While Higher Ground may be one of the latest additions to the city, its founding trio – Joe Otway, Richard Cossins, and Daniel Craig Martin – are no novices to the restaurant scene. These three crossed paths at acclaimed establishments like Blue Hill at Stone Barns in NYC and Relais Copenhagen, with Joe also spending time at Stockport’s Where The Light Gets In. They took the plunge in 2021, opening their wine bar Flawd featuring small plates. By 2023, their long-anticipated venture, Higher Ground, was launched on the cusp of Chinatown – a project that had been brewing for almost five years. Only a few months post-launch, it was recognised as one of the UK’s best restaurants at The National Restaurant Awards, sharing the accolade with Michelin-starred mana, the only other Manchester representative on the list.
So, what’s the secret of its allure? A key factor is their unwavering dedication to produce. Whether it’s fruits and vegetables harvested from their own organic farm, Cinderwood Market Garden in Cheshire, or whole animals that they meticulously butcher and utilise completely, you can be assured of their deep-seated commitment to knowing the origin of every ingredient on your plate. Not confined to local sourcing, they even import fair-trade sugar from Colombia to concoct a simple yet delightful treacle ice cream. Spearheading the front of house, Cossins’ style of service is like being welcomed by a long-time friend. The ambiance is laid-back, accompanied by great music, an open kitchen, and a wine room brimming with low-intervention gems.