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London may be experiencing an explosion of restaurant openings this month, but there are some eye-catching new arrivals outside the capital that are also well worth noting.
Less than a year after introducing Londoners to his super-fresh fish dishes at Outlaw’s at The Capital, Cornish-based Nathan Outlaw (pictured, right) has opened his fourth restaurant, Outlaw’s Fish Kitchen in Port Isaac, just up the coast from his mother ship in Rock’s St Enodoc Hotel. Former Michelin-starred chef Paul Ripley heads up the kitchen, focusing on seafood plates designed for sharing, inspired by the day’s catch from local inshore day boats.
The heat around Simon Rogan’s reincarnation of The French at Manchester’s Midland Hotel remains intense, but the multi-gonged chef is now set to wow Mancunians with his brand of high-quality but affordable casual dining. Mr Cooper’s House and Garden (in what was the hotel’s Colony restaurant) represents a departure from Rogan’s usual determined British repertoire – the 150-seater brasserie offers a more international flavour, with influences from all over the world.
The ‘rainy city’ is creating the sort of buzz usually reserved for London launches with yet another high profile opening this month – Aiden Byrne’s long-awaited Manchester House (pictured, left). Byrne is the youngest British chef to win a Michelin star (in 2002 at the age of 22) and a new BBC documentary (due to be screened in spring 2014) will follow the launch of his new restaurant and the chef’s quest to gain a Michelin star once again.
Out in the Cotswolds, James Graham is now heading up the kitchens at Bibury Court – a grand old country house hotel that has everything you need for a weekend away. The Raymond Blanc-trained chef, recently of Allium in nearby Fairford, uses an extensive network of local suppliers to create seasonal menus that achieve the right balance of gutsy but refined cooking.
Elsewhere, Richard Craven, who previously worked at The Kingham Plough (pictured, right), has been appointed head chef at The Fuzzy Duck (pictured, below right) – a hip new county pub in Armscote, Gloucestershire, from the family behind Baylis & Harding beauty products.
Other chefs are also striking out on their own. Following time spent at Soho’s Ducksoup, Seldon Curry and Liberty Wenham have moved to Bristol, where their Wallfish Bistro in Clifton is making a big noise locally. Over in Bath, the latest addition to the restaurant scene is Clayton's Kitchen at The Porter – an informal, all-day eatery run by chef Robert Clayton (known for his Michelin-starred cooking at Bath Priory some years ago).