UK Foodie Destinations Loved by Our Favourite Chefs

From Edinburgh’s tastiest dumplings to Cambridge's creamiest cheese, we’ve called upon our favourite chefs to share their favourite UK foodie destinations for a gastronomic getaway.

During any kind of culinary conversation, slipping in that you're a self-confessed foodie has become an unwritten rule - even if soggy beans on toast is as far as your skillset goes. But, being a true epicure goes well beyond adding #foodporn onto your Instagram story at brunch, or subscribing to Jessie and Lennie Ware's Table Manners podcast.

If, like us, you spend your spare time impersonating Rick Stein by dusting salmon fillets with cajun spice, then it's time to set your sights on a saporous staycation. We've called upon the coolest chefs to give us the goods on the UK destinations they're obsessed with, plus the must-visit restaurants and food stores to check out while you're there - you can thank us later.

Culinary connoisseurs: eight delicious UK foodie destinations

restaurant 22 interior

Cambridge, England

Tristan Welch, head chef, Parker’s Tavern

Why it should be on your radar: From punting along Cambridge's River Cam, to cycling through its winding cobblestoned streets - or enjoying a pub crawl around its old-school boozers - this university city makes a superb long-weekend getaway for you and your gang. Beauty aside, it's also got a pretty tasty food scene. One of the city's best-loved chefs, Tristan Welch, tells us where to go for a marvellous munch.

Best restaurant: "Restaurant 22 gets my vote. Reserve a table for 8pm to enjoy its short tasting menu, where olives meet seaweed and winter truffles by the kilo."

Best food store: "Culinaris is the sort of place you enter to grab one thing and come out with bags brimming. My basket? After stocking up on an enormous amount of French, British and Italian cheeses, I reach for a crusty baguette, pickles, hand-churned Italian butter, wild mushrooms and flat peaches."

portrait of romy gill

Glasgow, Scotland

Romy Gill MBE, chef, food writer and broadcaster

Why it should be on your radar: Glasgow isn't necessarily the first place that springs to mind when planning an under-the-radar gastronomic getaway, but hear us out. A hotbed of artisan coffee houses and design-driven restaurants, it's little surprise that legendary chef Romy Gill gives it the thumbs-up. Spend afternoons taste-testing haggis, before stopping off at Bon Accord - the best place for a sharp Scottish whisky.

Best restaurant: "Alchemilla is Glasgow's go-to when it comes to tasty and sustainable sharing plates. Dishes are borrowed from the Mediterranean, and the focaccia is superb."

Best food store: "The shelves at Billington's are loaded with homemade and locally sourced produce. To take a slice of Glasgow home with you, grab a hamper or design your own bespoke basket."

at the chapel restaurant interior

Bruton, Somerset

Lucy Carr-Ellison and Jemima Jones, chef-patrons, Wild by Tart

Why it should be on your radar: We've said it before and we'll say it again: Somerset is a landscape oozing with creativity. Look beyond the bucolic meadows and winding country lanes and you'll find a bevy of sustainable restaurants, boutique hotels and cutting-edge galleries. Bruton's infectious spirit and unconventional energy has long delighted resident Jemima Jones, one half of restaurant, retail and events space Wild by Tart. We asked her to let us in on the best foodie hotspots this place has to offer.

Best restaurant: "Holm is our favourite restaurant. Its laid-back dining room is housed within a converted barn, and the farm-to-table menu is exceptional."

Best food store: "It's impossible for us to pick one, so have two. At The Chapel is one to watch - a restaurant with rooms, wine store and bakery all at one address. Then, there's Pinsents Deli in Castle Cary, where we suggest stuffing your basket with cheese wheels and truffle sausages."

brecon beacon wales

Brecon Beacons, Wales

James Knappett, chef-patron, Kitchen Table

Why it should be on your radar: Wales offers one of the UK's most rugged landscapes. With three vast national parks, dramatic mountain ranges and a smattering of quintessential harbour towns, we're pegging it as the ultimate city escape. To adventure in the same style as chef James Knappett, head to the bleak but beautiful setting of the Brecon Beacons.

