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Let’s face it; Great Britain doesn’t always spring to mind when someone is thinking about adventurous world gastronomy. However, in recent years, the United Kingdom has become synonymous with excellent food and culinary delights thanks to a group of passionate chefs and savvy restaurateurs with highly individualized cooking styles. The British point of view on food is now a force to be reckoned with.
What makes a great restaurant? Is it the food, the ambience, the charming round dining tables decorated with flowers and romantically lit with candles? Of course, that all plays a part but the quality of the food and wine that is delivered to the table is what really counts. A good restaurant doesn’t have to have a celebrity chef in the kitchen, but it does need a competent one that can furnish an excellent, varied and enticing menu.
Today it seems that everyone is a food critic, but no one really knows where to eat. Throughout the UK, there are many restaurants that open their doors only to close them for good just a few months later. Despite this, there are a few that have real staying power, a regular clientele, and rarely need a course correction. Read on to learn a little more about five of the best places to eat in Britain.
Located in Alfriston in East Sussex, Moonrakers is the quintessential English restaurant. Set inside a charming, old cottage with beamed ceilings, it has a well-manicured garden and a charming terrace. This eatery overlooks an old church and it offers the perfect setting for a lovely British meal. However, while the ambience may be all old England, the menu is quite modern, open-minded and diverse. Snack on herring roe on toast or choose sautéed lemon sole, Chinese spare ribs, or poussin. Finish a perfect meal with a lovely chocolate parfait and some mint tea that has been flavoured from the herb garden.
Hawksmoor’s Seven Dials
A bar and grill if there ever was one, Hawksmoor’s Seven Dials is perfect for the patron that loves a good steak. Tucked away on a quiet street between Seven Dials and the Covent Garden station, Hawksmoor’s is the perfect locale for a quick burger and beer or a quick yet delicious rare steak. Located conveniently close to the West End, this restaurant is the perfect place for pre- and post-theatre dining.
Crab House Café
Who wouldn’t love freshly shucked oysters fished from the oyster beds right outside the restaurant? At the Crab House Café, seafood is the only passion: fresh fish is brought in daily from the Weymouth and Portland day boats. On sunny days, this Dorset eatery has a very tropical feel offering a fresh spin on some classic dishes. Dine on razor clams with chorizo, filet of brill with horseradish and samphire, and local scallops served in a number of different ways.
Norfolk is home to many charming places to eat, but one that visitors must not miss is Tatlers Bar and Restaurant. It is located in historic Tombland close to the magnificent cathedral in the lovely city of Norwich. This brasserie-style restaurant spans three rooms of a 19th century townhouse. Furnished with scrubbed pine tables and with some period accents, Tatlers offers a modern menu featuring local foods spanning a wide range of tastes. Start with hot smoked salmon with wasabi, cucumber, and wakame followed by a crispy Thai beef filet salad or spiced lamb rump with charred vegetables.
JoJo’s is one of the best fun places to eat in all of Kent. Even on cold and rainy days, at JoJo’s one can be cheered up by the lively atmosphere and an enjoyable lunch with some really delicious food and drink. Offering a menu of mostly Mediterranean fare with a little Greek and Spanish thrown in, patrons can enjoy a view of the sea from the terrace. You could start the meal off with crispy calamari, deep-fried courgettes, and risotto balls flavoured with mint and pea.