The Lake District’s Cottage in the Wood will be included in the definitive list of the UK’s top 100 restaurants for the first time, it has been revealed.
The annual Estrella Damm National Restaurant Awards highlight the country’s top places to eat and are voted for by chefs, restaurateurs and food writers nationwide.
It’s just been confirmed that The Cottage in the Wood’s Michelin-starred restaurant with rooms at Whinlatter will be among the 100 which the Restaurant Awards say should be on people’s culinary hitlist in the coming months.
The team at the former 17th century coaching found out they’d been included almost 19 years to the day since they welcomed their first diners in 2002 – but they will not know where they stand in the rankings until next month.
Owners Kath and Liam Berney were then joined by chef director Ben Wilkinson and his partner restaurant director Monika Zurwaska in 2017 and the restaurant was awarded its first Michelin star in autumn 2019.
Ben said: “We were over the moon to hear we’d been shortlisted for the UK’s top 100 restaurants. It was a real surprise, but the National Restaurant Awards are very well respected in the industry and are something we’ve had our eye on for some time.
“Having the Michelin Star is obviously fantastic, but it is mostly about the food.
“Appearing on this list is about the front of house team too and the vital part they play in the overall customer experience of eating out. After such a challenging time, this accolade is a great boost for us all and we’re all looking forward to seeing where we rank on the full list when it’s revealed next month.”
Co-owner of The Cottage In the Wood, Liam said: “This is actually quite an emotional moment. We got this amazing news exactly 19 years after we originally opened up our dining room for guests and the past two decades genuinely have been a labour of love.
“Now, to be included in the industry’s definitive list of the UK’s top restaurants – voted for by a panel of top chefs, food writers and restaurateurs – is immensely special. It really is a tribute to the dedication and hard work of the whole team.
“What a positive start to the new season, after the challenges and disruption of the past 15 months.”