At this destination restaurant with rooms, just south of Snowdonia National Park, chef patron Gareth Ward draws on Japanese influences to create adventurous dishes. There’s an open kitchen and a ‘surprise’ menu of around 19 courses that’s previously included the likes of crab claw with katsu ketchup. Lunch or dinner £140.
The Whitebrook, Monmouthshire
Foraged herbs appear throughout the menu at this spot in a forested corner of the Wye Valley. The must-try dish? Chef-owner Chris Harrod’s suckling pig, which recently wowed judges on BBC 2’s Great British Menu. Three courses from £39.
Red Lion Freehouse, Wiltshire
Guy Manning and his wife Brittany met at New York’s three-Michelin-star Per Se. Their current venture, a thatched country pub in East Chisenbury, is a far cry from Manhattan’s skyscrapers, but the commitment to top-quality food is the same. Guy looks after savouries, while Brittany handles desserts. Signature dishes include a warm crab tart. Two courses £24.
The White Swan, Lancashire
Cottage pies and Timothy Taylor ales? Sounds more Harvester than haute cuisine, but that hasn’t stopped The White Swan from gaining a Michelin star. French-born chef Tom Parker has put the village of Fence on the map by elevating British pub classics into fine dining showstoppers. Think partridge wellington, and quince and apple souffle. Two courses £25.
Nicola and Keith Braidwood keep the cooking simple at their cottage restaurant overlooking the Isle of Arran. It clearly works, as they’ve held a Michelin star for the past 20 years. Menu highlights include scallops on leeks, with an Arran mustard butter sauce. Two courses £29.
Published in the March 2019 issue of National Geographic Traveller Food (UK)