Although it might not look like it by the current weather we’re having, the offical first day of spring is just a few days away. As the rainy, grey skies hopefully change to sunnier, blue ones, you’ll no doubt be looking to make the most of this weather and head out of your house to enjoy the best of what your region has to offer.

Whether you’re searching for an idyllic little cafe to enjoy a delicious breakfast or brunch while taking in picturesque views of St Albans Cathedral with your mum this Mother’s Day, or you’re on the lookout for award-winning restaurants to visit this upcoming long Easter weekend, our handy list of our favourite places to eat and drink in the Chilterns should come in handy.

For a more comprehensive guide to eating out in the Chilterns, be sure to pick up your FREE copy of our Chilterns Food & Drink Guide or read a digital copy here. Also, be sure to check out our previous list of our favourite pubs in the Chilterns region here.

The Tilbury – SG3 6TB

Whether you’re stopping by for a quick drink or you wish to sample an amazing six-course tasting menu, the family-run, award-winning Tilbury in Datchworth will not disappoint. With a strong focus on providing visitors with great food and excellent hospitality, as soon as you step through The Tilbury’s doors, you’ll feel right at home.

Boasting a wine selection that has won an AA Notable Wine List award, a bar known for its spectacular selection of gin, and an à la carte menu that showcases an impressive array of seasonal dishes, we can’t think of a better place in the Chilterns to spend a couple of hours. Dig into classic comfort food done incredibly well like fish and chips and sirloin steak, or try some more inventive options like the beef rump with rare beef tartare, a hash brown and Calcot onions or John Dory with gypsy toast and lobster butter.

Anastasias Greek Restaurant – AL1 3EN

A highlight of the St Albans dining scene since it opened in 1974, the family-run Anastasias provides a relaxed and friendly environment in which to enjoy some truly tempting home-cooked Greek dishes. Start with dishes off the meze – 18 individual plates featuring all your favourites like houmous, tzatziki, taramasalata, dolmades, spanakopita, and halloumi – before moving onto classic Greek mains just bursting with flavour like the lamb kleftiko, beef stifado, or giant prawns and swordfish grilled over real charcoal.

Although Anastasias has the ambience of a cosy Greek restaurant during the week, visit during the weekend and you’ll experience something completely different and entirely unique to anything else you’ll find across the rest of St Albans. Featuring a fun celebration menu along with Greek and belly dancing, plate smashing, a DJ, photographer and a late license until 1am, at the weekend, Anastasias is simply the place in the Chilterns region to be.

Donatello’s – MK45 2NG

Founded by Mamma Antonia and now run by one of her four sons, Donatello’s has been serving authentic homemade Italian cuisine for over 38 years and is still going strong. Step inside this charming Italian restaurant and you’ll be welcomed by traditional décor, a laid-back atmosphere, and all the enticing aromas of your favourite Italian dishes that will transport you across the continent.

Featuring a menu that boasts an extensive selection of classic Italian pizzas along with plenty of your favourite pasta dishes, even the fussiest of eaters will be well catered to here. The restaurant even picked up the Independent Pizza Restaurant Gold Award at the PAPA Industry Awards 2016 and their head chef Michael was also a finalist for Keck Short Cut Pasta Chef of the Year at the 2017 PAPA Awards. If all this acclaim isn’t enough to tempt you, just last year Donatello’s were finalists for the English Italian Award’s Pizza Chef of the Year and PAPA’s Pasta Chef of the Year.

George Street Canteen – AL3 4ER

The perfect spot for a brilliant brunch or a morning coffee, George Street Canteen offers the best of both worlds – ideally located close to St Albans city centre but tucked away in a tranquil courtyard away from the hustle and bustle. Whether you’re making a mid-shop pit-stop or you’re stopping by to enjoy picturesque views of the cathedral from the café’s al fresco spot, you’ll feel more than welcome at this charming and cosy canteen which was named the most family-friendly venue at the St Albans and Harpenden Food and Drink Awards in 2016.

