A culinary business in Lyme Regis has been crowned one of the best restaurants in the UK.

National restaurant and menus guide SquareMeal has compiled a list of the top 100 best restaurants across the nation. The establishments were decided by the guide's in-house critic-led opinions as well as thousands of diner votes.

Lilac restaurant and wine bar came 61st in the list – the only restaurant in Dorset to be featured.

It is owned by chef Harriet Mansell who opened the restaurant in August 2021. This is her second business venture in the town, having opened Robin Wylde on Silver Street in October 2020.

She said: “The team at Lilac are really delighted to have been included in the SquareMeal top 100 UK restaurants for the second year in a row. We are sat amongst some other incredible venues, and it is a real honour to be held in such high esteem.

Bridport and Lyme Regis News: Inside the Lilac (indoor seating area)

"It drives us to be better, and to continue to evolve and push to improve, as well as offering an incredible service to our customers and supporting local farms. We are proud to really sit at the heart of our community and have a growing number of loyal customers. We believe that our personal touch in all that we do is something to do with the fantastic relationships we have fostered.”

Set in a 400-year-old cellar on Broad Street, Lyme Regis, the business is renowned for its seasonal sharing plates, low-intervention wines, local beers, and range of cocktails.

This is the second time the restaurant has been featured in SquareMeal’s annual top 100 best restaurants, appearing in 35th position in 2023.

It also boasts a four-and-a-half out of five rating on TripAdvisor as well as appearing in the 2022 Michelin Guide.

Harriet will be launching a new menu and dining experience in the restaurant on June 24 called Garden Table. The vision is to create an intimate woodland-like setting in the courtyard space behind Lilac, close to the sea front. Harriet will then cook elements of the menu over fire in front of guests, starting with a selection of snacks and leading into dishes that tell a story of local food. 

It will be bookable on a Monday and Tuesday evenings each week, priced at £79 per person with optional drinks pairings. 

"The entire menu is representative of a desire to honour processes that take time, and to work on doing things with care and attention. I am excited and can't wait to share this with people. It's everything I believe in and love.'' 

More information about Lilac can be found on their website: https://www.lilacwine.co.uk/