Renowned food critic Egon Ronay has crowned a Ludlow eaterie Restaurant of the Year, labelling it "simply marvellous".
Hibiscus - whose signature dish goes under the challenging title of 'ice-cream of fois gras with warm emulsion of brioche and balsamic vinegar caramel' - was one of only three to scoop a trio of stars.
The accolade came as Egon Ronay's RAC Guide to the Top 200 Restaurants in the UK went on sale, marking a return after a break of eight years. Hibiscus opened on Ludlow's Corve Street four years ago and is owned by French-born Claude Bosi and his English wife Claire. The couple, who already have two Michelin stars, also act as chef and waiting staff.
The restaurant's signature dish took two-and-a-half years to perfect. Mr Ronay described it as "out of this world".
"It is a frightening name, but a quite marvellous creation," he enthused.
"It is simple but very complicated to achieve. It looks like fois gras, but has the consistency of polenta. Even the brioche was broken down and cooked in a pan. It is just one dish, but it characterises the dedicated approach of the restaurant."
Describing the restaurant, the guide said: "The low-key exterior of this tall house in the main thoroughfare belies the great gastronomic pleasures of its two delightful dining rooms."
He also praised the waiting staff and found the image that the couple presented, in black trouser-suit uniforms, "rather charming".
The chef of Edgbaston restaurant Jessica's, recently awarded one Michelin star, also came in for praise and was awarded one star.
Glynn Parnell, he wrote, was a bright new talent "whose innately refined cooking, shaping some beautifully-focused flavours, is likely to propel him to the top, given time and further development of his craft".
Other restaurants which have been lauded in the past came in for some sharp criticism by Mr Ronay.
There was a trend among some young chefs to break with tradition and create daring dishes which has led to "testosterone-driven cooking", he said.
But while such "revolution-ary zeal" was applauded, Mr Ronay said it could often end in disaster.
"It sometimes looks more like hubris when the result arrives on your plate and you rush back to the menu in order to discover precisely what it was that you ordered," he wrote.
The best-known creator of strikingly original dishes is Heston Blumenthal, chef and proprietor of The Fat Duck in Bray, Berkshire.
He is responsible for such dishes as oysters with passion fruit jelly, sorbet of sardine on toast and smoked bacon and egg ice cream.
While praising some dishes at the Fat Duck, the guide said Mr Blumenthal "is possessed of an urge to indulge in gastronomic eccentricity".
The Fat Duck, which has three coveted Michelin stars, is included in Egon Ronay's RAC Guide to the Top 200 Restaurants in the UK, but was given one star. The fact that Britain's best restaurant is situated in the regions, rather than the capital, is no surprise to Mr Ronay.
Also appearing in his guide are The Stagg Inn, Titley, Herefordshire, Love's Restaurant in Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, Lygon Arms, in Broadway, Worcestershire, and Edmunds in Henley-in-Arden.