Amazing Restaurants

Shrimps - flckr - Oyvind SolstadOur cities may be teeming with takeaways, gastro-pubs and celebrity chef endorsed boutiques, yet booking a week in advance for a table, paying “inner-city” prices, and the general hubbub you find within most restaurants of popular renown, isn't the culinary ideal of everyone.

But what makes an amazing restaurant? Is it purely impeccably presented food? Culinary creativity? Atmospheric ambience? Or is it the character and charm of it's locality; the friendliness of staff, and just simple, unfussy food cooked to perfection? Some of the best restaurants in the U.K are the one's you hear about through word of mouth and recommendation. We take a look at just a few of the establishments, whose localities may be rural, but whose reputations are competing with the likes of Michelin starred boutiques in our major cities.

The Riverside Restaurant, Bridport, Dorset
Taking pride in the simplicity of their seafood dishes, The Riverside Restaurant is also a staunch supporter of the local fishing economy, sourcing the entirety of their seafood stock from the fresh catches of the locals on a daily basis. Located on West Bay, Bridport; The Riverside occupies a relatively conservative looking building at the water's edge – prime location for enjoying a Dorset coastal sunset, as you tuck into palate provoking concoctions of Curried Mussel Soup, Grilled Black Bream with Wild Mushroom Risotto, or local favourite, Pan Fried Halloumi drizzled with a chilli and lime dressing. The Riverside Restaurant's simple, yet creative approach to native fish dishes earned it the coveted “Taste of Dorset” Best Restaurant 2010 Award, along with critical acclaim from several national press publications. Holiday cottages in Dorset.


Sir Charles Napier Inn, Chinnor, Oxfordshire
From the exterior, the red-brick Sir Charles Napier Inn strikes a similar resemblance to many of the local semi-rural inns of the area. Yet walking through it's heavy wooden doors, you are instantly greeted by the wafting aroma of smoked haddock, while your eyes feast upon surprisingly contemporary décor, complimented by characteristic wooden beams and exposed floorboards. The menu reads like that of a boutique London restaurant, with offerings of Confit of Duck and Braised Orange Endive; Cornish Gurnard with Crushed Potatoes and Pan Fried Polenta, with Parsley Root Puree. The garden lures patrons with the scent of summer jasmine and roses, and the prices keep them coming back, despite the M40 commute! Cotswolds cottages.


The Highwayman Inn, Burrow, Cumbria
Combining the stylishness of a gastro-pub, with the rustic simplicity of a country tavern; Nigel Haworth's acclaimed Highwayman Inn is a hidden Cumbrian gem. Sourcing practically all of the menu stock from local producers, Haworth recreates simple, yet tasty dishes which regional natives have enjoyed for Centuries. Goosnargh Cornfed Chicken Liver Paté is enhanced by a simple infusion of golden raisins and Cumberland Sauce, while the Elmwood Platters present locally caught seafood, on a bed of pickled cucumber, beetroot and yellow beet – spiced with a little horseradish sauce. Sunday roasts are a local favourite, complimented by the ever- growing encyclopedic wine list. Places to stay in Cumbria.


Braidwoods, Drumastle Mill, Ayrshire, Scotland
Rural Scotland is probably one of the finest sources of meat, wild vegetables and inspiration; possibly why Braidwoods in Drumastle Mill is so popular. The humble looking cottage in one of Ayrshire's most picturesque villages, is the “baby” of cuisine-obsessives Keith and Nicola Braidwood. The couple have long been known for their eclectic fusion of Scottish produce with Indian, Oriental and Eastern European twists, including Pan Fried Lancashire Pork Fillet with Caper Sauce, and Wester Ross Scallops on a Coriander, Cardamom and Tomato Dal. For the price of your average city bar meal and beer, you could be enjoying haute-cuisine within a Michelin starred restaurant, just a stone's throw from Dalry's beautiful Caaf Water Loch. Ayrshire Holiday accommodation.


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