Good Food Guide is good for you

15th Sep 2015

Does the Good Food Guide mean anything to you? If you like good food it should. Of course with the online review sites who buys foody guide books anymore?

But just look at this. The best restaurant in the Good Food Guide for the whole of the UK is Rogan’s L’Enclume, in Cartmel, Cumbria. According to Trip Advisor it’s only ninth best in Cumbria. And number two in the Trip Advisor list of best restaurants in the Lake District is Choccobar in Bowness. Totally meaningless if it’s a good meal you want because they sell hot chocolate.

Trip Advisor restaurant reviews are meaningless because they champion cheaper places. Logically, more people eat at cheaper places than the other way round, ergo more reviews, and number one could be a cafe. They don’t differentiate between any type of food outlet, hence the hot chocolate, which I am sure is delicious. Now I love a good cafe that sells a hot chocolate as well as anyone. But if I want to find a place where I can get a knife and fork meal, I reach for the Good Food Guide every time. It’s more focussed.

Of course the Good Food Guide was doing consumer reviews before the internet was invented. And it still relies on real people to write in. It doesn’t have paid inspectors. Restaurants can’t spot a reviewer. Most of us may well find it easier to do an online review on, say, Hardens, or Top Table. But check out the GFG website; you can review right there. If a restaurant doesn’t get reviews it could be dropped from the guide.

A couple of years ago Waitrose, the middle class’s supermarket owned by John Lewis, bought the Good Food Guide. They have rejuvenated it with a lovely fabric feel to the cover, and I assume much better distribution. As the buyer selects his food for his discerning palate to cook and consume at home, he can utilise the Good Food Guide to select his next restaurant destination. Make no mistake, Waitrose customers eat out a lot and care about their food. And they trust the Waitrose produce.

I just had a quick look to see which restaurants, especially in London, have a 5 score, (the best has a 10/10 and there are only 50 with 6 or above in the whole of the UK) the same as Linthwaite. The list is impressive including Jason Atherton’s Berner’s tavern; Hélène Daroze at the Connaught; Will Smith and Anthony Demetre’s Wild Honey and Arbatus; The River Cafe; Brasserie Chavot and Richard Corrigan’s Bentley’s, to name a few. Not bad, eh?

So please support the Good Food Guide! It’s good for you, too.