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Restaurant Fraiche beats stiff competition to 6th best in Sunday Times Restaurant List

4th November 2013

Categories: News

Marc Wilkinson at Fraiche
Marc Wilkinson chef at Restaurant Fraiche Oxton Wirral

From Liverpool Confidential

Fraiche in Wirral has been named the sixth best restaurant in the UK in The Sunday Times Food List.

The Oxton-Birkenhead based restaurant, which holds the only Michelin star in either Merseyside or Manchester, leapt into the top 10 in the list of 100 after dropping out entirely last year.

And it revealed how chef-owner Marc Wilkinson originally wanted to open Fraiche in Liverpool. But he could not afford its rent and rates and the city's loss was Wirral's gain.


Seaweed Burger FraicheDescribed in the guide as “the highest rated one man band in Britain”, Wilkinson told Liverpool Confidential he was delighted at the news.

"It's a fantastic result,showing the hard work and investment over the last 12 months has been worthwhile.

"I can push harder now knowing I'm on the right track and Fraiche is finally gaining recognition to a wider audience.

"A huge thank you to all involved in Fraiche for keeping my dream alive, and to our guests who make the hard journey worthwhile."

Compiled by The Sunday Times in association with Harden’s, the Food List is based on 80,000 reviews from 9,000 consumers.

Wilkinson trained in and later ran kitchens working in the classical French tradition but he wanted to come back to his birthplace.

“I returned to Merseyside with a dream to create a good restaurant back at home.”

"I viewed properties around Liverpool, but it didn't make sense to open there as it would not be viable."

That was nine years ago and the tiny Oxton restaurant, which serves modern French "progressive cuisine" caters for no more than 16 diners a night.

Fraiche remains fully booked many months ahead with Wilkinson (a lone chef who doesn't do delegation) putting in 16 hour days in the kitchen. If the restaurant needs painting, he closes up for a week and does it himself.

Liverpool does not figure anywhere else in the top 100 list, however Simon Radley at the Chester Grosvenor makes number 27.

Elsewhere on the Food List, Manchester makes it into the hot 100 for the first time with Simon Rogan's The French at The Midland Hotel – albeit at no 68.


Another new entry is The Freemason’s Arms (83) in Wiswell, Lancashire – one of the cheapest on the list, at £54 per head. Holbeck Ghyll in Windermere makes no 66.

Completing the list of the North West’s best restaurants are Northcote in Langho, Lancashire (44) and L'Enclume at number nine.

Editor of The Sunday Times Food List, Karen Robinson, said: "It's a fantastic achievement for chefs to make it into our top 100, because our scores are based on the opinions of thousands of diners, mostly spending their own money.

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