Whether you’re looking to book a table for a special occasion or want to plan ahead for something to look forward to later in the year, the following restaurants offer the last word in food thrills and luxury. These are meals you’ll remember for years.


For more inspiration, check out London's latest restaurant openings, new UK restaurants and the best restaurants with rooms in the UK. Discover the best of the UK's farm-to-fork restaurants and set menu restaurants.

Restaurant Pine, Northumberland

Housed in a handsome barn by Hadrian’s Wall in an area where chef-owner Cal Byerley’s family has farmed for generations, Pine is firmly rooted in rural Northumberland. Foraged and local ingredients complement those grown in Pine’s no-dig, organically managed kitchen garden and orchard, feeding into exceptional dishes of garum-cured beef or plaice, smoked scallop roe, horseradish and magnolia. Cal creates Pine’s tasting menu with fellow head chef Ian Waller, while their respective partners, Siân Buchan and sommelier Vanessa Stoltz, handle front of house. “We’ve all got different skills and it just gels,” says Cal of this collaboration. Sustainability is key and is visible in Pine’s preservation of abundant ingredients and whole-animal butchery. “Trim is used for charcuterie, animal bones to make stocks,” says Cal. “Someone’s taken time to produce the ingredient, why waste any?” £120pp; restaurantpine.co.uk

Steamed plaice with a sauce made fermented and smoked scallophorseradish and garden and coastal hebs

Hide and Fox, Kent

Chef Allister Barsby (Gidleigh Park) and wine expert Alice Bussi (Bath Priory) held top jobs at incredible restaurants before moving to coastal Saltwood to create this one-Michelin-starred restaurant. Allister loves autumn and winter, as he works his way through mallard, partridge, pheasant and venison: “Game, root vegetables and autumn fruits go together in almost any combination imaginable. I pair venison with pear poached in mulled wine spices, and this year I’ll add sweet parsnip and the herby, almost medicinal aroma of pine.” A seasonal dessert of black figs will feature, too, in a set custard with fig compote and fig leaf-infused ice cream. From £70pp; hideandfox.co.uk

A seasonal fish dish from Hide and Fox

The Lanesborough Grill, London

Previously at The Bingham and The Goring, chef Shay Cooper knows how to blend the modish and traditional to breathe new life into London’s grandest dining rooms. Last spring, he landed at The Lanesborough where (of course!) dover sole is a mainstay, and key dishes, such as the beef wellington, are plated tableside from guéridon trolleys. But Shay’s buttermilk-fried quail, ricotta gnocchi or brioche pudding with burnt orange purée and milk ice cream very much look beyond Hyde Park to wider London restaurant trends. From the Grill’s domed glass ceiling and contemporary art collection, to its use of fine seasonal ingredients, Shay wants the experience to deliver a “sense of high glamour”. From £35pp; oetkercollection.com

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The Lanesborough Grill’s impressive interior

Moor Hall, Lancashire

This two-Michelin-starred destination is still evolving (sustainable lodges are planned for 2023 and a retail line of homewares, toiletries and groceries
is about to go live) but the key draw remains Mark Birchall’s astonishing food. With its stylish use of natural materials, the modish dining room visually represents Mark’s aesthetic: seasonally driven, high-quality and technically accomplished. Over winter, he plans to pair turbot with a curried organic squash purée, sea vegetables and, as the sauce, his take on a Catalan suquet fish stew. Sika deer will appear, too, possibly with beetroot and elderberry. “I love the deep flavour,” says Mark, “and the little bit of intramuscular fat you get running through the meat.” From £115pp; moorhall.com

Moor Hall’s bright and airy space

Amethyst, London

Neapolitan by birth, global citizen by nature, chef Carlo Scotto creates ultra-modern dishes inspired by his culinary travels. Carlo’s “ode to Japan” – burnt hay black cod with caramelised miso and Roscoff onion broth – or his french toast (“a croquette with truffle and Vacche Rosse cheese sauce”) are arresting plates of sensory theatre of a piece with Amethyst’s interior. Diners sit along a unique 21-seat chef’s table in front of the open kitchen. Its angular inlets for seating were inspired by “the structure inside an amethyst geode” and allow guests to interact with the chefs while retaining their privacy. “The table is a real showstopper,” says Carlo. From £55pp; amethystdining.com

Amethyst’s signature dessert, the Geode: white chocolate with feuilletine and praline

Meadowsweet, Norfolk

Rebecca Williams and Greg Anderson’s small, Grade II-listed restaurant with rooms in Holt has been a big addition to North Norfolk’s vibrant food scene, gaining a Michelin star in its first year. Greg applies the sharp, classical technique he honed as head chef at Morston Hall to contemporary, produce-driven dishes. He is a chef happily at the mercy of the seasons: “In winter, there’ll be roe deer served with ceps, celeriac and a black truffle sauce, maybe a steamed roe deer ragout bun on the side. My good friend Henry will fish for lobster, crabs and sea bass until mother nature tells him to stop. I love making lobster ravioli, and deep-fried Brancaster oysters with jalapeño and citrus are never far from the menu. Every new season is exciting.” Tasting menu £130pp; meadowsweetholt.com


Outlaw's New Road, Cornwall

In September, Nathan Outlaw’s Port Isaac flagship reset as a single-sitting tasting menu experience for up to 30 people. “This will allow us to include a wider range of luxurious ingredients and more time to embrace a variety of techniques,” says Nathan. “I’m eager to present dishes we can confidently say contain the best seafood you’ll ever try.” The dining room has been spruced up with new furnishings and warm, wintry décor. Dishes include plancha-cooked gurnard with a sauce made daily from tiny Porthilly crabs (“no batch is the same”), and lemon sole in an oyster and cucumber sauce. “This dish epitomises our cooking,” says Nathan. It requires immaculate raw product and expert timing to ensure “it hits the table in peak condition. We apply the scrutiny required to do this fish and the fishermen who caught it justice”. £175pp; outlaws.co.uk

Lemon sole with oyster sauce and cucumber

Alex Dilling at Hotel Café Royal, London

This legendary hotel on the Mayfair-Soho border (a favourite of Oscar Wilde, Winston Churchill, David Bowie and Noël Coward) was created by French wine merchant Daniel Nicholas Thévenon, whose love of viticulture lives on in Café Royal’s renowned cellars. Fittingly, Alex Dilling – who has worked for such titans of la gastronomie Française as Alain Ducasse and Hélène Darroze – is serving “ingredient-led modern French cuisine” in his new 34-cover restaurant overlooking Regent Street. This winter, expect Alex’s signature clam chowder or rack of venison with slow-cooked neck, root vegetables and black truffle. From £65pp; alexdilling.com

The luxe grey interiors at Alex Dilling at Hotel Café Royal

Dream drop-ins & casual classics

Good food and wine needn’t always be a big commitment – here are five hangouts you can rely on for a last-minute lift

  • The Jane Eyre, Manchester

A self-styled “neighbourhood bar” serving serious small plates. Don’t miss the (substantial) pork chop with spiced apple and truffled mash. Plates from £6; thejaneeyre.co.uk

  • Smith & Gertrude, Edinburgh

An expertly assembled choice of cheeses, charcuterie and exciting wines. Awesome grilled cheese sandwiches, too. Plates from £7; smithandgertrude.com

  • Eat Your Greens, Leeds

Natural wine, seasonal cocktails and clever plates of corn ribs or salt-baked beetroot pastrami, dill aïoli and ginger-apple sauerkraut. Plates from £8; eatyourgreensleeds.co.uk

  • Noble Rot, London

Head to the bar at the Lamb’s Conduit Street venue for comté beignets, Colchester oysters, morteau sausage with lentils and great wines. Larger plates from £9; noblerot.co.uk

  • Long Friday, Newcastle

A Jesmond area joint known for interesting wines, great cocktails and plates of sweet ’n’ sour chicken hearts or beetroot-cured trout with citrus kosho. Plates from £6; longfriday.co.uk

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