National Restaurant of the Year

Moor Hall

Chef Mark Birchall opened Moor Hall in 2016 having spent the best part of a decade working at Simon Rogan’s two Michelin-starred restaurant L’Enclume, promising at the time to create ‘something special’.

He’s succeeded. His stunning Lancashire restaurant with rooms is located in a Grade II listed building that dates back to the 13th century and is set in five acres of gardens with its own lake, no less. Within just two years of opening, Birchall has replicated the success of his mentor, also winning two stars, and he has no intention of stopping there.

The setup at Moor Hall is impressive. The beautiful glass-fronted restaurant has an open kitchen as well as a walk-in cheese room, where diners are encouraged to visit to make their selection. The restaurant makes its own charcuterie in house and will soon also have its own dairy, bakery and even brewery.

At Moor Hall the food really does the talking. The ambitious restaurant is tasting menu only, with six and 12 courses available at lunch (£70/£130) and the full 12 courses at dinner. An evening meal starts at the bar with a charcuterie selection before moving to the high-ceilinged room for the main event. A procession of snacks follows, including Birchall’s signature pillowy black pudding parcel with pickled apple, and starters include baked carrots with Doddington cheese ‘snow’ and roast Goosenargh duck with elderberry.

It’s impressive stuff from a chef at the top of his game, one that marks Moor Hall out as a true Lancashire gem.

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The National Restaurant of the Year award is sponsored by Estrella Damm