Fat Duck hatches a perfect score
The Fat Duck has been hailed as the "best restaurant in Britain", after achieving a perfect 10 out of 10 score in The Good Food Guide 2009.
The Berkshire restaurant, which is owned by celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal, scored nine in last year's Guide, but has won praise from diners and restaurant inspectors alike over the past 12 months.
It is the first time in four years that the maximum score has been awarded. Gordon Ramsay's Chelsea restaurant last achieved the top mark in the 2005 edition of the Guide, and Nico Ladenis scored a 10 at Chez Nico nine years ago.
Elizabeth Carter, editor of The Good Food Guide, said: "What do we want a restaurant to do? Feed us well, memorably, courteously, and offer value for money. The Fat Duck does all that - and much more. It's great fun and it all adds up to a dining experience of the most wondrous enchantment.
"It's extremely rare that a restaurant cooks perfectly on a consistent basis, but we've had so many superlative reports that we're delighted to recognise The Fat Duck as the best restaurant in Britain."
Heston Blumenthal OBE said: "The worldwide recognition we receive at the Fat Duck is greatly welcomed. However, first and foremost, I am very proud to be British and overwhelmed at being voted the Best Restaurant in the UK by The Good Food Guide.
"The Guide has been instrumental - almost fundamental - in improving the quality and standards of cooking in this country and the general public's awareness about food and restaurants.
"It is fantastic to know that it is our customers, as well as the inspectors, who have voted for us. We are all absolutely delighted to have scored the perfect 10 in this year's Guide and extremely proud."