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Ledbury, Invaded by Rioters, Retains Best U.K. Restaurant Title

October 10, 2011

Oct. 11 (Bloomberg) -- The Ledbury was last night named the U.K.’s best restaurant in the National Restaurant Awards for a second year, further kudos for a London establishment that garnered international attention when it was invaded by rioters.

Pollen Street Social, chef Jason Atherton’s new venue in Mayfair, came second, beating Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, its rival as London’s best new restaurant of the year. Blumenthal’s Fat Duck fell to fourth from second last year.

The Ledbury -- chef Brett Graham’s venue near Notting Hill -- has this year already been named best for food by Zagat and best new restaurant by Harden’s guide. In August, chefs and waiters brandishing kitchen equipment repulsed robbers who smashed down the front door and robbed diners at knifepoint.

Among other awards: One to watch: Hedone; front of house: the Ledbury; wine list: Galvin La Chapelle; restaurateurs’ choice: Hawksmoor Seven Dials; personality: Fred Sirieix (Galvin); chefs’ chef: Simon Rogan (L’Enclume, Roganic); gastropub: Sportsman; highest new entry: Pollen Street Social.

The National Restaurant Awards are just one of several U.K. industry events. The next come as early as Oct. 12, when the Observer Food Monthly annual winners will be announced, followed by the Sunday Times Food List, with Harden’s, later this month.

The winners are picked by the National Restaurant Awards academy, made up of more than 300 chefs, restaurateurs and critics, of whom I am one. (One of the awards in last night’s event at the Grand Connaught Rooms in London was also presented by myself.)

Here is the National Restaurant Awards Top 100:

(Richard Vines is the chief food critic for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. He is U.K. and Ireland chairman of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards. Opinions expressed are his own.)

--Editors: Mark Beech, Farah Nayeri.

To contact the writer on the story: Richard Vines in London at or Richardvines on

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Manuela Hoelterhoff at

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