Introducing The Trencherman’s Guide
Since the Trencherman’s Guide was launched in 1993 as the gourmets’ guide to the very best eating experiences in the South West, it’s built a reputation as a solid source of great dining destinations.
Rick Stein describes it as ‘a guide with teeth’ – the result of the strict entry criteria which restaurants must meet in order to be included.
Establishments can’t buy their way into the guide: they’re invited to be a members based on reaching a number of points in the scoring system (based on Good Food Guide, AA and Michelin ratings) or by having been visited and scored on a long list of criteria by an experienced food writer from the Trencherman’s team.
The Guide is overseen by a committee of industry experts chaired by leading chef Michael Caines MBE.
What the ratings mean
You’ll find the categories Higher Member, Member and Award Winner throughout the site. Here’s what these categories mean:
These establishments reach the higher score level on the already extremely exacting entry criteria and are outstanding venues which combine cooking of the highest order combined with super skilled service which is delivered in an exceptional setting such as a grand manor house or edge-of-the-water restaurant. You couldn’t cook like this at home and if you live in a house in one of these types of settings, lucky you. Similarly, the wine list and other drinks provisions are exceptional – expect to find many wines by the glass, a breadth of local spirits and creative cocktail activity.
These are establishments which provide a slightly more casual experience while still providing exceptional cooking. The dishes are excellent version of whatever they happen to be and would only be recreated at home by the most competent home cook. Due to the more casual nature of the establishment they’ll often have scored less highly on extremely technical cooling, length of wine list or unusual setting. You’re likely to find establishments such as high quality dining pubs in this category.
Establishments that hold a Trencherman’s Award for the current year are highlighted. The awards are voted for Trencherman’s readers each year – if you’d like to take part in the voting, you can do so when you Join The Club.