Best restaurant: "Located on the edge of Snowdonia National Park, Ynyshir is Wales' first two-Michelin-starred restaurant. It's run by a great friend of mine, Gareth Ward, who constantly upgrades the menu to reflect the restaurant's nearby surroundings. Upstairs, there are 10 cosy rooms, should you wish to linger a little longer."

Best food store: "For all your Welsh lamb needs, swing by the Welsh Venison Centre."


Windsor, Berkshire

Chet Sharma, chef-patron, Bibi

Why it should be on your radar: Windsor is often recognised for its royal roots, but beyond its charming ceremonial backdrop lies a town dotted by quirky cafés, bohemian boutiques and a handful of very good gastropubs. We caught up with Chet Sharma to get the inside scoop on his favourite foodie boltholes.

Best restaurant: "Nestled on the edge of Home Park, Windsor Farm Shop draws crowds for its pure-bred Sussex beef. Housed in what were originally Victorian potting sheds, it's worth visiting for its coffee shop alone."

Best food store: "The Fifield Inn serves up an excellent menu of elevated pub grub. Pizza-lovers should order a slice of the Thai sweet chilli chicken option. Vegetarian? Try the indulgent spinach and mascarpone iteration."

the coach bar marlow

Marlow, Buckinghamshire

Paul Ainsworth, chef-patron, Paul Ainsworth at No.6, Caffè Rojano and The Mariners

Why it should be on your radar: It's hard to believe, looking at its quaint red-brick, stone and timber architecture, that Marlow is just a 30-minute drive from central London. The only giveaway is the River Thames, which cuts through its centre. But, according to our good friend Paul Ainsworth, this place is much more than just a sleepy commuter town.

Best restaurant: "The Coach is the sort of place you wish you owned yourself. It prides itself on a small-dish culture, which works perfectly if you're someone who likes to order a plate of everything."

Best food store: "There's nowhere better than The Butcher's Tap and Grill - and I'm speaking about the whole of the UK here, not just Marlow. Picture a high-street butcher merged with a traditional pub. Choose your favourite British-reared meat and relax with a cold drink while it's expertly cooked. Alternatively, grab a takeaway and enjoy a feast back at base."


York, North Yorkshire

Tommy Banks, restauranter and co-founder, Banks Brothers

Why it should be on your radar: Less than a two-hour train ride from London, this cathedral city makes for an ideal day trip. A go-to destination for city-dwellers who are led by their stomachs, York's streets are packed with vibrant independent restaurants. Here, chef Tommy Banks lets us in on the lesser-known hangouts that locals like to frequent.

Best restaurant: "From its exterior, Cresci Pizzeria may not look like anything major - blink and you'll miss it - but it serves some of the best Neapolitan pizzas I've ever tasted, and I've had a fair few in my time."

Best food store: "Hidden down Nunnery Lane is the amazing Flori Bakery. At the weekend, you'll likely hear it before you see it, thanks to the buzz of its loyal following. Its pastries are something dreams are made of."

Edinburgh, Scotland

Roberta Hall McCarron, chef-patron, The Little Chartroom

Why it should be on your radar: It's no secret that Edinburgh has become one of the hottest staycation destinations the UK has to offer, and for good reason. With a thriving food and drink scene, the endless gastronomic options can at times feel somewhat overwhelming. So, we called in the award-winning chef Robert Hall Mc-Carron to nail down the must-visit scoffing spots in the Scottish capital.

Best restaurant: "Spry isn't exactly a restaurant, but this is the ideal setting for a scrumptious selection of sharing plates. Don't visit without trying the dumplings - they're sensational."

Best food store: "I.J. Mellis is a cheese-lover's paradise. Swing by to grab the essentials, and, after browsing the impressive selection of charcuteries and wines, be sure to pick up a couple of its famous sausage rolls."

exterior dining at antiqvvm porto portugal
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