A DOZEN north west restaurants have been named in the country’s top 100 – and they’re all less than an hour’s drive from Wirral.

The National Restaurant Awards returned last night, Monday, June 10 attended by some of the UK’s top chefs, restaurateurs and food writers.

First class venues across the UK were named in the top 100 with restaurants in Manchester, Liverpool and Aughton near Ormskirk making the list.

Restaurant Moor Hall in Aughton came third behind The Ledbury in London’s Notting Hill and Mountain in the capital’s Soho.

Mark Birchall continues to blaze a trail at the two Michelin starred Moor Hall with unique tasting menus powered by innovation and incredible talent.

Much of the restaurant’s produce is grown on the five-acre estate and almost everything is produced in house from bread and beer to dairy and charcuterie.

Mana in Manchester owned by Simon Martin placed 14th and the city’s best of British bistro Higher Ground came 16th.

Rounding out the top 20 was L’Enclume in Cartmel run by Simon Rogan and the holder of three Michelin stars.

Other regional restaurants making it into the top 100 were The Angel at Hetton and The Black Swan at Oldstead – both in North Yorkshire – were 37th and 41st respectively with Erst in Manchester coming 50th.

Placing 52nd was Sō–lō in Aughton, which is Tim Allen’s first solo venture having worked at various well-regarded restaurants around the country.

This venue came one place behind Parkers Arms in Newton-in Bowland in Lancashire.

Northcote in Langho, also Lancashire, Forest Side in Grasmere, Ambleside and Manifest in Liverpool were 74th, 75th and 84th respectively.

Skof in Manchester – a newly opened restaurant on Hanover Street – was named “One to Watch”.

The open plan restaurant was opened by Tom Barnes, who has worked with Simon Rogan for the past ten years, and offers a 15-course tasting menu that promises to be informal and energetic.