Restaurant guide SquareMeal has announced its best UK restaurants of 2018, outside the capital – as voted for by reviewers as well as customers.
Here’s our lowdown on the top 5 and what you absolutely have to order if you can nab a table…
Casamia offers seasonal, Michelin-starred food whipped up by chef Peter Sanchez-Iglesias. It’s a family run business too, and has been feeding people since 1999, so they know what they’re about.
Order the… tasting menu – you haven’t got a choice, it’s all that’s available, but you’re sure to be well fed and frequently surprised (on today: snacks, salad, beetroot, brown trout, john dory, duck, passion fruit, apples and sweets).
This Lake District restaurant and hotel is chef Simon Rogan’s doing. With two Michelin stars, what’s served at the table is more than likely to be seasonal, organic produce from Rogan’s nearby farm – and for TV geeks, it featured on the BBC’s The Trip, with Rob Brydon and Steve Coogan.
Order the… tasting menu, and enjoy the veggies most of all.
Ostensibly still a pub, this is a pub with some serious foodie credentials. Run by Stephen Harrison, it’s big on local seafood and the simple handling of ingredients. Can’t get a table? Order the cookbook instead and attempt some dishes at home.
Order the… slip sole grilled in seaweed butter – it’s what they’re famed for.
The work of Raymond Blanc, the chefs are supplied with produce from the hotel’s beautiful kitchen gardens – from the micro herbs to polytunnels filled with courgettes. We recommend signing up for one of their cooking courses too, where you can learn to barbecue like a pro.
Order the… five-course lunch, and hope the wild garlic soup is on.
Science, wizardry and food meet at Heston Blumenthal’s much celebrated Fat Duck restaurant. Prepare to have all your senses utterly wowed by the food, which is more experience than standard dinner fare, and is largely inspired by childhood memories. Also, it’s got a whopping three Michelin stars.
Order the… well, this one’s another fixed tasting menu, but the mock turtle soup and sound of the sea (it involves an iPod) are said to be the highlights.
Making up the rest of the top 10 are: The Hand & Flowers in Marlow, Degrees in Brighton, Restaurant Sat Bains in Nottingham, Midsummer House in Cambridge, and The Waterside Inn, Maidenhead.