The Good Food Guide 2019 by Waitrose & Partners (GFG), the first with new Waitrose & Partners branding and the sixth edition published by the retailer, has 14 restaurant listings for the Channel Islands, one of them in the Top 50.
The Good Food Guide lists the very best restaurants and eateries across Britain and is highly regarded by chefs and diners.
In the 2019 guide the No.1 spot has been awarded to Restaurant Nathan Outlaw in Cornwall for the second year running. It also achieved a perfect cooking score of ten for the third year in a row.
Bohemia in Jersey is the only restaurant in the Channel Islands to be featured in the Guide’s Top 50. Each position on this coveted list is decided by a combination of cooking score, editor appraisal and the strength of reader feedback.
Bohemia came in at No. 14 with a cooking score of 8, indicating ‘a kitchen cooking close to or at the top of its game. Highly individual with impressive artistry. There is little room for disappointment here.’
Elizabeth Carter, Editor of The Good Food Guide, says of Bohemia: “the identity carved out by executive chef Steve Smith is clear: to take the best ingredients, from the island if possible, and use the ability of his talented brigade to create plates of food where invention, looks, seasonality and taste meld with a sense of generosity.”
This year, there have been three new Channel Island entries including: Octopus on Guernsey and La Sablonnerie and Stocks, both on Sark.
Three restaurants in this year’s guide scored a perfect 10 – L’Enclume in Cumbria, Nathan Outlaw in Cornwall and Core in London – and more eateries than ever offer vegetarian and vegan menus as meat-free dining moves to the mainstream. Also unique to this year’s guide is the recognition of zero waste and leftovers as restaurants are praised for their efforts to be environmentally friendly.
Each year, the Guide announces its Editors’ Awards in recognition of those restaurants and chefs who have shown excellence in their field and exceptional talent. The Good Food Guide 2019 has added two new awards, Best New Entry in London (won by Cornerstone) and Best for Sustainability (won by Angela’s in Kent).
Other Jersey restaurants listed in the guide include Green Island Restaurant, Longueville Manor, Mark Jordan at the Beach, Oyster Box, Samphire, Sumas, Tassili and The Green Olive. Other Guernsey restaurants included are La Fregate and Da Nello.
Excerpts from The Good Food Guide 2019 by Waitrose & Partners:
‘Part of a luxury hotel it may be, but the identity carved out by executive chef Steve Smith is clear: to take the best ingredients, from the island if possible, and use the ability of his talented brigade to create plates of food where invention, looks, seasonality and taste meld with a sense of generosity – this is a kitchen that first and foremost wants to feed you.’
Green Island Restaurant
‘Right by the beach, overlooking the grassy islet from which it takes its name, Green Island looks like a seaside café but pitches its food considerably higher. A long list of specials, recited at table, covers crab, lobster, tuna, scallops, oysters, sole, skate, mullet and more, all with a choice of cooking methods and sauces.’
‘The finest hotel on Jersey, Longueville Manor may have Norman ancestry but age is no barrier when it comes to doling out creature comforts. In the two low-ceilinged dining rooms, huge mirrors and glass doors add some light relief to the deep-pile carpets and comfortable upholstery and, best of all, staff ”never seem remotely robotic”. Long-serving chef Andrew Baird guarantees stability and consistency in the kitchen, although diners say that the cooking has been “turned up a notch” of late.’
Mark Jordan at the Beach
‘Mark Jordan initially conceived this modern seaside brasserie as an informal counterpoint to his cooking at The Atlantic Hotel, and has maintained his stake here since departing the hotel in 2017. The menu sports handsome fish and seafood selection, plus Jordan’s signature burgers and a host of competently cooked, classic combinations with the emphasis on Jersey produce.’
‘This ”beach bar and restaurant” makes the most of its seaside setting with a covetable alfresco terrace and gallery windows overlooking the briny expanses of St Brelade’s Bay. Inside it’s sleek, contemporary and gleaming white, with blue mosaic tiles and a globally diverse menu that includes a gallery full of Jersey seafood.’
‘Situated in St Helier’s financial district, Samphire was born in spring 2018 from what was Ormer, one of Jersey’s reference venues for modern European cooking. A refurbishment has resulted in a stylish room with buttoned banquettes and diverting photographic prints, and a range of eating options.’
‘When the mercury is up, 20 lucky souls get to sit outside on the first-floor terrace of this seafood-focused restaurant and take in the views over the harbour and Mont Orgueil castle. No matter if you’re indoors, though, for white brick walls, blond wood floors and shimmering blue chairs make for a soothing setting. The kitchen matches the room when it comes to contemporary good taste.’
‘The views from the terrace overlooking St Helier’s Esplanade may not have changed much since the grand old spa hotel was built in 1890, but the food served in its soothing, split-level restaurant moves with the times. Nicholas Valmagna is steeped in French cuisine, but he’s happy to fuse haute techniques with global flavours and a barrow load of Jersey produce – all reinterpreted and refashioned via a series of menus.’
The Green Olive
‘Tall windows and high ceilings help to create a feeling of light and space in this appealing first-floor dining room overlooking St Helier’s business district, while chef proprietor Paul Le Brocq gets everything absolutely right when it comes to food and service.’
‘With its impressive glass frontage and wooden decking right down to the sea wall, it’s hard to beat this modern seafront joint for location. The pared-back nautical interior belies the runaway variety of the menu that, though it makes a feature of fish, also takes in steaks, street food, salads and more.’
‘An institution on the island, this 15th-century property has a larger-than-it-seems Tardis-like quality, with character running right through and a charming courtyard out back. It’s the place to eat unreconstructed Italian food.’
‘Perched on a hill overlooking St Peter Port harbour, this is one of those out-of-the-way hotel restaurants where, after years spent serving a captive clientele, the food could be forgiven for slipping into anachronism. The reality is quite the opposite. The extensive menu focuses mainly on classic preparations, generously plated, with a restrained smattering of modernism here and there.’
‘A roadside gem at the southern end of Sark, this white farmhouse is festooned with hanging baskets, the surrounding gardens combining subtropical flora and pressed-sand paths with precisely manicured lawns. Tables are scattered beneath the trees and climbing foliage. Inside is more prosaic, and the time-warp feeling extends to unpriced menus that offer melodies and montages, as well as a mid-meal “water ice”. Service is engagingly eccentric, but the food is serious.’
‘Stocks is the island’s main hotel, with a lovely stone terrace where one reader enjoyed a lunch of fresh crab salad overlooking the manicured grounds complete with swimming pool. Dinner is served in the smart but plainly adorned dining room.’
*The Good Food Guide is published by Waitrose & Partners. RRP £17.99.