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Manchester’s Midland hotel is where Rolls met Royce, and Simon Rogan’s takeover of its flagship restaurant, The French, makes for another excellent match.
Where better to enjoy an autumn break than a glorious country pub with comfortable, stylish rooms and food to match? Molly Monroe suggests five
Whether you’re into high-octane water sports, hill walking, sustainability or spa luxury, Sophie Dening has found the perfect place for you to stay, such as the Watergate Bay Hotel on the Cornish coast (pictured).
The August bank holiday weekend beckons, offering ample opportunity for a three-day jaunt in the British countryside. Enjoy rural relaxation with top-quality dining guaranteed at five hand-picked restaurants-with-rooms from around the UK – from a long weekend at The Horn of Plenty, a comfortable Victorian house in lush Devon, to a few days at The Yorke Arms, an elegant, timeless 18th-century coaching house in Yorkshire.
Looking for some rural relaxation where you’re also guaranteed top-quality dining? Molly Monroe finds some delightfully secluded restaurants-with-rooms
Treat yourself to a weekend away in a restaurant with rooms this summer. Whether you venture just outside London to the Michelin-starred Hand & Flowers, or further afield to sample Simon Rogan’s celebrated cooking at L’Enclume in Cumbria (pictured), Square Meal suggests foodie destinations hidden in the UK’s loveliest locations so that you can plan your escape.
MARCH 2012: Teenage chef Luke Thomas has launched a new restaurant at Berkshire’s Sanctum On The Green (formerly Inn On The Green), called Luke’s Dining Room, which opens today.
Bristol boasts plenty of cheery caffs and easy-going eateries, but neither ‘fine dining’ nor culinary risk-taking seem to be a top priority here (with some notable exceptions). Meanwhile, the city’s bar scene has culture and entertainment at its heart: whether you opt for a pint of scrumpy in a dingy music venue, or a swanky cocktail made with local booze, you'll find Bristolians friendly, unaffected and always up for it.
The latest addition to the boutique Royal York Hotel – just a stroll from the famous Palace Pier – is POP, an equally snazzy restaurant//bar that aims to mix city chic with ‘bohemian seaside charisma’.
We’ve polled our 25 regional reviewers, canvassed Square Meal readers and left no stone unturned in our annual search for the best UK restaurants outside London. Here is our top 50 selection
With a background in country house hotels & a spell in Sydney, Greenaway’s creative cooking immediately places him in Edinburgh’s premier league. He's in his element here, serving dishes such as deconstructed Cullen Skink, and sous-vide skate with olive mash and crispy squid.
Martin Blunos' restaurant in Cardiff's Parc Hotel is a metropolitan affair with views of the bustling city centre from the bar. The menu offers small sharing dishes, served throughout the day, and there's a 20-page wine list to get stuck into, too.
Mark Sargeant’s restaurant-with-rooms is the first of two offerings in Folkestone from the ex-Claridge’s chef. The ground-floor dining room has a glass façade that offers stunning views of the harbour and is kitted out in green-and-blue hues with a curved burnt-timber feature wall. Upstairs, there’s a bar and terrace. The menu offers hyper-local sustainable piscine treats straight from the sea outside.
Parts of this ancient building date back to 1452, & it now forms part of the town’s historic Civil War trail: beams & standing timbers are everywhere, the ceilings are skull-crackingly low, an open fire blazes in winter & the place simply fizzes with atmosphere. On the food front, popular classics chime with simple, rustic appeal. A friendly team manages to balance the needs of drinkers in the bar with those wanting to eat, & an all-weather patio awaits for alfresco chilling.
At heart, this stone-built, 17th-century inn remains true to its roots, with locally brewed ales on draught in the rustic bar – although a stellar selection of malt whiskies & gins hint that this is no ordinary boozer. Wine choice is first class, too. The dining areas have a relaxed, casual look, combining traditional virtues with contemporary zing. The aim is to serve modern British dishes based on fine produce.
Felin Fach Griffin is hosting a four-course dinner with drinks pairings that celebrate British drinks producers. Drinks will include perry from Polgoon Perren brewery in Cornwall, a sweet red beer from Breconshire Brewery, and whisky from the Penderyn distillery. The brew that will accompany the main course, called One for the Road, has been specially created by Breconshire Brewery for the inn’s 10th anniversary.
Square Meal has consulted the opinions of our 25 regional reviewers as well as readers in our annual search for the best UK restaurants outside London. Here’s our top 50 selection
UK RESTAURANTS... If you’re heading up to Edinburgh to laugh your way around the Fringe Festival this next fortnight, then resist any urge to give your jaw some downtime and find time to explore the city’s dynamic restaurant scene. And if you need some pointers on where to start, check out our list of the top restaurants in the Scottish capital, including Michelin-starred Restaurant Martin Wishart, The Kitchin, The Plumed Horse and Number One Restaurant.
