Now England can dine out on delicious seasonal produce in celebrity chef restaurants and any number of local cafes, restaurants and foodie pubs doing it right. The default position is the Sunday roast, fried fish and chips, pies in pastry or topped with mash. Choose carefully.
1. Broadway Deli, Worcestershire
This Cotswold powerhouse of local and deli produce serves great coffee and deliciously different choices on the light lunch menu including vegetarian options, juices. (Lunch Noon – 4:00pm). The deli section really rocks and there’s food-to-go such as salad boxes, filled rolls and baguettes, home-made lasagne, quiches.
2. Clayton’s Kitchen, Bath
Open for breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner with light bites, set menus or the works. Seasonal a la carte offerings from Michelin-starred chef Rob Clayton – Godminster cheddar bon bons with cider and apple chutney; honey roast duck breast with pak choi, cassis sauce.
3. The Daffodil, Gloucestershire
In a former 1920’s cinema, think sweeping staircases and art deco glamour for the surroundings, classic dishes with a twist for the food. Two-course and bar menus, ‘matinee’ afternoon tea, a la carte, lobster dinner, tasting and pudding menus – comfort food and a side of pizzazz.
4. Outlaw’s Fish Kitchen, Cornwall
Foodies know Restaurant Nathan Outlaw here (degustation menu and four-course lunch menu), but there’s also the fabulous Fish Kitchen. Porthilly oysters followed by seafood plates, tapas-style, such as beer-cured salmon, cucumber and seaweed; cuttlefish curry, chickpeas, aubergine and spinach. Chunky chips as a side.
5. The Ox, Bristol
When you just fancy a steak, find this icon for meat-lovers in a basement beneath Bristol’s Commercial Rooms. British to the bone, this steak and cocktail bar serves a wide range of dishes as well the signature steaks (fish, duck, vegetarian) small plates and charcuterie.
6. Porthminster Café, Cornwall
Known for delicious Asian and Mediterranean seafood dishes, this award-winning café is open for coffee (from 9am) breakfast, lunch and dinner. The Porthmeor Café, Porthmeor Beach, St Ives is also open all day with tapas dishes served noon to 9:00pm.
7. Fifteen: On The Beach, Cornwall
Serving Italian with a Cornish twist, this glass-fronted restaurant overlooking the bay is an iconic Jamie Oliver special with ingredients sourced solely from Cornwall and Italy (all profits go to Fifteen’s Cornwall Food Foundation for managing a chef apprentice programme).
8. Crab House Café, Dorset
The South West has numerous seafood cafes and ‘crab shacks’. Overlooking Chesil Beach, the no-nonsense Crab House serves daily seafood specials depending on the local catch. Think spicy whole crab; turbot steak with saffron cream and mussels; Megrim sole baked with chilli and lime; oysters.
9. Foodie Pubs
No list of places to eat would be complete without pubs and asking your concierge or host for local recommendations is the best possible advice. Examples include The Wheatsheaf Inn, West End, Northleach, Gloucestershire; Rick Stein’s The Cornish Arms, St Merryn, Padstow, Cornwall.
10. Food Made by Bob, Cirencester
Fresh seasonal food from this high-end deli and café, open for breakfast, coffee, lunch, tea as well as supper on Friday. Chef loves Italian, sourcing ingredients from Sardinia as well as locally and preparing all dishes on site (and in sight) in the open kitchen.