The Chiltern Hills boast not just great views, but great dining opportunities too. In this year’s edition of our Chilterns Food and Drink Guide, Matthew Edmonds – head chef of local, award-winning restaurant Aubergine Du Lac – declares his love for the area. With its green, rolling hills and huge array of quality local producers, Edmonds was drawn to the area from London, now proudly calling it home. Who can blame him? Follow up an adventure around the hills with any of these exquisite spots.
Since its opening in 2011, Jay’s success has rocketed. Originally a loved delicatessen serving coffee and homemade bakery goods, Jay’s expanded as did their fan base. Today, Jay’s is a cafe serving breakfast and brunch to hungry locals. Chefs also serve impressive contemporary European dishes for dinner from Wednesday to Saturday. With a small yet eclectic menu, Jay’s offers tempting takes on classic dishes such as spinach and mozzarella arancini and eggs Florentine. For dinner, the classic burger – with your choice of toppings – steals the show. It’s no wonder this local gem gained a Tripadvisor certificate of excellence and a place in Harpenden’s heart.
Five Arrows Hotel
The Five Arrows stands at the gates of the Waddesdon Manor in Aylesbury. The acclaimed restaurant and boutique hotel has a comfortable, country-house feel despite being recently refurbished. The restaurant has this year featured in the Michelin guide, as well as being listed by Countryfile’s John Craven as one of his favourite restaurants in the UK. Delicately crafted to reflect the seasons, the menu will blow you away. Indulge in the Ras-el-hanout spiced aubergine & chick peas, and grilled halloumi cheese with red pepper dressing, or for meat fans, try the classic British sirloin steak with triple cooked chips.
The Grill Steakhouse
Steak (you guessed it) is the main focus of the Grill Steakhouse! Chef-proprietor Usman’s mission at this joint is to source the finest steaks, which are then cooked to perfection. Eye for detail in the presentation of dishes is key to chefs here, who strive to make each dish a pleasing work of art. No visit is complete without treating yourself to a luxurious dessert – try saying no to the blueberry cheesecake served with honeycomb ice cream and Alphonso mango coulis, or the chocolate and peanut butter tart.
When you arrive at Sheene Mill, with its twinkling charm and 16th century heritage, you’ll see why the grade II listed former mill is a popular wedding venue, and equally why it’s seen so many marriage proposals..! With a focus on great, locally-sourced, honest food, you’ll feel right at home at the two-AA-rosetted restaurant. Alongside the impressive a la carte menu, you can enjoy a relaxed lunch and afternoon tea in the conservatory or on the terrace, overlooking the stunning garden and river. If all of that doesn’t win you over, the edible glitter-topped Millionaire’s Shortbread certainly will!
Templars is an easy-going hotel and restaurant that will have you feeling ready to relax. On sunny days, the outdoor seating area is the perfect place to admire the scenery and enjoy all the best food on offer. The unpretentious, familiar menu features classic dishes like mouth-watering burgers (spiced chicken, smoky beef and veggie), hand-battered fish of the day, as well as homemade curries, risottos, paninis and much more. The laid-back and friendly atmosphere means Templars is perfect for all occasions!
Discover more Chilterns food and drink highlights here: