Diners rank Restaurant Andrew Fairlie as best in the UK

Restaurant Andrew Fairlie’s Head chef Stevie McLaughlin and general manager Dale Dewsbury

Restaurant Andrew Fairlie, based at Gleneagles in Perthshire, Scotland, has been named as the UK’s top restaurant in an annual diner’s poll.

The two-Michelin starred restaurant claimed the number one spot in Harden’s Top 100 Best UK Restaurants, which described a visit to the establishment as ‘a memory to be treasured’, praising its luxurious ingredients prepared with ‘impeccable skill and creativity’, and attentive staff who are ‘knowledgeable in all respects’.

Following the loss of founder, Andrew Fairlie, in January 2019, the restaurant is headed up by head chef, Stephen McLaughlin, and general manager, Dale Dewsbury. Both were a core part of the team that launched Restaurant Andrew Fairlie in 2001. Stevie became head chef in 2006, while Dale has been general manager since 2012.

Stevie said: “While it is always an honour to receive commendation for the restaurant, the fact that Harden’s Top 100 is diner-led is a special honour and a particular testament to the hard work of the full team to ensure every guest has the best possible experience when they dine with us.

“This time four years ago, we were dealing with the terrible loss of our wonderful friend and mentor, Andrew Fairlie, and committed to maintain his incredible legacy. I’m extremely proud that we’re here today achieving these fantastic accolades.

“People knew Andrew as a champion of great food and service, and this ethos remains the same. We have a fantastic, talented team who are all invested and continue to be driven to maintain ­– and exceed – the standards set by Chef Andrew.”

Head-Chef-Stevie-McLaughlin sits under a painting in chef whites
Head Chef Stevie McLaughlin, at the Andrew Fairlie restaurant at Gleneagles (Pic: Phil Wilkinson Photography)

Restaurant Andrew Fairlie was awarded a Michelin star in 2002, within a year of opening. The second star was added in 2006 and the restaurant has held these two Michelin stars for 17 consecutive years. In 2017, the restaurant became the first Scottish establishment included in Les Grandes Tables du Monde, a guide listing 170 of the most distinguished restaurants in the world. In 2022, Mr Dewsbury was honoured with a special award for best service in Great Britain & Ireland in the 2022 Michelin star revelation ceremony.

The style of the cuisine is French, influenced by the best of seasonal Scottish ingredients. From shellfish at their peak in the winter months, to summer inspiration drawn from the restaurant’s own Secret Walled Garden which grows over 250 types of fruit, vegetables and herbs, immense consideration and creativity is given to each dish.

The 32nd edition of Harden’s guide is based on 30,000 reports from a survey of 3000 diners. Restaurants at all price levels are listed, from street food vendors to the country’s most ambitious dining rooms, with 2800 restaurants listed in total.

Peter Harden, co-founder of Harden’s, commented: “Andrew Fairlie may sadly no longer be with us but his spirit lives on in this restaurant which bears his name. Reaching the top spot this year is a huge credit to his long-time lieutenants, head chef Stephen McLaughlin and general manager Dale Dewsbury.”

Dale Dewsbury