The Grade II listed restaurant with rooms, in Aughton, Lancashire, is overseen by chef-patron Mark Birchall and has built a strong reputation for its modern British cuisine using, where possible, produce grown on the five-acre estate.
It was bought by Andy and Tracey Bell in 2015 and underwent a multi-million pound renovation before reopening in 2017. Last year the restaurant was awarded two Michelin stars.
“Mark is an incredibly talented chef who has a clear ambition to not just create one of the best restaurants in the UK but in the world,” says Stefan Chomka, editor of Restaurant magazine, which runs the Estrella Damm National Restaurant Awards.
“This award reflects that vision. Moor Hall is an almost immaculate experience – Mark’s food is clever and inventive but also delicious, the service is exceptional, and the atmosphere is relaxed and friendly. It’s an outstanding restaurant that deserves its title as the best in the UK.”
Second place went to hit London restaurant, Brat, in Shoreditch, followed by four other restaurants in the capital, Tom Brown’s Cornerstone In Hackney Wick in the third spot; Core by Clare Smyth in Notting Hill in fourth and Sabor in Mayfair in fifth. Sixth place returns to the North West with Simon Rogan’s L’Enclume where Birchall was previously executive chef.
This year also sees three female chefs place in the top 10. Nieves Barragan of Sabor, in Mayfair, follows Clare Smyth from Core in Notting Hill, ranked at fifth in the list, while Monica Galetti’s Mere in Fitzrovia comes in at number six.
John Williams MBE, executive chef at London’s The Ritz, won this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Williams’ career spans more than four decades in some of London’s most prestigious hotels including Claridge’s, The Berkeley and The Ritz.
Clare Smyth, chef-patron at Core in Notting Hill, was named this year’s Chef of the Year.
Moor Hall’s victory sees the top spot return to a restaurant outside of the capital. In total, 46 of the top 100 restaurants are located outside of London in the 2019 list. This year also sees the highest number of Northern restaurants placed than ever before, with 23 Northern and Scottish restaurants on the list.
The winners were announced on Monday 10 June, at a ceremony held at The Hurlingham Club in London by Restaurant magazine.
To coincide with the awards, ‘National Restaurant Month’ will run from 11th June until 10th July 2019 with many restaurants listed running special offers, including complimentary drinks, dishes and discounts for diners booking through the new website. In partnership with Estrella Damm, there will also be a competition to win ‘meals for two’ in the top 100 restaurants during this month.
The Estrella Damm National Restaurant Awards is Restaurant Magazine’s annual countdown of the top 100 restaurants in the UK as voted for by the UK’s leading chefs, restaurateurs and food writers. The full list of the UK’s Top 100 Restaurants can be found on the newly-launched website www.nationalrestaurantawards.co.uk
The Awards winners in full:
• One to Watch, sponsored by Schweppes 1783: Emilia
• Best Restaurant in Northern Ireland, sponsored by Hildon: Yügo
• Best Restaurant in Wales, sponsored by Hildon: Ynyshir
• Best Restaurant in Scotland, sponsored by Hildon: Ondine
• Wine List of the Year, sponsored by San Marzano: Hide
• The Sustainability Award, sponsored by John Mower in partnership with The Sustainable Restaurant Association: Oxo Tower Restaurant Bar and Brasserie
• Cocktail List of the Year, sponsored by Seedlip: The Frog by Adam Handling
• OpenTable Diners’ Choice ‘Fit for Foodies’: Carters of Moseley
• Chef to Watch, sponsored by Woods Foodservice: Sally Abe
• Chef of the Year, sponsored by Ritter Fresh: Clare Smyth
• Restaurateur of the Year, sponsored by threesixty° by UCC Coffee: Tom and Michaela Kitchin
• Gastropub of the Year, sponsored by Estrella Damm: The Sportsman
• Lifetime Achievement Award, sponsored by Quandoo: John Williams
• The Service Award, sponsored by Liberty Wines and Piper Heidsieck: Bibendum by Claude Bosi
• Estrella Damm National Restaurant of the Year: Moor Hall