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Bringing a whole lot of glitz and glamour to Manchester when it launches in early October is Vermilion, an enormous pan-Asian restaurant and bar, spread over two floors. The interiors have been designed by Portuguese architect Miguel Cancio-Martins, the man behind uber-trendy Buddha Bar and Man Ray in Paris. Lord North Street, Miles Platting, Manchester. Tel: 0161 202 8200.
Our UK award winner Restaurant Sat Bains with Rooms is not the only place to excite Nottingham diners. The city’s acclaimed World Service has opened a second restaurant. At Iberico World Tapas half the menu offers classic Spanish flavours (chorizo in red wine), while the other half goes global (black cod in spicy miso). The restaurant is housed in a grade II-listed building, combining original features with Moorish touches. The Shire Hall, High Pavement, Nottingham. Tel: 01159 410410.
What was the Brookman’s Park Hotel near Potters Bar has been completely overhauled, dropping the hotel side of things and reopening as a restaurant and deli, Brookman’s. Housed in a 1930s building, the new venture has a more contemporary feel than previously, with dark timber panels and low lighting. Casual dining along the lines of deep-fried squid is available in the bar, while the restaurant menu features the likes of seared tuna with braised white beans, or slow-cooked belly of pork with apple puree. Bradmore Green, Hatfield, Hertfordshire. Tel: 01707 664144.
The Apple Tree pub in Gerrards Cross has been reborn with a contemporary look and a new menu of simple food. Dishes range from tapas plates to starters of smoked trout and mains of homemade pastas, beer-battered haddock and pizzas from a woodfired oven. In addition to the 30-strong wine list, there are 10 beers on tap, including continental lager and real ale. In summer, the garden seats up to 130, while in winter, diners can take refuge around one of the log fires. Oxford Road, Gerrards Cross, Buckinghamshire. Tel: 01753 887335.
The team behind the Hoxton Grille have ventured north and opened a second restaurant in the decidedly un-Hoxton surrounds of the spa town of Harrogate. Simple, hearty food (think steak and chips, Caesar salad, and rhubarb and oatmeal crumble) features alongside a zesty cocktail list including a rather dangerous sounding Breakfast Martini. The Harrogate Grille, housed within the newly refurbished Balmoral Hotel, is open all day, seats up to 80 and has a private dining room to boot. 16-18 Franklin Mount, Harrogate, North Yorkshire. Tel: 01423 565 800.
Following the major refurbishment of the Compleat Angler, its two restaurants have been relaunched. Dean Timpson at The Compleat Angler is the fine-dining arm and offers three-, five- or seven-course menus showcasing chef Dean Timpson’s skilled creations, alongside an impressive wine list. Meanwhile, Bowaters offers more casual brasserie fare, with an alfresco option when weather permits. Both have stunning riverside views, overlooking the Thames and Marlow Weir. Marlow Bridge, Marlow, Buckinghamshire. Tel: 01628 481971.