The West Country might pride itself on its food and drink, but its restaurants aren't up to much, according to the latest Good Food Guide.
The bible of British cuisine has placed just six West Country restaurants in the top 50 in the country. The six include one restaurant in Cheltenham, another in north Wiltshire and Bristol, two in Cornwall and one in Devon. Most of the rest are in London and the South East.
The Good Food Guide dished out a simple marks out of ten "cooking score", and only three were given the full ten out of ten. They were L'Enculme in Cumbria, Heston Blumenthal's famous Fat Duck in Berkshire and Restaurant Gordon Ramsay in London.
Among those scoring nine were the Restaurant Nathan Outlaw in Cornwall, while a hard-fought eight out of ten was awarded to both ninth-placed Le Champignon Sauvage in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, and the prestigious country hotel at Whatley Manor, near Malmesbury in Wiltshire, which was placed 16th. Casamia in Bristol, Gidleigh Park in Devon and Paul Ainsworth's No.6 restaurant in Cornwall all scored seven out of ten to win a place in the top 40 in the country.
It's the first time in 15 years that three restaurants have got ten out of ten, the first time a female chef – Clare Smyth at Gordon Ramsay's restaurant in London – achieved the award and the seventh year in a row that the Fat Duck got top marks.
The Good Food Guide rankings have run for 64 years and are considered the highest accolade for all restaurants. The guide's consultant editor Elizabeth Carter said: "After a break of a decade, Gordon Ramsay's Chelsea flagship has once again been awarded a perfect 10. Now the domain of Clare Smyth, with support from what is without doubt one of the best front-of-house teams in the UK, this most impressive of London's premier restaurants is back in that elite club. Further congratulations, too, for Smyth is the first female chef to achieve our top score in 15 years. With her brilliantly artistic, elegant, modern French cooking she perfectly complements the witty, cerebral Fat Duck and the sensual farm-to-table delights of L'Enclume."
The guide, compiled by experts on public recommendations, includes pubs and cafés.