Nine Scrumptious UK Farm-to-Fork Restaurants to Book Now
We’ve feasted at the finest farm-to-fork restaurants in the UK to bring you the menus that are worth travelling for. Handmade condiments, hyperlocal ingredients and newly harvested vegetables, here we come
14 October, 2022
Immersive dining experiences and experiential interiors are all very well, but what about the eateries that are connecting land to table - the places that are housing climate-conscious menus? We've travelled the length and breadth of the UK to bring you the addresses offering sensibly foraged and locally sourced ingredients. Sure, they might not all be pimped up with bunting and Instagram-friendly living walls, but they all promise a top-notch meal that will no doubt leave you feeling pretty smug about smashing your five-a-day in one sitting.
Field day: nine of the UK's finest farm-to-fork restaurants
Ever heard of a restaurant that rustles up grub so fresh it doesn't have time for menus? Us neither, until we stumbled across Osip. Slap-bang in the centre of Bruton's handsome, honey-hued high street, this pocket-sized space is fuelled by a talented group of farmers, growers, hunters and gatherers - along with Devonshire-raised chef Merlin Labron-Johnson, who was awarded a Michelin star when he was just 24, nine months after opening his first restaurant, Portland. Each morning, the kitchen team receives a doorstep delivery of freshly picked produce (taken from their two nearby plots of land), which they use to craft delicate dishes. For diners, the absence of menus to pore over means anticipating a surprise of flavours - dietary requirements can be accommodated with prior notice. Take a seat amid a muted palette of pale linens, duck-egg blue banquets and exposed-stone walls festooned with dried vegetables and abstract prints and prepare to be impressed.
1 High St, Bruton BA10 0AB
We're glad that three Sussex brothers swapped the countryside for the Big Smoke, because it resulted in the 2014-opened Rabbit, a love letter to the Gladwin boys' nature-filled childhood, which beautifully fuses urban grit with countryside chic. Neon-pink LED signs, scrap-metal ceilings, whitewashed brick walls, tractor doors and jars stuffed with all sorts of outdoor finds are just a few of the dramatic design details that we're obsessed with. The zero-waste menu comes courtesy of the family farm, Nutbourne, with standouts including cod cheeks, red prawns and lamb rump. Visit on a Sunday, when the famous Rabbit roast will cure any sore heads from the night before. And if the Yorkshire puds don't do the trick, the caramelised apple tart sure will. Locals will know that this isn't the brothers' first rodeo: head to their Notting Hill outpost, The Shed, for more delicious dishes.
172 King's Rd, London SW3 4UP
Grace & Savour
Grace & Savour, a five-bed restaurant with rooms on the outskirts of Solihull, is paving the way for a foodie renaissance in the West Midlands, one Cornish lobster tail, softly smoky leek and kombucha brew at a time. Nestled within a Victorian walled garden on the Hampton Manor estate, this light-filled, 26-seater restaurant offers a 15-course tasting menu - yep, you read that right - helmed by chef David Taylor and his wife Anette. A visit includes a garden tour with David, plus a stay in one of the seriously snug bedrooms - think walk-in rainfall showers, side tables made from tree trunks and playfully scalloped headboards. Want to recreate the experience at home? Book onto a two-hour cookery class that will teach you how to craft your own dish from the spoils of the garden.
Hampton Manor, Shadowbrook Ln, Hampton in Arden, Solihull B92 0EN
The Small Holding
It's a family affair at The Small Holding, which is headed up by brothers and chefs Will and Matt Devlin, and offers a slice of rural living for city dwellers. An hour's drive from London, the restaurant has a fresh, seasonal menu that celebrates the finest ingredients from the region, seamlessly connecting the land to table. Anything that hasn't been foraged is handmade, from the bread and butter to an expansive charcuterie selection. While there is no traditional menu to browse, guests are offered a multi-course dining experience with ingredients that have been harvested that same day. Our picks from the autumn sample menu include the Pitchfork cheddar, venison, and garlic-drizzled monkfish.
Ranters Ln, Kilndown, Cranbrook TN17 2SG
Inver is located on the banks of Scotland's wild and untamed Loch Fyne, overlooking the glistening Lachlan Bay. The restaurant itself has been there since the 60s, but was reimagined in 2015, when culinary couple Pam Brunton and Rob Latimer made it theirs. The menu beats the drum for Scotland's local larder, with many of the ingredients sourced straight from the loch - dogfish, mackerel, trout, crab and oyster to name but a few. As evening arrives, a romantic air sweeps over the place, with open fires and candlelit tables creating an intimate atmosphere. Bring your main squeeze and work your way through the tasting menu, which comes in at £79pp.
Strathlachlan, Strachur, Argyll & Bute PA27 8BU
A working farm in the quiet Cornish village of Lewannick, Coombeshead, run by chefs Tom Adams and April Bloomfield, is also a five-bed guesthouse, restaurant and bakery. Spread across 27 hectares of dense woodland and fertile valley, the operation grows all of its own produce on-site - minus citrus, olive oil and coffee, which are impressively the only imports. A feast here begins with a basket brimming with fresh-from-the-oven sourdough loaves served with a creamy butter - which, in itself, is so divine that you'll be hard pressed not to lick the plate. Then, marinated vegetables, homemade yoghurt and crispy duck will be rolled out, followed by custard-drizzled strawberries. Be warned: rooms book up faster than a Coldplay concert, so check dates in advance if you want to bed down amid hand-dyed cushions, vases stuffed with fresh flowers and organic homemade toiletries. Open from Wednesday to Sunday.
Lewannick, Launceston PL15 7QQ
Matt Powell has always had a close connection to the tide and land that surrounds him, so it's no surprise that he set up this sustainable eatery on the Pembrokeshire coast. Keen to share his knowledge on picking sensibly, Powell's foraging courses, which cost from £70pp, will take you from collecting humble acorn and gorse flower to butchering mountain lamb and catching your own lobster. Not your vibe? Make a dinner reservation to enjoy all the delights, just minus the muddy bit. Order the egg in the woodland - a slow-cooked duck egg yolk served with preserved chanterelles and oxalis in a chanterelle sauce - the lobster and shoreline delights is also a great choice. End on a sweet note with the chocolate cockle shells - which is seriously up there among the best desserts we've ever tasted.
The Old Potting Shed, Lawrenny, Kilgetty SA68 0PW
Hearth at Heckfield Place
If you told us to dream up a space that defined the word "cosy", we'd march straight to Heckfield Place and use it as our template. The 45-key Georgian hotel is home to two stellar in-house restaurants: Marle and Hearth. We're heading straight to Hearth, where guests can watch their food being cooked over an open fire. Once the estate's stables, the space has retained much of its original character, with bare-brick walls and arch-shaped windows complementing by dark-wood tables and chairs dressed in fluffy rugs. Stuck on what to order? The burrata with pickled squash and leek draws crowds of hungry locals.
Heckfield Pl, Hook RG27 0LD
Not without very good reason has this neighbourhood restaurant picked up three Michelin stars. L'Enclume is housed in a former blacksmith's, hence the anvil symbol you'll see dotted about the place. Chef-owner Simon Rogan was a pioneer in creating menus that revolve around local sourcing and foraging, and today, much of the restaurant's produce comes from its nearby farm. The tasting menus don't come cheap, but are well worth it if you're marking a special occasion. For a more affordable but no less epicurean experience, opt for a set lunch at Rogan and Co, a two-minute walk around the corner.
9-7 The Square, LA11 6QB