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Fine Dining - Cruise's Top 5 UK Restaurants

With Christmas a distant memory and summer seeming like light years away, we've decided to round up some of the UK’s finest restaurants for you to wine and dine the dark nights away. - a service that has been transforming dining reservations since 1998 - has compiled a list entitled the ‘Diners’ Choice Top 100 Best restaurants of 2013’. Determined from over 340,000 discerning customer reviews, the list embraces cuisines from around the world and features some of the country’s most revered chefs from a fantastic collection of wonderfully diverse restaurants that never fail to impress.

Although all 100 of these eating places offer sublime culinary experiences, we've whittled it down to five of our favourites.

Restaurant Gordon Ramsay - Chelsea, London

The first of two household names which has made our list, Restaurant Gordon Ramsay is located in the lavish district of Chelsea, London and boasts no less than three Michelin stars. Opened in 1998 and his first solo venture, Ramsay’s eponymous eatery offers contemporary French cuisine, outstanding service and a welcoming ambiance; all the characteristics of a truly excellent restaurant.

Rated the UK’s number one restaurant by Top Table’s fine diners, Restaurant Gordon Ramsay uses unrivalled ingredients to create magnificent flavour combinations, beautifully presented by the fantastic technical skills of head chef Clare Smyth and her talented team.

Pétrus - Knightsbridge, London

Situated in Knightsbridge, London, Gordon Ramsay’s Pétrus was opened in 1999 and has deservingly held a Michelin star since 2011 and boasts five AA Rosettes. Named after the wine of the same title, Pétrus serves a modern French menu which combines classic and contemporary flavours with impeccable presentation.

With modern light interiors designed by the highly acclaimed Russell Sage Studio, Pétrus’ interior utilises a calming oyster palette with soft claret, bronze and silver accents to create an unrivalled dining ambiance. For the ultimate Pétrus experience, reserve a place on the Chef’s Table for an unparalleled view of head chef, Sean Burbridge, and his team working their magic.

With a stylish menu, stunning environment and immaculate presentation, Pétrus epitomises fine dining at its very best.

Dinner By Heston Blumenthal - Knightsbridge, London

Wanting to choose a name that represented his historic British menu, Heston Blumenthal’s Dinner is nestled within the iconic five-star Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park hotel in Knightsbridge, London. Opened in 2011 by the celebrity chef, Dinner gained a Michelin star within its first year and was listed as number nine in The World’s 50 Best Restaurants by British magazine, Restaurant.

Concentrating on the modernisation of British recipes of the past, Dinner is renowned for its simple yet contemporary dishes based on meals from the 14th to 19th centuries. Perfectly executed by head chef Ashley Palmer-Watts, the Dinner menu changes every three months and features critically acclaimed dishes such as the 15th century-inspired Meat Fruit – a chicken liver mousse which has been given the appearance of a textured mandarin orange. Heston at his eccentric best and a certain nod to the hosting hotel.

Our tip? Reserve a place on the chef’s table and you can view a hidden prep kitchen via a glass window which can be made opaque whenever diners wish. A simply unique experience.

Upstairs at the Grill - Chester

Influenced by both sides of the Atlantic, Upstairs at the Grill is regarded as a hidden gem situated on Watergate Street in the historic town of Chester. Housed in a stunning grade two listed building, you will be welcomed by Upstairs at the Grill’s striking bar which offers an extensive range of cocktails and worldly beers. Prepared by an award-winning chef, the menu marries the superiority and charm of a sophisticated Manhattan steakhouse with the addition of British rare breed beef – dry aged for five weeks to guarantee succulence - and second-to-none local produce.

Known for its private dining club aura, Upstairs at the Grill’s décor is created to seduce diners allowing you to unwind and immerse yourself in the decadent surroundings and exquisite food.

Gamba - Glasgow

Opened in Glasgow in 1998 by restaurateur Alan Tomkins and chef Derek Marshall, the award-winning Gamba restaurant prides itself on serving the finest sustainable seafood that Scotland has to offer. Passionate about sourcing the best possible produce, Gamba’s fresh sole, halibut, monkfish and lobster are some of the highlights on a stunningly prepared menu. And, with many dishes using more than one type of seafood, Gamba’s food affords diners luxurious richness and unrivalled depth.

Due to its ecologically stunning menu and a striking, contemporary Mediterranean décor , Gamba has been awarded a three star rating from the Sustainable Restaurant Association and has also deservingly retained its two AA rosettes.

(Written by Lewis Cook)