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It may be no more than a dot on the map, but the hamlet of Summerhouse now boasts one of the north-east’s more ambitious and “evolving” kitchens – plus a magnificent wine cellar to boot. Occupying a Grade II-listed former inn once frequented by the eponymous hunt, this reinvigorated restaurant-with-rooms is elegantly contemporary style with food built around sophisticated tasting menus from the cutting edge of modern British cuisine. Self-taught James Close is working wonders here and his cooking (now with two Michelin stars) is “exceptional”, whether you’re in for the five-course Saturday lunch or the full works in the evening (Wed-Sat). Appetisers tick all the in-vogue boxes, from crispy cod skin with aïoli or Lindisfarne oysters cooked at 62 degrees to dainty little plates of spring salad. The seasons also rule when it comes to plates of artichoke and offal, razor clams with almonds and celeriac or raw beef with smoked cod’s roe and spinach. After that, flavours collide as salted caramel meets yuzu or black olive and chocolate keep company with sheep’s yoghurt. Service is top-drawer, and the magisterial wine list offers pedigree, class and value across the range.
Squaremeal’s Best Restaurants in the UK 2016 is compiled using votes from our annual survey, last conducted in spring 2016. Thousands of readers and bloggers took part and the results were moderated by the Squaremeal 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 Squaremeal’s Best Restaurants in the UK.
Like 90% of the Antipodean expats in London, we can talk your ear off about our jaunts to the continent. You want itinerary ideas? We’ve got them. You want restaurant recommendations? We can make you hungry. You want to hear some horror stories? We can make you laugh. But ask us about the UK and many of us might be silenced.Most of us end up in London, in spite of the crowds and cost of living, because we can move here fairly easily and it gives us the incredible freedom to duck off to Spain or France or wherever within the same day. Too seduced with those options, many of us forget about exploring England. A...
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