15th December 2016 – For immediate release
The UK’s best towns and counties for foodies are revealed in Harden’s Best UK Restaurants 2017: the UK’s most comprehensive restaurant guide available in bookshops, published today.
Harden’s 26th annual poll of diners, surveyed 7,500 participants who contributed 50,000 reviews, which, as curated by the editors, form the basis for the inclusions and ratings in the guide.
Although Manchester achieved the guide’s biggest number of inclusions outside London (52), Edinburgh (with 43 listings) was revealed as the UK’s second city in terms of quality, with 10 restaurants amongst the guide’s UK Top Scorers, out of 250 in the country as a whole. (A “Top Scorer” is defined in the guide as either any restaurant charging over £60 per person scoring 4/5 or higher, or any establishment charging under £60 per person achieving the top 5/5 score.)
North Yorkshire is the top county for dining, with 14 Top Scorers, narrowly beating its neighbour Cumbria with 11, and a further 6 are found in West Yorkshire (12= amongst all counties). The Home Counties may include many of the country’s most illustrious restaurant names, but scored relatively poorly overall.
Brighton and Leeds tied with Manchester for the third position in terms of Top Scorers, with posh enclaves such as Bray and Cheltenham punching well above their weight in terms of top scoring restaurants.
Liverpool and Cardiff were amongst large cities with no Top Scoring restaurants, despite a high number of overall inclusions, suggesting both cities have further to go to develop as quality dining destinations.
The guide’s editor and co-founder Peter Harden said:
“What is impressive about the Edinburgh restaurant scene is its quality at all price levels.
Manchester’s economic boom is there to be seen in terms of its number of overall restaurants, and there are many fabulous restaurants now in the city, but it is still losing out to Edinburgh when it comes the best destinations. Having been born in Manchester, I look forward to the city nurturing more truly top-tier establishments at all price levels!
Outside of London, top restaurants are still often to be found in leafy rural spots rather than in urban centres: only two of our top-20 most mentioned restaurants outside London are in cities. A more metropolitan dining culture is still establishing itself in the UK, often with cheaper restaurants aimed at younger folk, and Manchester’s progress is fully in line with that trend.”
Top Scorers in Edinburgh
Restaurant Martin Wishart
The Castle Terrace
Restaurant Mark Greenaway
Mother India Café
Notes for editors
For further information and images, or to arrange an interview with Peter Harden, contact Clare Burnage on 020 7839 4763 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. Harden’s is the UK’s original ‘user-generated content’ restaurant guide. The Harden’s survey of regular restaurant-goers is now in its 26th year. It has been national in scope since 1999.
2. Unlike restaurant review sites like TripAdvisor, Harden’s has never published its surveyees’ raw reports online, to prevent ballot-stuffing. Having no access to raw user reviews makes it much harder to “game” the Harden’s system, because it is impossible to gauge how much false data to submit to do so. What’s more, Harden’s longstanding core of reviewers – some of who have been participating for over 20 years – provides a control group by which to access reports from newer respondents.
3. Harden’s content is available in guidebook format, and in apps for iPhone; and also at www.hardens.com.
4. Harden’s Best UK Restaurants 2017, £15.99, is available in all good bookshops, including Waterstone’s and Amazon.com, and from www.hardens.com.
5.Twitter / Instagram @HardensBites