Category Archives: dining

Fine Dining in the UK

The UK hasn’t always been known for it’s high quality cuisine. Many people often look to France or Italy for tasty treats, as the thought of British dining conjures images of soggy cabbage or rock hard scones. Fortunately, this stereotype is entirely unfounded, and there are some amazing chefs and restaurants within the UK. Some are so good that they have been awarded Michelin stars, and others attract customers and foodies from all over the world. These restaurants are available all over the country, and they offer all different kinds of food and restaurant experiences. The following locations around the UK offer some of the best dining experiences.

Glasgow

This is the home of some of the best Indian style food in the UK and a growing urban hub. This area is vibrant, and you may be surprised at some of the awesome restaurants available within the city.

Edinburgh

Some classic spots in Edinburgh are known worldwide, such as The Witchery, and the beauty of eating here is that you’re surrounded by ancient landmarks and can soak up the atmosphere in historic buildings.

Manchester

The North of England is often largely overlooked when people are seeking somewhere for fine dining. However, this city pretty much serves as the Northern capital, so the restaurants here are more than able to cater to people in town for business, politics, or entertainment.

York

The former capital is a beautiful historic town full of restaurants that capture the old time feeling of the city that still contains the old walls of the castle. There’s a vibrant theater scene and plenty of delicious places to enjoy a good mean, including the casino, within the town.

London

This may the one city that people around the world can recognize as a hub of fine dining. The restaurants in this city can compete with others on an international scale. You can find whatever gastronomical delights you want in this city.

There are plenty of other places around the UK where you can find some of the best fine dining options in the world.

Top 5 Restaurants in London

While it’s hard to pin point the best restaurants in the UK, there are five that belong in the top spot. These restaurants attract travellers from far and wide, and offer a broad range of tasty foods on their ever-changing menus. No matter what your general taste in food, you are certain to love what is on offer in the following restaurants. And the meal will either be memorable, or keep you coming back for more.

1. Gymkhana, Mayfair

No list of the best British restaurants would be complete without a curry house. However, this restaurant is not a regular curry house. It is much better in terms of ingredients, recipes, overall quality, and dining experience. Many of the best dishes are deceptively simple, but this is a curry house that does every dish exceptionally well. Being in Mayfair, you know you will enjoy a luxurious experience, although the food is the main attraction.

2. The Five Fields, London

This restaurant is in the heart of Chelsea, and is a regular spot for locals who enjoy treating themselves, as well as a space for special occasions for other Londoners. The menu is particularly popular, as tasting menus are available, so you can enjoy a vast selection of their amazing British and European cuisine.

3. Salon, Brixton

A refreshing change to the high-end restaurants of Mayfair, Salon in Brixton is unpretentious, and provides a cozy and rustic atmosphere. The food is honest and simple, and the desserts are generous and tasty.

4. The Clove Club, Shoreditch

Shoreditch is an area that has undergone rapid regeneration and growth over the past few years, and the quality of restaurants there has increased to match.

5. The Connaught, Mayfair

This restaurant is a real institution. Despite being located in a hotel, the restaurant attracts guests from all over the world.

Fine dining in London can be a real experience, especially in one of these restaurants.

Best Fine Dining in Scotland

Scotland is often overlooked as a tourist or holiday destination. Dogged by stories of bad weather, many people assume this windy country has little to offer apart from drizzly camping trips. The lochs, the natural beauty, the whisky, there’s a lot to like about Scotland, but people rarely consider the food. And that’s a crying shame, as in the middle of all the tartan and bagpipes, there are some amazing fine dining opportunities. Plus, due to the large areas of countryside and farm land, many of the products in these restaurants are locally sourced and entirely fresh. The following places are among the best in cities around Scotland.

1. The Table, Edinburgh

This is an unusual concept – there is one table set for ten people, and everyone in the restaurant sits there and eats the food. It’s an unusual concept, but it’s working well for this restaurant which offers a creative menu.

2. Two Fat Ladies at the Buttery, Glasgow

Two Fat Ladies is an institution in Scotland, and absolutely worth a visit next time you’re in Glasgow. The interior is classic and traditional, while the food is all freshly prepared and offers a fantastic array of flavors.

3. The Witchery, Edinburgh

This is a historic institution, and the fabulous menu changes with the seasons so you can be sure of fresh food whenever you visit.

4. The Silver Darling, Aberdeen

The location of The Silver Darling right on the rugged coastline of Northern Scotland couldn’t be home to anything other than an amazing seafood restaurant. You can literally watch the boats bringing in the catch of the day, much of which ends up on a plate in the restaurant.

5. Rocca Restaurant, St Andrews

This restaurant offers both a grill and an a la carte menu within a hotel. The food is creative and excellent quality, while the setting of the restaurant is really spectacular.

Scotland has so much to offer in terms of fine dining – even the casinos offer great food.

Three Michelin Star Restaurants in the UK

The oldest and most respected restaurant and hotel guide is undoubtedly the Michelin Guide. Having a Michelin star can cement the reputation and success of a business, while losing a star can have a dramatically negative effect. The first guide was produced in 1900, and only covered France, in a bid to get people to drive more and boost the sales of the writers’ tire business. Soon, more guides were produced for various countries, and now the guide covers the world – however only a select few establishments make the grade to gain a star. Some institutions manage to get two, or even three stars, in which case you should consider booking a table well in advance, as people will be lining up to try and get a seat.

Only four restaurants in the UK currently have three Michelin stars. These four restaurants are officially the best in the country, and while you may need to book a table a year in advance, the experience can be well worth it.

Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester

This London restaurant is located on the famous Park Lane, and while it may be based in Britain, the cuisine is entirely French. The ingredients are both French and British, and the menu is detailed and crafted to make sure all dishes are original.

The Fat Duck

The Fat Duck gained all three of its Michelin stars in just 3 years – which is incredibly fast and really highlights just how great this restaurant this. The menu here is really experimental, so it’s particularly appealing to anyone adventurous.

Restaurant Gordon Ramsey

Gordon Ramsey may now be a household name, however around twenty years ago he was a chef who opened his first restaurant. That restaurant now has 3 Michelin stars, and he is the first Scottish chef to have achieve this accolade.

The Waterside Inn, Berkshire

This restaurant belongs to a famous cooking family – so you are in safe hands here, as generations of knowledge is in the kitchen.

These are without doubt the best of what the UK can offer.

Famous British Chefs

While people only used to look to France for the best chefs, that has now changed. These days, British chefs and British food are very much desired, and you can find great meals on the street, in cafes, casinos, and small independent restaurants. A few of the pioneering British chefs are listed below, and if you ever get the opportunity to eat at one of their restaurants, you really should take it.

These guys are among several who have changed the face of British cuisine, and they’re worth checking out if you’re looking for inspiration.

Heston Blumenthal

Heston Blumenthal owns the triple Michelin star rated restaurant, The Fat Duck, and is best known as an extraordinarily experimental and creative chef. Some of his most well-known creations include Scotch eggs with a soft center – a traditional British dish made a thousand times better. His restaurants are definitely an experience, as he believes in a multi-sensory approach to cooking.

Gordon Ramsey

Gordon Ramsey is the first Scottish chef to ever attain three Michelin stars, which is a huge achievement. His restaurant Gordon Ramsey, is in London, and is frequently noted as one of the best restaurants in the capital, if not the world. He is also a TV personality and author.

Jamie Oliver

Jamie Oliver is a well known chef who is particularly skilled at Italian style food and home-style comfort food cooked with incredible flair. He has a chain of restaurants if your budget doesn’t stretch too far, as well as Barbecoa in St Pauls and Piccadilly, if you want to try out something more unique. He also has cook books you can try, and is known for working towards healthier children’s meals in the UK.

There are plenty of other amazing chefs in the UK, all you need to do is find the time to sample all their menus.

Fine Dining in the North of England

While a lot of tourists hit London and Scotland, the North East of England is unjustifiably overlooked. Perhaps due to its industrious history, it’s assumed that the area is littered with factories and workers, and not exactly a hub of fine dining and culture. While the North does have a proud working history, it also has some amazing cultural scenes and is renowned for its music, theater, art and food. This area has its own personality separate to the rest of the country, and the atmosphere and vibrancy of this area fits in with the modern twists on classic cuisine that often appear in the area.

1. Newcastle

Home to the Metro Radio Arena, St James Park, the Metro Centre, and a few theaters and other music venues, the Millennium Bridge, art galleries, and two universities, there are plenty of reasons to find yourself in Newcastle. While here, you can enjoy amazing fine dining in the UK. House of Tides on the Quayside is owned by a double Michelin star winning chef, and is the first place you should try to visit. Peace and Loaf in Jesmond is famous in the local area for some fabulous tasting menus, while Blackfriars is also at the Quayside, and offers the best of British and European dishes.

2. Durham

Durham is home to a world class university, a famous cathedral, and several art and theater shows every year. It’s a picture perfect historical city nestled in the North East of England, and it’s harder to find anywhere with such amazing scenery and architecture. While exploring the quaint city, it’s well worth sampling their fine dining options, including The Cellar Door and DH1.

3. Alnwick

In Northumberland, Alnwick castle is one of the most famous landmarks since it was used as the set of Hogwarts in the Harry Potter films. While the castle and grounds are beautiful, the fine dining in The Treehouse restaurant in the gardens is the main attraction.

The North East has plenty to offer, so come sample some of the fine dining options listed above.

Top Restaurants in the North West

The North West of England is well known for a variety of reasons. For one, the Beatles themselves came from Liverpool, while Manchester is the home town of famous TV shows, Oasis, and artists. It’s the birth place of a variety of movements that have taken place across the UK throughout history, and it’s now a world famous spot for culture. The universities are world class as are the theatres, art galleries, music venues, and the restaurants. Now the restaurants are internationally renowned and you can find some amazing fine dining spots at various cities across the North West of England. There’s nothing stopping you from sampling some of the best food the world has to offer while in the North West, so why not try some of these eateries next time you’re in town.

1. Manchester

Whether you’re visiting the kids at university or just in town for a concert or weekend on the town, there are some high class places to visit while you’re here. With an international airport close by, it’s worth spending a night in town while waiting for your flight. The French is the first stop for most people, which is understandable as the tasting menu showcases the best of what Britain has to offer. James Martin Manchester is located inside Manchester 235 Casino and uses amazing local and seasonal ingredients to bring awesome food, whether you’re gambling or not.

2. Liverpool

The first stop for many visitors to Liverpool is the Cavern Club, but once you’ve satisfied your taste for pop culture, you can head to some great fine dining establishments, such as Panoramic 34 or Alma de Cuba.

3. Chester

This picturesque and pretty town is quaint, but it offers some awesome fine dining experiences that are not common to every small town. Upstairs at The Grill stands out in particular.

The North West has plenty to offer, fine dining included, and is well worth a visit.