The South West is fast becoming one of the UK’s most popular foodie hotspots, and it’s easy to see why. This glorious part of Britain is home to a bounteous natural larder that includes everything from a wealth of cheese – Cheddar, anyone? – to Somerset’s fruit and the resulting delicious cider.
Devonshire cream teas are world-renowned, as are Cornish pasties. The South West’s proximity to the coast means that gloriously fresh seafood is never far away, and the region’s restaurants often plan their menus based on what the day-boats can bring in. Whether you’re in Devon, Cornwall, Somerset, Bristol or the Cotswolds, you’re never far from a food festival or farmers’ market that’s showcasing produce from nearby.
The food scene in the South West is growing ever richer in terms of chefs and restaurants too; the region’s laid-back style, plentiful produce and absolute variety means that cities like Bristol are rivalling London’s dining out scene, while the coast and countryside continue to captivate more visitors year on year – if you’re planning a staycation, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better option than the South West. Michelin have honoured many of the South West’s best this year – read on to discover your next dining experience.
Pony & Trap, Chew Valley
Local Bristol celebrity Josh Eggleton has been so busy over the last few years with Valley Fest, Eat Drink Bristol Fashion, The Community Farm, the Chicken Shop (his new venture), and yet has never let standards slip at the Pony & Trap.
Wilks is a modern, vibrant restaurant on Chandos Road in Redland. It offers creative, accomplished cooking at affordable prices, a relaxed informal dining room and attentive, knowledgeable service from friendly staff. The team champion all that is local, from farmers, growers, and suppliers to artists who exhibit their work in the restaurant.
First opened in 1999 by the Sanchez family, Casamia started life as an authentic pizza and pasta trattoria in Bristol. It is now under the control of son Peter, who’s self-taught skills have led to the gaining of a Michelin star and four AA rosettes.
Outlaw’s Fish Kitchen, Port Isaac
Overlooking the Camel Estuary, Outlaw’s Fish Kitchen is Nathan Outlaw’s casual Rock restaurant – a place where guests can enjoy fantastic food and service in a relaxed environment. Outlaw’s prides itself on its unique approach to modern British seafood cookery, with head chef Tom Brown leading a dedicated brigade in the kitchen.
Restaurant Nathan Outlaw, Port Isaac
Port Isaac is lucky enough to be home to two of Nathan’s award-winning restaurants – it’s an understandable destination considering he calls Cornwall his spiritual home. He also has a London based restaurant, and recently told us why he thinks London dining is so unique.
5 North Street, Winchcombe
The ancient Saxon village of Winchcombe, near Cheltenham, is home to one of the best restaurants around – and it’s family-run to boot. Marcus (Gus) Ashenford and his wife Kate are proprietors of the renowned 5 North Street and serve a menu that combines classic French cuisine with modern British dishes.
Lords of the Manor, Upper Slaughter
Lords of the Manor, folded into the Cotswold Hills near Stow-on-the-Wold, lives up to everyone’s idea of a dreamy Cotswold manor house hotel. From a foodie’s perspective, Lords stands out as Gloucestershire’s only Michelin-starred hotel.
The Dining Room at Whatley Manor, Easton Grey
This Grade II listed manor house in the folds of stunning Cotswold countryside offers an impressive experience. Whatley Manor is home to the Aquarias Spa, making it the perfect weekend retreat.
The Elephant, Torquay
The Elephant is a multi-award-winning restaurant overlooking Torbay’s beautiful harbour. It has held a Michelin star for over ten years and is the only starred restaurant in Torbay. Its ethos involves a commitment to using seasonal ingredients, sourcing locally and ensuring that customers enjoy the best standards of cooking.
The Masons Arms, Knowstone
Mark and Sarah Dodson’s 13th-century characterful thatched inn offers log fires and a warm, friendly welcome. Situated in the picturesque village of Knowstone, midway between the market towns of South Molton and Tiverton, The Masons Arms is a traditional cob and thatch inn complete with cosy beamed bar and comfortable lounge. For 12 years Mark was the head chef at Michel Roux’s Waterside Inn in Bray, and his food displays a modern take on British and French classics, with a certain complexity.
Gidleigh Park, Teignbridge
When Michael Caine left Gidleigh Park earlier this year, people weren’t too sure what would happen. Luckily for them (and us) Matt Gillan was more than up to the challenge, enabling Gidleigh Park to retain its two Michelin stars.
Restaurant Hywel Jones at Lucknam Park, Chippenham
The timelessly luxurious surroundings and utterly seamless service here make all feel at home, even in the midst of such prestige. After dining at this impressive restaurant, why not unwind in the spa and explore the 500 acres of luscious parkland before retiring to one of the 42 elegantly decorated rooms.
Bath Priory, Bath
The Bath Priory Hotel, Restaurant and Spa is a sublime hotel, located just a short stroll from Royal Victoria Park in the centre of Bath. This privately owned Georgian hotel is genuinely welcoming and simply emanates warmth and luxury. The rooms are all individually designed and beautifully decorated with artwork and antiques. Guests can also unwind at the in-house Garden Spa, which offers a wide range of relaxing facilities and treatments.
We’ve highlighted our favourite establishments across Great Britain who came out on top in the 2017 Michelin Guide. Take a look at who we adore in: