Taken from our list of the UK’s 100 best restaurants, here’s the first instalment of our favourite restaurants for private events beyond London
1. The Sportsman
Seasalter, Kent, CT5 4BP
Standing by the roadside overlooking the Kent marshes, The Sportsman is a bona fide shabby-chic pub. But it’s also a maverick, Michelin-starred eatery driven by chef Stephen Harris, whose food reaches sublime heights without ever seeming prissy.
2. Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons
Great Milton, Oxfordshire, OX44 7PD
Raymond Blanc’s fine-tuned take on country-house luxe is a dream ticket for indulgence. Set in blissful grounds, this immaculate mansion is famed for its sleekly choreographed service, patrician wines and unfailingly impressive French-inspired cooking.
Cartmel, Cumbria, LA11 6PZ
Simon Rogan’s sympathetically converted Lakeland smithy is a gorgeous dining space that gels harmoniously with nature, landscape and the seasons. The multi-course tasting menu is devised on the day and delivered in style by impressively knowledgeable staff.
4. The Fat Duck
Bray, Berkshire, SL6 2AQ
For food as entertainment, Heston Blumenthal’s three-Michelin-starred wonderland remains unsurpassable. Diners are whisked away on an imagined day out based on the perfect childhood holiday, which is expressed through a 17-course extravaganza. A must-do, once-in-a-lifetime trip.
5. The Hand and Flowers
Marlow, Buckinghamshire, SL7 2BP
It might still look like a local pub but Tom Kerridge’s Marlow flagship is a world away from your average gastropub, offering phenomenal food and service that has earned it two Michelin stars. Don’t miss the signature chocolate and ale cake with salted caramel and muscovado ice cream.
6. The Waterside Inn
50 Private dining
Bray, Berkshire, SL6 2AT
The chocolate-box setting on the banks of the Thames couldn’t be any more English, but everything else at this truly special restaurant speaks of high-end French gastronomy. An abundance of culinary wonders includes turbot meuniere with almond and grape emulsion.
7. Midsummer House
Cambridge, CB4 1HA
Within a restored Victorian villa, this conservatory dining room by the river Cam is a beacon of civilised excellence – thanks to a team of immaculately schooled staff who exude confidence and good humour. Chef-patron Daniel Clifford’s tasting menus thrill with pure restaurant theatre.
8. Restaurant Nathan Outlaw
Port Isaac, Cornwall, PL29 3SB
Nathan Outlaw’s flagship is a masterclass in subtly creative seafood cuisine. Every dish wows, with quality and freshness always to the fore. The cooking is backed by studiously matched wines, while staff strike the right balance between sociability and expertise.
9. The Elephant
Torquay, Devon, TQ1 2BH
Torquay may be synonymous with Basil Fawlty but the gorgeously located Elephant has put the English Riviera back on the foodie map for all the right reasons. Bang-up-to-date brasserie cooking is fuelled by produce from chef-owner Simon Hulstone’s 69-acre Devon farm.
10. The Artichoke
Old Amersham, Buckinghamshire, HP7 0DF
Laurie and Jackie Gear’s Artichoke consistently demonstrates the kind of quality and creativity normally reserved for top-notch restaurants in London. The constantly evolving repertoire of technically refined ideas reflects the best seasonal produce.
Check out entries 11-20 this way.