Harden’s unveiled the winners of its definitive 2019 London Restaurant Awards at a glittering gala ceremony in the Grand Ballroom of The Langham, London, sponsored by England’s finest sparkling wine, Gusbourne.
Nominations for the awards are derived statistically from Harden’s 29-year-old annual survey of UK restaurant-goers. This year, 7,500 people contributed 50,000 nominations within the categories specified by Harden’s. The awards shortlist reflects the nominations in each survey category, with two places reserved for up-and-coming names, in keeping with the awards emphasis on recognising new and developing talent. The final selection from the shortlist is made by the Harden’s editors.
Chelsea’s “congenial but unpretentious” Five Fields scooped the Top Gastronomic Experience award sponsored by Gusbourne.
The forthcoming Harden’s 2020 guide notes of Taylor Bonnyman’s Five Fields: it “has hit a particularly impressive and consistent culinary stride in recent times, with not a single negative report received this year (and we received many). Head chef, Marguerite Keogh strives for perfection, and the care and attention to detail of ingredients processed and plated is second to none, delivering divinely flavoured dishes in a mould that’s classic in style, but very modern in execution – witty and inventive, without being up itself or over-fussy – with much of the produce sourced from the restaurant’s own garden in East Sussex.”
The Roux dynasty showed its ability to renew itself with Emily Roux and her husband Diego Ferrari winning the Top Newcomer category, sponsored by The Langham, London beating out competition from The Coal Office, Kutir and Kerridges. It was the sheer number of enthusiastic reports which carried the day for the restaurant which, the forthcoming guide notes, provides a “fabulous all-round experience mixing simply outstanding and creative cooking that’s born out of two great cuisines: French and Italian.
The clan had a good day, also taking the award for Best Bar & Pub, sponsored by Duvel, for their West End hit: The Wigmore: “setting the standards for a central London bar… “Its food is stretching the concept of gastropub food” in terms of ambition, but definitely worth the money. The Best for Business winner, sponsored by Exmoor Caviar, went to The Goring: “the perfect venue for lunching your maiden aunt or wowing visiting prospective clients on account of its impeccable, old-fashioned service and the impressive surroundings of its light, elegant and high-ceilinged chamber (whose roomy tables allow for serious business discussions).
The Harden’s Outstanding Achievement award, sponsored by Haysmacintyre chartered accountants, was again made by the guide this year, with past winner Sam Hart of Barrafina, Quo Vadis et al, presenting the award to Karam, Jyotin and Sunaina Sethi for their impressive portfolio of hit-ventures: JKS Restaurants.
Peter Harden, co-founder of Harden’s and host of the awards, commented: “The Sethi siblings, with their amazing collection of winning ventures in recent years, have helped to shape London as an innovative force in the world restaurant business in a way that few other people have, especially in such a short period of time.”
He continued: “And with today’s awards recognising both Marguerite Keogh at Five Fields and Emily Roux at Caractère, it is also evident the immense contribution of female chefs and restaurateurs to the capital’s dining scene.
“It is entertaining that these honours come just a couple of weeks after Marco Pierre White made his prehistoric comments to the press about women chefs. Hopefully these awards will go some way to the full acceptance of sex-equality in the hospitality workplace.
“We are also delighted today to highlight the vital issues of sustainability through the introduction of a new Top Vegan or Vegetarian Award. Alexis Gauthier is a worthy winner for the groundbreaking steps he’s taken for showcasing meat-free cuisine at the highest level.”
The fourth awards ceremony was presented by the BBC’s Nigel Barden, and took place amidst the luxurious surroundings of The Langham, London.
Full list of winners below…
- Best Street Food – The Duck Truck
- Top Cheap Eat – Bancone
- Top Coffee House – Tab x Tab
- Best Steak and Grills – Hawksmoor
- Best Fish and Seafood – Cornerstone
- Best Breakfast and Brunch – Dishoom
- Best Vegan and Vegetarian – Gauthier Soho
- Outstanding Achievement Award – JKS Restaurants
- Best Afternoon Tea – The Ritz London
- Wine List of the Year – Noize
- Best for Romance – La Poule au Pot
- Best for Business – The Goring
- Top Bar or Pub – The Wigmore
- Top Newcomer – Caractere
- Top Gastronomic Experience – The Five Fields
Until next year…