Earlier this month Steve Plotnicki and Opinionated About Dining released their list of the top 50 restaurants in Europe. Only seven establishments from the UK made the list, and only one of these made the top ten, with Heston Blumenthal’s Fat Duck coming in at number eight. To highlight the quality of the UK’s fine-dining, Travelzoo has launched a map of the UK’s best fine-dining restaurants, showing where to go in Britain for an elegant night of exquisite food. The map has been created with the help of the UK’s food bloggers and there were some clear restaurant favourites. Here we take a look at six of the most exclusive fine-dining restaurants in the UK:
Kitchen Table at Bubbledogs, London
Located next to the Bubbledogs restaurant, and run by the same team, Kitchen Table is one of the hottest foodie hotspots to land in London in the last six months. Seating just 19 people, Kitchen Table guests are invited to sit around the actual kitchen, with the chefs (not waiters) personally serving up the dishes they create. It’s an intimate setting and an opportunity not only to eat incredible food, but also to learn something new, as the chefs talk through the ingredients and cooking techniques. A 12-14 course menu from September 2014 will cost £88 a head, currently £78.
Established in 1999, Casamia is one of the most inventive Michelin-starred restaurants in the UK. Influenced by the way Japanese restaurants use the seasons to shape menus, and playing on all five senses (sight, sound, smell, touch and taste), the dishes served at Casamia are extraordinary. The ‘Breakfast Egg’ is making waves in the foodie community. The Critical Couple had this to say about it: ‘How much can you fit in an egg? Lots it seems: toast, mushrooms, black pudding, pancetta, and of course, aerated scrambled egg. Ketchup; yes, ketchup too. Amazing how much you can get in there, beautifully well done in every way (look at the presentation below), a meal and all the joy that goes with a good breakfast in a single egg shell.’ Chef’s Table Menu available from £75 a head.
Three Chimneys, Skye
Three Chimneys has been receiving international acclaim for over three decades, priding itself on outstanding food service and using the most authentic ingredients available from Skye’s natural larder. With dishes like River Esk Sea Trout & Sconser Scallop with Anna Potatoes, asparagus, blood orange & seaweed dressing, chef and director Michael Smith and his team are dedicated to creating dishes that truly reflect Scotland’s culinary heritage. Although buried in the vast island of Skye, any foodie worth their salt with have a trip here pencilled in; as the Critical Couple say ‘The Three Chimneys is 633 miles from our house but is without doubt worth every mile of the journey. We are already plotting our return.’ The Taste of Skye dinner tasting menu starts at £90.00 a head.
A perfect blend of tradition and innovation, L’enclume is found up a windy road in an old farmhouse in the heart of Cumbria. Tasting menus focus on traditional dishes with a contemporary twist; sticky toffee pudding served as five different gel balls, noodle soup with an egg solution injected into it right at the table and curiously named mains like ‘Surrealist’s Nitro Slammer’. A firm favourite on the gourmet scene, the restaurant attracts visitors from all over the UK with overnight accommodation available. Tasting Menus available for £120 a head. (Cod yolk, salt and vinegar dish pictured).
Pied a Terre, London
This two-Michelin-star restaurant in the heart of London has chef Marcus Eaves at the helm, creating carefully prepared and perfectly executed dishes. Seafood and fish lovers will particularly enjoy a visit, with dishes ranging like Sesame seared mackerel with carrot and star anis purée, shaved fennel salad, atsina cress (pictured). The atmosphere is sophisticated; the right blend of polite, professional and relaxing. A 10-course tasting menu is available from £105 a head.
Manchester House, Manchester
Located in Tower 12, the Manchester House restaurant is not what it first appears to be. The ‘normal’ façade of a city tower shouldn’t fool you – inside is Aiden Byrne’s restaurant, serving up luxurious dishes in a comfortable and fun atmosphere. How you dine is up to you – choose à la carte or dine at the Chef’s Table. A tasting menu is available for both lunch and dinner and includes scrumptious morsels such as Aylesbury snails and wild garlic tartlet; rosé veal fillet, English peas and lardo; strawberries, ewe’s milk ice cream and panna cotta. A 13-course taster menu is available from £95 a head.
Find out more: Travelzoo have launched fine-dining map showing 200 of the best restaurants all over the UK, with recommendations from the UK’s foodie bloggers.