 best restaurants in the UK:
2. Hall of the Moors
4. The Ritz
6. The Ledbury
7. Un Wong
8. Core by Clare Smyth
10. The Anvil
11. Manteca – read our review here
12. Angel in Hetton
14. Tide House
17. Fordwich Arms
18. Da Terra
21. Noble Rot Soho – read our review here
23. Invert – read our review here
26. The River Cafe
27. Tony Parkin at the Tudor Room
28. Kitchen table
29. Claude Bosi in Bibendum
30. Arts Club Sessions
31. St. John – read our review here
32. The Black Swan at Oldstead
34. Restaurant History
35. Mangal 2 – read our review here
37. Restaurant Gordon Ramsay
38. 40 Maltby Street
39. Restaurant Sat Bains
40. The French House
42. The Guinea Grill
43. Frog by Adam Handling
44. Parker’s Arms
45. Pollen Street Social
47. The Sportsman
49. Francois House
50. Native to Browns
51. Evelyn’s Table – read our review here
57. Elystan Street
58. Engraving – read our review here
60. Trattoria Brutto
61. The Man Behind the Curtain
63. Hélène Darroze at Connaught – read our interview with Darroze here
65. Osip – read our review here
66. Summer house
67. The arms of the bridge
68. The Dorchester Grill
69. Bentley’s Oyster Bar & Grill – read our review here
72. The Raby Hunt
73. The House of Quality Chop
74. Cantine Rochelle
75. Cafe Deco
76. Decimo – read our review here
79. Paul Ainsworth at No. 6
80. Carter of Mosley
81. Cabin in the woods
87. The Old Stamp House
89. Sargassum – read our review here
90. The Little Map Room
93. Chishuru- read our review here
94. The Blind Pig
95. Muse- read our review here
97. The Palmerston
99. The Lady of Pi
100. Endo at the Rotunda