Lympstone Manor, Devon
Following a decade heading up the kitchen at Devon’s Michelin-anointed Gidleigh Park, in 2017 Michael Caines opened up a restaurant with rooms of his own. At the mouth of the Exe estuary, Lympstone Manor is an exquisitely restored country mansion that’s home to 21 hotel rooms, a vineyard, and Caines’ very own restaurant – which rightly gained a star of its own within a year of opening. Make sure to opt for the Estuary Tasting Menu, which features seven courses inspired by the spoils of the local environment: think Brixham scallop with tapenade, aubergine and tomato vinaigrette, followed by Lyme Bay lemon sole served with asparagus, button onions, white wine foam. Afternoon tea in one of the two beautiful dining rooms offers further opportunity to gaze out the windows and across the Devonshire countryside. The manor has a fleet of bicycles available for guests to use to explore the coast – the perfect way to work up an appetite.
Exmouth, Devon EX8 3NZ
Nestled in the basement of Jersey’s Club Hotel & Spa is Bohemia, a Michelin-starred restaurant headed up by Steve Smith, who earned his first star at the ripe age of 24. The Channel Island may not be the first place that springs to mind when it comes to fine dining, but Bohemia pulls out all the stops, serving up some seriously innovative (and seriously delicious) dishes. Go for the traditional tasting menu and prepare to be wowed with every morsel, amuse bouche and palette cleanser: our favourite bites included shrimps with pistachio and brown butter, followed by duck salad with foie gras cream, sea buckthorn, kumquat and pistachio. The 250-page wine list won’t go amiss either and the service, naturally, is faultless.
St Helier, Jersey JE2 4UH
Loch Bay, Isle of Skye
Michael Smith left renowned Isle of Skye restaurant The Three Chimneys in 2015 after 11 years in the kitchen – gaining it a Michelin star in the process. He now cooks at his own restaurant Loch Bay, also on the highland isle, serving up unpretentious seafood dishes full of the flavours of Scotland. A contemporary restaurant that melds Scottish cuisine with French influences, Smith won a star in 2018 for a menu replete with twice-dived Sconser scallops, with citrus fruits, hazelnuts and sorrel, followed by Waternish venison served with chanterelles an a tattie scone. Seafood fans should order the ‘Scottish Fruits de Mer’ tasting menu, which puts local fish and shellfish at the heart of its dishes.
Stein, Isle of Skye IV55 8GA
The Black Swan at Oldstead, Yorkshire
The kitchen at this Michelin-starred bolthole is manned by by Tommy Banks – who you may recognise as the rather dashing winner of the Great British Menu in both 2016 and 2017. Owned and run by the Banks family, who have lived and farmed around Oldstead for generations, The Black Swan offers plenty of tradition and culture, cut through with a modern earthy exuberance. The tasting menu is inspired by the ingredients that are grown and foraged in and around the local area – highlights include scallop cured in beetroot juice; raw deer with wild garlic; and langoustine with salted strawberry. Nine beautiful, yet characterful bedrooms complete the lineup. Keep an eye out for Roots, Banks’ new launch in York that opens in September 2018. We predict more mastery.
Oldstead, Yorkshire YO61 4BL
Ynyshir is a relative newcomer on the restaurant scene: the Michelin-starred restaurant with rooms is located on the Welsh coast near Snowdonia National Park and opened in 2016. Led by chef-owner Gareth Ward, the kitchen turns out ‘slow food’ – much time and care is taken in ageing, pickling, foraging, salting, preserving and souring ingredients. At this intimate restaurant, all guests are seated at the same time and are served the same 19-course menu (self-described as ‘meat-obsessed’ this isn’t really one for vegetarians): current highlights include Welsh wagyu ribs, Welsh lamb and signature starter ‘Not Onion Soup’. We recommend booking one of Ynyshir’s stylishly decorated bedrooms (available in the main Victorian house or in the gardens) and making a long weekend of it – the surrounding countryside is beyond picturesque.
Eglwys Fach, Machynlleth SY20 8TA
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