Hambleton Hall, near Rutland Water, has placed 26th in Harden's Top 100 2023 (Credits: Hambleton Hall)

Two East Midlands based restaurants have been named as two of the best venues in the UK, a recent guide has revealed.

Hambleton Hall near Rutland Water, Leicestershire and Alchemilla in Nottingham city centre have ranked 26 and 42, respectively, in Harden’s Top 100.

Hambleton Hall returned to this year’s Top 100 with Chef Director Aaron Patterson still at the helm, after 31 years.

Chef Patterson told CBJ Target: “Leading one of the Top 100 restaurants in the UK feels very good, it’s really nice.

“At the end of the day, the list changes every year so it’s always nice to be included on it.

“We’ve been able to stick around near the top for a long time.”

Chef Aaron Patterson has been leading the Hambleton Hall Michelin-starred kitchen for the past 31 years (Credits: Carolyn Turner)

He added: “You sometimes see restaurants go from number one or being in the top 10 down to number 70 or 80 quite regularly, but we’ve managed to stick around.

“The highest we’ve been was in the top 10, so consistency is a nice thing to see.”

The guide’s polled diners revealed the restaurant’s “opulent” lounges and dining
room epitomise “old-fashioned elegance” and provide “the quietest and most
relaxing environment”.

Staff are regarded as “professional but very friendly” who “go above and beyond to provide a memorable and enjoyable experience”.


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Alex Bond’s unique establishment, Alchemilla, on Derby Road in Nottingham, also received praise from the guide’s polled diners for its “mind-blowing experimental food and interesting wine pairings” and “very friendly staff, who are very knowledgeable about the offering.”

Two Michelin-starred Sat Bains, based in Nottingham, has slipped out of the elite top, however.

Peter Harden, co-founder of Harden’s, comments: “Both Alchemilla and Hambleton Hall have returned to this year’s Harden’s Top 100 list, and for very good reason, as diners continue to find experiences at both establishments to be of high quality with service receiving particularly high praise.

“It is not a total surprise to see last year’s number one, Restaurant Sat Bains,
disappear from the Top 100.

“The listing is highly competitive, and although the restaurant’s ratings have only slipped by a fraction, some regulars did note (as they have at some other top places this year) both pressures on service (“I felt standards had dropped since pre-pandemic days”); and concerns over value (“I have been eating at Restaurant Sat Bains since 2006… prices nowadays are becoming astronomical”).

“In a year where the cost of living crisis will continue to bite, it will be interesting to see where chefs and diners decide to draw the line when it comes to prices.”

The 32nd edition of the Harden’s guide, available for £18.99, is now the only UK restaurant guide sold in bookshops based on feedback from normal diners rather than a group of professional inspectors and is also available as apps for Apple and Android.