The Estrella Damm National Restaurant Awards 2017: As it happened

By Hannah Thompson contact

- Last updated on GMT

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The Estrella Damm National Restaurant Awards 2017 took place at the Hurlingham Club on Monday night, with attendees spanning a who’s who of the industry. We look back at the star-studded night

The jazz band played and guests arrived as the sun came out – just about ‒ across the manicured lawns, and beer, Champagne Devaux, Liberty wines, and gin and Schweppes tonic flowed as everyone prepared for an awesome evening.


The Hurlingham Club in all its manicured splendour


The jazz band the Urban Soul Orchestra plays guests in


Covers of Restaurant magazines past line the entrance way

Top chefs arrived with their teams, including Gary Usher, fresh off the news that he has successfully crowdfunded his next restaurant, Wreckfish; Michael O’Hare, whose Leeds flagship The Man Behind The Curtain came in 45th place on this year’s Top 100 list; and Michael Bremner, whose Brighton site 64 Degrees made it to number 30 just a few months after the chef announced plans for a second Brighton site.

See more of the chefs great and good arriving on the red carpet here​.


Gary Usher and team arrive


Michael O'Hare was among attendees 


Michael Bremner lost no time in sipping a cold beer

The garden party atmosphere – including cold summery drinks from Estrella Damm, Schweppes and Hildon, and a gorgeous picnic area from OpenTable ‒ began celebrations with flair.

Cannot wait for this to kick off! #estrellanra

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Guests enjoying the sunshine


Gin and tonics flowing


Summer drinks 


Andrew Wong of Michelin-starred site A.Wong, at number 3, with Restaurant magazine deputy editor Joe Lutrario


Chef Tom Brown enjoys the crowd


Iconic French chef Raymond Blanc sips Champagne Devaux


Spanish chef (of Pizarro at number 98) Jose Pizarro with Restaurateur of the Year Jason Atherton


Michelin-starred chef Adam Byatt (of Trinity, at number 46)

Countdown to greatness

No amount of G&T could tear guests away from the proceedings proper, though, and the show itself soon began, presented by headline partner Estrella Damm and Stefan Chomka, editor of Restaurant Magazine. 

See the full list of awards here​, and the full ceremony of the special awards​, such as Jason Atherton’s Restaurateur of the Year, here


The awards ceremony begins

The booming voice of Alan Dedicoat - best known as the Voice of the Balls on the UK National Lottery - counted down the Top 100 from 100 to 11, and the volume of cheers grew only in proportion to the high profiles of the much-deserving restaurants and chefs appearing on the list and stage.


At number 49 on the countdown...Smoking Goat! 


Jason Atherton accepts his award

Well proud of our team! Voted 29th best restaurant in the country at the national restaurant awards #estrellanra

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Some made speeches, but some, such as Shaun Hill, offered strong but swift thanks, cheerfully conceding that a long ‘thank you’ would only “delay everyone’s exit to the bar”.   


Chef James Cross smiles on stage as his accepts his award


Family restaurant Timberyard was named Scotland's best


Shaun Hill makes a (short) speech

Congratulations poured in…


And the anticipation of the top ten bubbled over into thanks and happiness…



The overall winner – The Sportsman in Kent – was the long-awaited champion of the night, picking up not only the top spot but also the Gastropub of the Year gong too.


The Sportsman receives the top prize

Partying long into the night

The awards completed, the night was still young; winners and teams alike took to the street food stalls to try freshly-cooked pizza, hot fish and chips, crunchy duck rolls and pulled pork buns, while Harvey & Brockless put on a cornucopian spread of cheeses and charcuterie.


Robin Gill gets animated


Harvey & Brockless put on a serious spread


Chef Simon Hulstone among the guests (from Michelin-starred The Elephant, at number 24)

Drinks flowed until long into the night, with the décor managing daytime to nighttime with ease.


The OpenTable picnic area was a winner from day to night

Winners clutched their trophies and celebrated throughout – with all accolades sure to be remembered and loved long after the final gin, tonic, and beer was gone.


Some of The Sportsman team pose with their award


Congratulations to all winners, shortlisted names, restaurants, chefs, and teams - and a huge thank you to all attendees for making the evening so enjoyable for all involved; plus our partners for their unparalleled support! 

See you all next year...

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