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Sporting a picture-postcard restoration in full Tudor, The Lickfold now dishes up some of Britain’s most accomplished pub food courtesy of Restaurant Story’s Tom Sellers and head chef Graham Squires. Outside, the immaculately lawned garden features a chicken coup and ancient lamp posts; within, you’ll discover a bar with giant brick hearths and low beams, and a gleaming open kitchen. Completing the visual treat is the first-floor dining room, with vast parquet tables, stylised ceramic crockery and high-backed leather chairs. Bar snacks are reinvented for the Michelin-generation as juicy pine-flavoured chicken wings, or whitebait with homemade tarama. Upstairs, after home-cured charcuterie, a whole brown loaf with whipped chicken butter and cute little egg shells brimming with wild-garlic sabayon (this is a generous kitchen), try the delicate chicken terrine buried in crisp sweetbread nuggets, morels and broad beans; follow with poached Chalk Farm trout on samphire and Jerseys with crème fraîche and baked-potato consommé; and finish with a wonderfully light white-chocolate pannacotta made zesty by gooseberries and chamomile sorbet. Bargain set lunches might include pea, lovage and goats’ cheese tart, or bavette steak with scorched onion and bone marrow. Dining pleasure is increased by the compact well-chosen wine list, and attentive staff who know their (scorched) onions.
Square Meal’s Best Restaurants in the UK 2015 is compiled using votes from our annual survey, last conducted in May and June 2015. Thousands of readers and bloggers took part and the results were moderated by the Square Meal editor and his nationwide team of professional reviewers. The survey does not ask for or include any restaurants in London. Click here for a full list of Square Meal’s Best Restaurants in the UK.
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