Although there’s still one week left to go until the official first day of Christmas, here at Food & Drink Guides, we thought we’d start the celebrations early with a fun festive rundown of our favourite Christmassy-sounding pubs and restaurants that feature in our regional eating out guides.
With guides covering regions all across the UK from Cornwall to Edinburgh, if you’re a foodie and you haven’t picked up a FREE copy yet, there’s really no better way to start 2020. Why not make visiting as many of your region’s finest restaurants, cafes, bars, pubs, and hotels your New Year Resolution come January with help from one of our glossy A5 guides!?
Before your guide arrives – if you can’t wait you can always read digital versions of our guides here – why not check out one of the fantastic restaurants on this super festive list.
Merry Christmas from Food & Drink Guides!!!!
From our review: The Reindeer in Long Bennington was taken over by chef James Westwood in October 2018 and has gone from strength to strength under its new ownership. The relaxed atmosphere, friendly professionalism of the staff and exceptional menu are a recipe for success, but what really makes this venue stand out is the attention to detail. For traditionalists there are plenty of pub favourites, while more adventurous diners will find a wealth of new flavours on the specials board.
From our review: The Star Inn is a classic country pub that’s well worth a visit. As soon as we stepped foot inside, we were greeted with a smile and made to feel welcome, which for me is the hallmark of a good pub. Inside, an open fireplace, exposed brick walls, low beams, vintage leather sofas and armchairs make you feel right at home, instantly relaxed and ready for a delicious meal. Outside there’s a beautiful garden and seating area, as well as a fun play area for little ones, making The Star Inn an ideal location come rain or shine.
From our review: Occupying a princely spot at the foot of Remenham Hill, just a stone’s throw from the River Thames and Henley Bridge, The Little Angel is an atmospheric and historic countryside establishment. From leisurely post-ramble lunches, and romantic evenings for two, to large family get-togethers over good food and drink, it’s an establishment that delivers on all fronts.
From our review: Set on the outskirts of Cambridge in the charming village of Fen Ditton, Ancient Shepherds is a traditional pub and free house that’s just a stone’s throw from the picturesque River Cam, with B&B ensuite rooms available. Inside, you’ll find a cosy and welcoming space that’s also dog-friendly, with various nooks and crannies providing a range of seating areas perfect for groups and couples alike: enjoy a pint of beer or ale outside, or indulge in a tasty meal in the relaxed dining room. The menu at Ancient Shepherds offers everything you’d expect from a classic British pub, and dishes range from crispy beer-battered fish and chips to a minted lamb burger with tzatziki; pea, courgette, spinach and truffle risotto to succulent honey-roast ham with duck eggs and chips.
From our review: The Merry Harriers is a rural historical country inn with an unexpected surprise in the form of a few lovely llamas to keep you company as you peruse the menu of traditional pub favourites and seasonal specials. High-quality ingredients sourced within a 15-mile radius are the focus; locally foraged ingredients including Hambledon nettles, blackberries and wild garlic feature as favourites of head chef Sam Page.
Nestled in the beautiful Clifton Village, Nutmeg oozes flair and personality. The food is an experience in itself, and each dish will take you on a journey. Excellent food and fantastic service are the order of the day; the attentive staff strive to make each diner’s visit memorable for all the right reasons. It’s no surprise that Nutmeg won Best Indian in Bristol at Bristol Good Food Awards last year, as well as featuring in the Michelin Guide for two consecutive years. Despite this, Nutmeg offers a relaxed dining experience, from the authentic decor to the welcoming staff.
From our blog: Christmas comes this time each year to St Nicholas Market in Bristol. With more than 60 stalls selling a treasure trove of gifts, from fashion and accessories to books and records, as well as a reputation for serving some of the best food in this city already known for its world-class food and drink scene, this historic market is truly the place to come for an unforgettable festive shopping experience this Christmas. Established in 1743, visitors fly in from far and wide to experience what is widely regarded as the most beloved market in Bristol.
From our review: Arguably one of the best Indian eateries in Wales, The Cinnamon Tree in Treforest has been going strong for over two decades now, and the restaurant in Pontcanna continues to dazzle the tastebuds of diners. At the helm of this family-run business are the Uzzaman brothers, whose dedication to offering nothing but the finest cuisine, as well as impeccable service, is testament to their constant success – anyone who enjoys a good Indian meal need look no further.
Offering a quintessentially British atmosphere, this chandelier-lit tearoom is the perfect place to while away the afternoon while tucking into delicious fare. The new menu offers something to suit all, including gluten-free and vegan options, with savoury treats like a full English breakfast, omelettes and the chef’s signature quiche served alongside handmade cakes, scones and other baked goodies. Tiny Tim’s highly popular afternoon tea is served all day, comprising sweet and savoury delights including finger sandwiches, as well as freshly baked scones and a choice of tea or coffee from the extensive range.
From our review: Set just a stone’s throw from the river Humber, the restaurant at Winteringham Fields has won a wealth of awards, including a Michelin star and four AA rosettes. Colin McGurran and his team of chefs create an exceptional range of delicious, innovative dishes that showcase locally sourced ingredients.
From our review: The Wise Man Inn is a 400-year-old, chocolate-box inn with a thatched roof. Following a two year restoration, the inn reopened its doors, and has been a popular dining destination ever since. Wind down the pretty lanes of West Stafford, just two miles from Dorchester, to find food with a sophisticated twist on traditional fare.
From our review: This restaurant is easily the best place in Dorset to find delicious organic, plant-based dining. But Twelve is much more than this – the food is innovative and indescribably delicious. Expect contemporary cooking served in a casually elegant setting. We settled next to the cocktail bar, where everything from the spirits, beer and wine to the cold-pressed juices is organic and refined-sugar-free. The evening got off to a good start with a cold-pressed ginger Mojito for me and a tequila and basil lemonade for my companion.