He may have the X-Factor when it comes to charming TV and radio audiences, but how will Dermot O’Leary fair as a restaurateur? Together with two friends, the pint-sized Irish celeb has opened Fishy Fishy in Brighton. Set right on the sea front the restaurant it serves locally caught fish with dishes including stir-fried squid with ginger, garlic & spring onion, crab and lobster nicoise salad and good old fish and chips.
What with all the sunny weather we've been having, isn't it time we all got out of the smoggy old capital and started eating further afield? If you're a keen foodie looking to dine out of town, but don't know where to start, never fear: Square Meal has trawled the length and breadth of the land in search of Britain’s 50 top regional restaurants – and here is our pick, kicking off with Whatley Manor, the winner of our award for the best out-of-London eatery.
This chic & contemporary dining room is the first solo venture from chef Glynn Purnell, who picked up a Michelin star at nearby Jessica’s (now closed) in 2005. Birmingham residents should be happy to have a restaurant of this calibre in their midst.
RECENTLY OPENED (September 2008)... Leaving London to take over a restaurant in the centre of Horsham takes guts, but young star Tristan Mason (ex-Orrery), has come up trumps with his latest opening, Restaurant Tristan. Expect pitch-perfect cooking at fair prices in an attractive wooden-beamed dining room.
RECENTLY OPENED (August 2008)... If you long for an English country garden, why not pack your bags and head to The Vyse Room in Bucks? Set within boutique hotel Stoke Place, it offers views of the stunning Capability Brown-designed grounds alongside a kitchen garden menu of soused mackerel, lamb 'hotch potch' and proper blancmange. Wash it all down with a quirky cocktail: a gooseberry and lemon thyme bellini, say.
RECENTLY OPENED (July 2008)... Since opening Hix Oyster & Fish House in Farringdon to great acclaim back in April, Mark Hix has not been resting on his laurels. He's just launched another restaurant, Hix Oyster & Fish House , overlooking the harbour in Lyme Regis. As suggested by the name, the restaurant will specialises in local fish and seafood.
RECENTLY OPENED (July 2008)... When he's not marauding around TV kitchens, celebrity chef Aldo Zilli is behind some very respectable, if pricey, Italian restaurants. His latest venture, Zilli Brasserie, has recently opened in Brighton, serving memorable dishes of ricotta-stuffed courgette flowers or lobster ravioli. It's part of the myhotel boutique chain, so if you can't face the train back to Victoria, snag yourself a chic room.
Following an extensive refurbishment, the Branksome Beach Restaurant has reopened with a brand-new look. Floor-to-ceiling windows make the most of the stunning views out over Poole Bay, the Purbecks and the Isle of Wight and the interiors have been given a contemporary makeover. The British menu has also been spruced up with spring offerings including pan-fried fillets of mackerel in horseradish crust. Pinecliff Road, Branksome Chine, Poole, Dorset, 01202 767235.
As well as 43 new rooms and suites, the multi-million pound refurbishment at the South Lodge Hotel in West Sussex this summer will include a restaurant with a twist. The Pass isn’t your usual eatery. The idea is that the whole restaurant, which can only hold a maximum of 22 diners, is like a chef’s table with glass walls surrounding the kitchen (plus plasma-screen TVs for close-ups) enabling diners to see exactly what the chefs are up to. Brighton Road, Lower Beeding, near Horsham, West Sussex, 01403 891711.
Liverpool is getting a gastro-boost to its year as European Capital of Culture with the recent opening of The Panoramic restaurant. Sitting pretty on the 34th floor of the city’s Beetham Tower, the new hot-spot offers spectacular 360-degree views with a sleek interior that combines plush furnishings and a neutral colour scheme. The modern European menu offers the likes of scallops, skate and foie gras, as well as mains including lamb rump and sweetbreads, or Dublin Bay prawns with slow-cooked pork belly, ears and trotters.
Fans of The Crown at Whitebrook in Monmouthshire, which last year won a Michelin star, will be pleased to hear that head chef James Sommerin has taken his exquisite modern European cooking further afield. At the five-star Celtic Manor hotel in Newport, Sommerin is overseeing a new fine-dining restaurant, The Crown at Celtic Manor. Coldra Woods, The Usk Valley, Newport, South Wales, 01633 413000.
She may have been Heston Blumenthal’s sous chef at The Fat Duck, but Emily Watkins hassn’t taken the molecular gastronomy route at her solo venture, The Kingham Plough. The likes of cock-a-leekie pie and crisp pork belly with celeriac mash are scoring very highly with locals, as are the wide-ranging wine list and stylish rooms at the extensively refurbished, picturesque Cotswold pub.