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5 Ultimate Foodie Escapes in the UK
From mouth-watering Michelin starred restaurants to good ol’ fashioned farmers markets, we’ve rounded up the best travel destinations for foodies that the UK has on offer.
The picturesque stretch of hilly land with crisscrossed winding country lanes and postcard-perfect villages is renowned for its locally-sourced and seasonal ingredients. The Cotswolds is now a hub for trendy eateries, including The Wild Rabbit in Oxfordshire, offering an array of delectable dishes and wines in the most gorgeous of settings. The Champignon Sauvage in Cheltenham is a suave Michelin-starred gastro delight serving modern French cuisine with a twist, also well worth a visit. The enchanting Pythouse Kitchen Garden gifts walled gardens, a scrumptious homegrown menu and is a truly unique and magical place too. Both Stroud Farmers’ Market and Daylesford Farm are organic heavens, the latter boasting mountains of cheese, gigantic raw salads and wholesome soups to take away and enjoy in your luxury Cotswolds home-from-home.
Stay at: Filly Island, Faerie Door Cottage, The Woodlanders, Burdock Fox, Valentina’s Lost Orangery
High on the foodie hit list is Wales. Mostly famed for its scrumptious Welsh cakes and succulent lamb, there’s a lot more to this ‘lush’ country than meets the plate. The award-winning Cwtch* St Davids’ restaurant in Pembrokeshire delivers British classics with a contemporary twist, focusing on quality, sustainable locally-sourced produce. One of the leading establishments of gourmet food in South Wales is The Walnut Tree, expect a carefully-crafted seasonal menu and plenty of first-class wines to match. Abergavenny has been dubbed by critics as the capital of Welsh cuisine, where Abergavenny Food Festival takes the whole town by culinary storm in September. Situated in an old stone farm building on the Bodnant Estate near Conwy is the Bodnant Welsh Food Centre which showcases the best artisan food that Wales has to offer. Explore the farm shop, restaurant, dairy, bakery and cookery school, all of which use home-grown produce from the estate itself.
Stay at: The Cable Hut, Florin, Eiranfa
The Jurassic Coast has an abundance of enticing eateries on offer, specialising in sensational seafood restaurants in particular. The Crab House Café close to Chesil Beach serves fresh shucked oysters picked from its own oyster beds just outside the front door. On a summer’s day soak up the sun in the courtyard that overlooks the beach, which could almost be mistaken for the Caribbean! Hix Oyster and Fish House offers equally stunning views, and tantalising dishes in the most charming of settings. Dorset is awash with food festivals throughout summer, The Christchurch Food & Wine Festival takes place each May, Bridport Food Festival in June and The Pommery Dorset Seafood Festival brings together champagne and seafood around Weymouth's picturesque harbour in July. Hugh Fearnley Fernery Wittingstall’s famous River Cottage also sits on the Devon Dorset border which is a must visit if you find yourself in the area.
Stay at: Under the Greenwood, The Carriage House, Prairie De Gorge
Also known as the Garden of Eden, Kent is alive with fruit-laden orchards, luscious farmland and pretty little fishing villages. Head to Wheelers oyster bar, a hidden gem in Whitstable rustling up tantalising tapas and fresh local delicacies. The seductive Samphire restaurant is situated down the road, where simplicity and good quality is at the core of the menu, whilst JoJo’s close by boasts mouth-watering mezes, meat and fish options. Pop the Whitstable Oyster Festival in your diary for July, where the town comes alive with activity. Warlingham Sausage and Cider Music Festival also comescome highly recommended. If you’re still peckish, Kent homes a variety of farmers’ markets including Elm Court, Tonbridge and Aylesford where you can source amongst the most scrumptious of seasonal goodies in the county.
Stay at: Blue Point, The Restoratory, The Butlery, Bluebird Cottage, Artists’ Beach House
Supposedly the crème de la crème brulee of the UK’s food scene, Cornwall, is peppered with award-winning restaurants, cafes, eateries and more. Whether you want to pop your food foraging cherry with Fat Hen near Penzance, try an outdoor cooking class with the Cornish Wild Food company or attend an exciting culinary evening with a difference hosted by Wild Wine Club, the West Country likes to push the edible boundaries. For front row seats of the surf and the freshest tapas around, head to Porthmeor Beach Café in St Ives, or Nathan Outlaw’s boasts an exquisite two Michelin starred menu, Paul Ainsworth’s No. 6 in Padstow offers an experimental selection of seafood which is a must try and Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen delivers a unique dining experience overlooking Watergate Bay. In April explore the Porthleven Food Festival and listen to top chef demonstrations, whilst the Great Cornish Food Festival held in Truro each September is a 3-day gastro extravaganza!
Stay at: Mackeral Skies, Pepper Cove, Seasalt, The Fish Store plus many more