FOUR Scottish restaurants have maintained their positions in The Good Food Guide 2009’s list of top 40 restaurants, Britain’s best-selling annual foodie bible, which is released today.
Alongside prestigious restaurants such as the Fat Duck, (number one) and Gordon Ramsay (two) is the Creel – a tiny seafood restaurant in St Margaret’s Hope in Orkney.
The Good Food Guide, compiled by anonymous reviewers for the consumer watchdog Which?, is vital to restaurateurs when many people are cutting down on dining out.
The top Scots are Restaurant Martin Wishart in Edinburgh (14th place), Andrew Fairlie at Gleneagles (23rd), the Creel, Orkney (32nd) and Kitchin, in Edinburgh (38th place).
There are also six new Scottish entries in the guide – Creel Restaurant, Dunbar; Abstract, Edinburgh; Champany Inn, Linlithgow; An Lochan, Glasgow; La Valle Blanche, Glasgow; and An Lochan, Tighnabruaich.
Heston Blumenthal’s Fat Duck maintained its number one position – the only entry with a ten out of ten score.
Restaurant Martin Wishart scored eight, signifying a restaurant “close to or at the top of its game, showing faultless technique and impressive artistry”. Andrew Fairlie and the Creel both scored seven while Kitchin was rated six.
Elizabeth Carter, the guide’s editor, said: “These chefs, [currently scoring seven or eight out of ten] all have enormous talent and could become the next Blumenthal or Ramsay.”
Mr Wishart said: “This is a pretty amazing score and I’m delighted for my customers, my staff and myself. It shows a consistency of service because the reviewers can be anyone writing at any time on any service.
“Customers are more aware of not wasting their money on restaurants who don’t provide a good service.”
Alan and Joyce Craigie, who have run the Creel at St Margaret’s Hope on Orkney for the past 24 years, have put their restaurant up for sale, saying they would like to “downsize” to a bed-and-breakfast.
Mr Craigie said: “We’re pleased at having such a high rating. It is a huge compliment and it helps bring customers in.”
The best of Scotland
&149 Restaurant Martin Wishart
The Shore, Leith, 0131-553 3557
Style: Modern French
Opening hours: Lunch noon- 2pm, dinner (Tues, Wed, Thurs) 7-9:30pm; (Fri and Sat) 6:30pm-9:30pm). Closed Sun and Mon. Book a week in advance
• Andrew Fairlie at Gleneagles
Opening hours: 6:30pm-10pm Mon-Sat. Advance booking recommended
• The Creel
St Margaret’s Hope, Orkney
Style: Modern Scottish
Opening hours: 7pm-11pm Tues-Sat. Closed Mondays
Booking: Two to three days in advance, especially in June to August
78 Commercial Quay, Leith, 0131-555 1755
Style: Modern European
Opening hours: Lunch 12:30pm- 1:45pm
The top 40
1.Fat Duck, Bray, Berkshire (marks: 10 out of 10)
2.Gordon Ramsay, London (9)
3. Ptrus, London (8)
4. Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons, Oxfordshire (8)
5. Square, London (8)
6. Le Champignon Sauvage, Gloucestershire (8)
7. Le Gavroche, London (8)
8. Waterside Inn, Bray, Berkshire (8)
9. Vineyard at Stockcross, Berkshire (8)
10. Pied Terre, London (8)
11. Restaurant Nathan Outlaw, Cornwall (8)
12. Tom Aitkens, London (8)
13. L’Enclume, Cartmel, Cumbria, (8)
14.Restaurant Martin Wishart, Edinburgh (8)
15. Maze, London (7)
16. The Capital, London (7)
17. Bohemia, St Helier, Jersey (7)
18. Hibiscus, London (new) (7)
19. Danesfield House, Buckinghamshire (new) (7)
20. Gidleigh Park, Chagford, Devon (7)
21. Restaurant Sat Bains, Nottingham (7)
22. Anthony’s, Leeds (7)
23. Andrew Fairlie at Gleneagles (7)
24. Holbeck Ghyll, Windermere (7)
25. Fischer’s, Baslow Hall, Derbyshire (7)
26. Simon Radley at the Chester Grosvenor, Cheshire (7)
27. Michael Wignall at the Latymer, Surrey (new) (7)
28. Whatley Manor, Wiltshire (new) (7)
29. Hambleton Hall, Leicestershire (7)
30. Tyddyn Llan, Llandrillo, Wales (7)
31. Harry’s Place, Lincolnshire (7)
32.The Creel, Orkney (7)
33. Mr Underhill, Ludlow (7)
34. Old Vicarage, Ridgeway, Derbyshire (7)
35. Castle Hotel, Taunton, Somerset (6)
36. The Greenhouse, London (6)
37. Club Gascon, London (6)
38. Kitchin, Edinburgh (6)
39. Simpsons, Edgbaston, Birmingham (6)
40. Crown at Whitebrook, Gwent (new) (6)
• 10/10 – Extremely rare accolade given for perfect dishes served on a consistent basis
• 9 – Cooking which has reached a pinnacle of achievement
• 8 – Close to the top
• 7 – High level of ambition and individuality
• 6 – Exemplary cooking skills