The Good Food Guide has announced its top restaurants for 2019. Alongside the finest dining establishments in the country, the sixth guide by Waitrose & Partners, celebrates quality eateries and discoveries in local areas and neighbourhoods across the country. In the North East, the top scoring restaurant is The Raby Hunt, headed up by our Luxe columnist, James Close.

The guide is compiled by combining reader feedback on restaurants up and down the country with anonymous inspections by a team of industry experts.


Restaurants from across the region that have made it into the ‘UK’s Top 50’ have been unveiled, with the top scorer in the North East named as The Raby Hunt in Summerhouse, with a cooking score of 7.

Excerpt from The Good Food Guide 2019 by Waitrose & Partners: “It’s 10 years since former pro-golfer James Close took on this remote 19th-century drovers’ inn, transforming the modest ‘local’ into a destination restaurant with rooms with glassed-off kitchen, chef’s table and kitchen garden. He sources locally where possible and a single Lindisfarne oyster poached at 62 degrees is an achingly beautiful overture to the 15-course menu – but refuses to be shackled by expectations of ‘regional’ cooking, instead, he takes diners on a world tour with stop-offs for pristine pork tacos, tender langoustine tempura in a sansho-dusted cloud of batter, and dainty seeded buns of pastrami and black truffle.”


The Good Food Guide champions local eateries that you may not find in traditional restaurant guides. In addition to anonymous inspections, the GFG’s research list is based on the huge volume of feedback received from readers and this helps uncover foodie finds from across the UK each year.

Readers were asked to nominate their favourite neighbourhood restaurants, places that give a warm welcome and share a passion for local produce, plus a commitment to the community.

This year’s Best Local Restaurant in the North East is The Feathers Inn, Hedley on the Hill.

The guide says of The Feathers Inn: “In their decade at the helm, Rhian Cradock and Helen Greer’s commitment to local suppliers and ethical, sustainable food has become integrated into the very fabric of this welcoming village inn that’s at the heart of its community. A blackboard locates suppliers within the pub’s orbit, while black and white portrait photographs pay homage to these trusted partners and their produce; the seasonal menu emphasises that it’s all about the ingredients.”


The North East boasts 11 new entries to this year’s Good Food Guide and include…

The Moorcock, Sowerby Bridge
Ashoka, Sheffield
Courtyard at Ox Pasture Hall, Scarborough
Home, Leeds
Issho, Leeds
Magpie Cafe, Whitby
No Name, Sheffield
Partisan, York
The Greenhouse Tearoom, York
The Pig & Whistle, Beverley


The Good Food Guide’s annual Top 50 restaurant ranking is highly regarded by chefs and restaurant-goers alike, with particular attention paid to those chefs and restaurants who make it into the Top 10. The list recognises the very best talent in the country and a place on it represents a huge achievement. Each position is decided by a combination of cooking score, editor appraisal and the strength of reader feedback.  A cooking score of 10 means ‘Just perfect dishes, showing faultless technique at every service; extremely rare, and the highest accolade the Guide can give’.

Some of our favourite northern restaurants feature in the ‘Top 50 Restaurants’ once again. Here’s how they scored…


The Raby Hunt, County Durham – cooking score of 7
L’Enculme, Cumbria – cooking score of 10
Forest Side, Cumbria – cooking score of 7
Lake Road Kitchen, Cumbria – cooking score of 7
The Kitchin, Edinburgh – cooking score of 7
Castle Terrace, Edinburgh – cooking score of 7
Restaurant Martin Wishart, Edinburgh – cooking score of 7

Every Friday, The Good Food Guide publishes a round-up of the latest openings, chef moves and restaurant news. Visit or follow @goodfoodguideuk.

Fancy following James Close of The Raby Hunt on his far-flung foodie journeys? Pick up the latest copy of Luxe Magazine or stay tuned on the Luxe website for his regular Chef’s Table column.