Harden's survey result
For 25 years we've been curating reviews of the UK's most notable restaurant. This year diners have submitted over 60,000 reviews to create the most authoritative restaurant guide in the UK.
The “quiet and unhurried” (“slightly stuffy”) dining room in the bowels of the Duke of Westminster’s grand city-centre hotel is “not the cheapest”, but “for an occasion that you want to cherish”, Simon Radley’s “superior” cuisine (introduced by a particularly “delicious” bread trolley) has long been of note, and is matched with “excellent accompanying wines” from the huge cellar.
By the Eastgate Clock, the Duke of Westminster’s gracious property is unusually grand for a small-town hotel, and its “rather old-fashioned” dining room (a windowless space in the heart of the building) has long held a major culinary reputation under Simon Radley. It drew a few critical reviews this year, and even some supporters say the food is “aiming slightly higher than it delivers”. Overall, however, it scores high ratings for cuisine that “provides a kaleidoscope of taste and texture over a series of theatrical courses”, and for its very heavyweight wine list (plus the “best bread board ever encountered”).
Few small provincial cities have grander hotels than this “elegant” property (next to the town’s landmark Eastgate Clock), which is owned by The Duke of Westminster (whose family seat, Eaton Hall, is a short drive out of town). Its “formal” and rather “old-fashioned” dining room feels as “smart” as its windowless position in the bowels of the building will allow, and is a showcase for Simon Radley’s cuisine, which is “the epitome of classic style mixed with modern and creative ideas” and consistently delivers “first class” results. Also vying for attention is the “massive” wine list, which “bamboozles with the sheer choice on offer”.
“Chester is SO lucky to have a genuinely smart hotel”, and its flagship dining room “has the formality you’d expect, but still manages to be friendly and (relatively) relaxed”; Simon Radley fully lives up to the occasion, offering “wonderful classic cooking” that “features luxury ingredients but avoids cliché”.
56-58 Eastgate Street, Chester, CH1 1LT
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Tuesday to Saturday from 6.30pm
Last orders: Mon closed, Tue - Sat 9 pm, Sun closed