Fat Duck flies to the top

Superchef Heston Blumenthal's award winning restaurant has been named the best in Britain.

The Fat Duck, in Bray, Berkshire came out top of the rankings in The Good Food Guide 2008, which has for the first time ranked the UK's best restaurants to produce a gastronomic top 40.

Gordon Ramsay's Chelsea restaurant is at number two and Raymond Blanc's Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons at number three.

All three establishments score nine out of ten, awarded for cooking that "reached pinnacle of achievement." But Heston Blumenthal pipped the opposition by producing "white-hot gastronomic alchemy."

Heston Blumenthal said: "The Fat Duck has received huge worldwide acclaim but being voted the Best in Britain is of special significance to us personally. The Good Food Guide is the longest serving UK restaurant guide and we are really privileged to have received this award from their readers - our diners."

The highest new entry in the Guide is Restaurant Nathan Outlaw, Cornwall, which was placed at number 12 and demonstrated "refined, beautiful crafted cooking" in a relaxed setting. Other newcomers include Gidleigh Park, Devon at number 18 and Edinburgh's Kitchin at 38.

The Good Food Guide rankings are based on both expert inspections and reader feedback, so evaluations are based on several meals rather than just one.

Elizabeth Carter, editor of the Guide, said: "Both Gordon Ramsay and Raymond Blanc's restaurants are unmissable experiences, but The Fat Duck has produced truly stunning food this year. Congratulations to Heston Blumenthal for daring to push at the boundaries of modern cooking and pulling it off spectacularly."

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