The Which? Good Food Guide 2010 is officially published today, and although I must admit to a little light bias, I think it's a bit of a triumph both for the book, which is clearer and more comprehensive than it has been, and for the north.
It's a delight to look through the newly-expanded list of top 50 restaurants and see new entries for Ramsons, The Yorke Arms, Purnell's and my favourite, Fraiche (careful in the picture there Marc, those wafers look a bit sharp) alongside the bankers such as L'Enclume, Antony's and the reliable but oft-overlooked Simon Radley at the Chester Grosvenor.
The purest foodling joy comes, though, from seeing Da Piero, an Italian restaurant in Irby on the Wirral, pick up the award for Best Newcomer. It's a husband-and-wife operation in the middle of nowhere, and the interior scheme is more auntie's sitting room than slick modernity, but the food (home-cooked Italian, definitely no red sauce) and the welcome are second to none. Oh bloody hell. I might cry a bit.