Scots restaurant hailed best in the UK four years on from chef's death

Restaurant Andrew Fairlie at Gleneagles in Perthshire was hailed for its luxurious ingredients and creativity.

Gleneagles Hotel restaurant named best in UK four years after celebrated chef Andrew Fairlie’s death

A Scottish restaurant has been named the best in the UK four years after its founder died from cancer.

Restaurant Andrew Fairlie at The Gleneagles Hotel, Perthshire, took the top spot out of 100 UK restaurants in the Harden’s Top 100, a leading diners’ poll.

It claimed first place for what was described as its luxurious ingredients prepared with “impeccable skill and creativity” and attentive staff who are “knowledgeable in all respects”.

Opened in 2001, it is the only restaurant in Scotland to hold two Michelin stars and in 2017 was the first Scottish establishment included in Les Grandes Tables du Monde, a guide listing 170 of the most distinguished restaurants in the world.

Founder and renowned chef Andrew Fairlie died in January 2019 aged 55 after being diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2005.

Renowned chef Andrew Fairlie died in January 2019

Stevie McLaughlin, head chef at Restaurant Andrew Fairlie, said: “While it is always an honour to receive commendation for the restaurant, the fact that Harden’s Top 100 is diner-led is a special honour and a particular testament to the hard work of the full team to ensure every guest has the best possible experience when they dine with us.

“This time four years ago, we were dealing with the terrible loss of our wonderful friend and mentor, Andrew Fairlie, and committed to maintain his incredible legacy.

“I’m extremely proud that we’re here today achieving these fantastic accolades.”

He added: “People knew Andrew as a champion of great food and service, and this ethos remains the same. We have a fantastic, talented team who are all invested and continue to be driven to maintain – and exceed – the standards set by Chef Andrew.”

Eight other Scottish restaurants made it into Harden’s Top 100 for 2023 – which is based on feedback from regular diners rather than a group of professional inspectors.

A total of 30,000 reports are submitted from a survey of 3,000 diners, with restaurants at all price levels included in the list.

The Kitchin in Edinburgh is ranked fifth in the UK, while the capital’s Restaurant Martin Wishart was 14th with The Little Chartroom, also in Edinburgh, at number 31.

Two Glasgow restaurants also made it on the list, with Cail Bruich coming in at number 50 and Unalome at number 68.

Edinburgh was also revealed to be the UK city with the most listings in the Top 500 outside of London, with no fewer than 17 restaurants making it into the elite rank.

Peter Harden, co-founder of Harden’s, said: “Andrew Fairlie may sadly no longer be with us but his spirit lives on in this restaurant which bears his name. Reaching the top spot this year is a huge credit to his long-time lieutenants, head chef Stephen McLaughlin and general manager Dale Dewsbury.

“It has been an excellent year for Scotland’s representation in the Harden’s Top 100 as a whole, with restaurants in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Perthshire and Fife featuring.

“This, along with Edinburgh’s fantastic placement as second city with the most listings in the top 500, is testament to the superb quality and value offered by the country’s restaurant scene.”

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