British, Modern Restaurants in Heswall
1. Lawns Grill, Thornton Hall Hotel & Spa International restaurant in Thornton Hough Neston Rd - CH63
2021 Review: The restaurant of this lush Wirral country pile is “a little hidden gem”, delivering some “unbelievable” food (including a “quite affordable” prix fixe at lunch); fans say that it’s the “best on the Wirral (since Fraiche is always full up)”. (This was the location, in October 2019, of the crunch Brexit talks between Boris Johnson and Irish Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar).
2. Moor Hall British, Modern restaurant in Aughton Prescot Rd - L39
“Continuing its stately progress to becoming the UK’s best restaurant in what was for many decades the gastronomic desert of West Lancashire” – Mark Birchall’s medieval manor house to the north of Liverpool has, since it opened in 2017, won award after award and “a third Michelin star must be close”. “Booking here, even for lunch, is like buying a ticket to an experience”, which begins with the approach down a long drive (and during which a visit to the gardens comes highly recommended). Although the hall itself is ancient, it has been significantly adapted to its modern use, and the dining room itself is in a contemporary extension: “an unusual design with high ceilings and lots of glass overlooking the lake and gardens”. Mark’s “out-of-this-world” cuisine is “based very much on regional ingredients from Lancashire's under-rated larder. There's clever use of contrasting flavours and the kitchen can really make very simple ingredients sing”. In particular, they “do improbably brilliant things with root vegetables (particularly carrots and turnips!)”. “Mildly formal” service is “impeccable, with the team pulling off that trick of being casual and friendly without ever losing sight of the part they play in ensuring everything goes to plan”. Criticisms are few and far between, and the only consistent negative amongst reports is the unsurprising hangover to the wallet that a visit entails. For the most part, though, it’s just 10/10s all-round. “The perfect weekend away – total luxury!”
3. Burnt Truffle British, Modern restaurant in Heswall 104-106 Telegraph Road - CH60
“The friendly, cheerful and very knowledgeable staff make you feel at home instantly” at Gary Usher’s Wirral bistro (his first crowdfunded follow-up to Sticky Walnut in Chester) “and the food! novel, inventive, well prepared and VERY tasty”.
4. Saltys Parkgate British, Modern restaurant in Parkgate Mostyn Square - CH64
2019 Review: In a “quaint” Wirral village with “extensive views over the River Dee marshes to North Wales”, this venue (formerly the Marsh Cat) has been re-named after renovations and switching to a modern British menu. Ratings are now solid, with regulars reporting that “it’s now back to its best”.
5. Fraiche French restaurant in Oxton 11 Rose Mount - CH43
“If you are fortunate enough to get a table in this gem of a restaurant you will not be disappointed.” Chef-patron Marc Wilkinson puts his life and soul into this tiny “intimate” venue in a conservation village on the Wirral, which has just a dozen or so covers, and “a music playlist curated by the owner”. There is a cheaper lunch, but the main deal is a six-course signature menu for £115 per head, which delivers “exceptional flavours”. (In September 2021, the restaurant’s Instagram account said the builders are in till March, so change may be afoot, but what that may be seems to be under wraps at present.)
6. Lerpwl British, Modern restaurant in Liverpool Albert Dock - L3
The Barrie brothers cut their teeth at Anglesey's Marram Grass (as of November 2021, not in operation) but are nowadays focused on this relatively recent venture, on the Albert Dock site they opened in the turbulent days of September 2020. Lerpwl is the Welsh name for Liverpool, and the offer aims for ‘social fine-dining’. Feedback (on which we’ve based our initial rating) is so far relatively limited, but says results from its ten-course tasting menu showcasing Welsh produce (for £90 per person) are as outstanding as at its predecessor.
7. Hanover Street Social British, Modern restaurant in Liverpool 16-20 Hanover St - L1
2021 Review: “Consistently good food at a competitive price” plus a “useful central location and a great choice of gins” means this modern brasserie from Merseyside’s Red & Blue Restaurants group is “worth a visit”.
8. Wreckfish British, Modern restaurant in Liverpool 60 Seel Street - L1
“Gary Usher just gets it right” – with his “high-standard” bistro cuisine at prices most reporters find reasonable (and despite the name, this is not a seafood specialist). “Cooking and service remained a delight” through the Covid restrictions, so “Wreckfish managed to recreate the special-meal-out feeling”. The worst criticism? – “I still don’t understand the undressed romaine lettuce leaves that accompanied the tender and sweet pork chop”!.
9. Fonseca's British, Modern restaurant in Liverpool 12 Stanley St - L1
2019 Review: The original Delifonseca (re-named to avoid confusion with its spin-off), now with vintage cocktail bar, wins praise for its “really good food and interesting choices” from a daily-changing blackboard menu. Change may be afoot, however, with the owner eyeing a vast, Kickstarter-funded expansion of its dockside spin-off (home to a famed market hall), with plans to eventually operate from one base.
10. The London Carriage Works, Hope Street Hotel British, Modern restaurant in Liverpool 40 Hope Street - L1
2019 Review: For a “really good breakfast” or “fab afternoon tea”, this boutique hotel dining room does still win recommendations. Feedback is much more limited nowadays, though, compared with the heady days of its opening in 2003, when it was the hottest ticket in town.
11. Roski British, Modern restaurant in Liverpool 16 Rodney Street - L1
“Literally nothing could have been done better” – the tenor of reports on BBC MasterChef: The Professionals winner Anton Piotowski's upmarket but “relaxed” mid century-style dining room. The “very innovative” tasting menu (“an edible beetle has been known to appear”) “blew away” most reporters and represents “very good value for money” compared to London prices.
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