With its light and airy interiors and menu featuring locally sourced produce and an extensive range of tasty breakfast and lunch options, you’ll be coming back again and again for your start-of-the-day pick me up. Try delicious dishes like the halloumi wrap or The George Street Club, a triple-toasted sandwich packed with smoked back bacon, chicken, egg, tomato, rocket, and mayonnaise, accompanied by a delicious homemade slaw.

Lake Restaurant – AL3 4RY

Just a short, picturesque stroll from St Albans Cathedral, Lake Restaurant, housed within St Michael’s Manor Hotel, a traditional-style country manor which boasts its very own lake and is set in five acres of private gardens, is a stunning spot in the city for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

Sit within the elegant dining room and kick start your day with a breakfast that includes a buffet of cereals, fruit, yoghurt, and pastries, or opt instead for an indulgent cooked breakfast. If you’re visiting later on in the day, their lunch and dinner menu provides a mouth-watering choice of light bites and hearty mains. Start with the likes of homemade Parmesan gnocchi, grilled mackerel and steak tartare before moving onto popular mains like the rib-eye steak served with bone marrow mash or the vegetarian potatoes boulangere accompanied by roasted carrots, shallots, and broccoli.

Olivier’s Restaurant – MK17 9PX

For a high-quality dining experience you’ll remember months after your first visit, Olivier’s Restaurant, housed within The Woburn Hotel, won’t let you down. Boasting all the style and elegance associated with the hotel along with picturesque plates of food that will make your mouth water, sit in the newly decorated dining areas and enjoy a culinary treat rarely found outside the capital.

Start with the likes of smoked duck with berries and asparagus, a unique and masterful combination boasting a stunning display of delightful and surprising flavours and textures, and you’ll quickly understand why this restaurant has such a stellar reputation for excellence. Then, opt for mains like the beef fillet with vegetables or more adventurous options such as fried ginger-glazed salmon accompanied by a bean salad with an enticing Asian twist before finishing with the likes of gooey chocolate soufflé paired with chocolate orange sorbet or carrot cheesecake with cream cheese frosting.

Marco Pierre White’s Steakhouse – MK1 1ST

Located on the east side of Stadium MK, Marco Pierre White Steakhouse Bar & Grill has quickly become a popular addition to Milton Keynes’ foodie scene and for good reason. Since opening in 2017, diners have flocked to the restaurant to savour the tempting selection of British and French classics on the menu, including nostalgic childhood favourites and 35-day-aged signature steaks. With an a la carte menu personally selected by Marco Pierre White himself, you’ll be impressed by the lack of pomp or pretention at Marco Pierre White’s Steakhouse – just great food in a welcoming, memorable, and traditional steakhouse environment.

Enjoy scrumptious mains like their Governor’s steak and ale pie with buttered garden peas, Mr Lamb’s shepherd’s pie with buttered garden peas, and honey-roasted bacon chop with Marco Polo glaze, spiced honey, roasting juices, box tree red cabbage, apple sauce, and fondant potato. No matter whether you’re visiting for a delightful afternoon tea, an unforgettable Sunday lunch, or a celebratory dinner with cocktails, the friendly and attentive team will do everything they can to ensure your dining experience at Marco Pierre White’s Steakhouse is one you’ll dream of returning to again and again.

Dolce Caffe & Restaurant – WD3 7BE

Situated in the small town of Rickmansworth on the edge of Colne Valley Regional Park in southwest Hertfordshire, Dolce Caffe & Restaurant is a charming venue offering everything you’d expect from one of the best places to eat and drink in the Chilterns; great food, a varied drinks list, and outstanding service. A café by day and a restaurant by night, this TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence Award winner is the perfect place to visit whether you’re after a delicious breakfast, satisfying lunchtime treat, or indulgent dinner.

Every other Friday, diners come from all over the region for Dolce Caffe & Restaurant’s beloved fish night. Offering a wide selection of scallops, Devon crab, oysters and black tiger prawns to start, and more than 20 different fish grilled on an open fire with garlic and lemon butter available for mains, this really is a must-try night for foodies across the Chilterns region.

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