As the rise of the ‘restaurant with rooms’ continues across the UK, there have never been more options of fantastic gastronomic experiences that are off the beaten track. Here are our picks of the best hotel restaurants that you’ll never have heard of. All are of a Michelin-starred standard and have the added bonus of being able to accommodate filled stomachs and weary heads after the meal is over.
Located in Aughton, West Lancashire, Moor Hall has become the go-to destination for foodies in search of exceptional food and idyllic, pastoral surroundings. Chef Patron Mark Birchall, who worked at a number of Michelin-starred eateries before taking the helm of the hall in 2017, has created a menu based around home grown ingredients produced in the surroundings of Lancashire and, unsurprisingly, there’s an extensive wine list to boot. If you’re in search of a real trip away, there are ‘gourmet experiences’ on offer, which include a night’s stay, tour of the impressive kitchen garden and eight-course dinner paired with wine.
Top tip: Be sure to test of the charcuterie that is produced on-site, which are sliced in the lounge upon arrival. Our favourite is the aromatic ‘Tascano’, packed full of fiery peppercorn and clove.
Having held a Michelin star since 2008, The Sportsman is an establishment that keeps its patrons returning again, and again. Proudly pitched on the rural coast of Seasalter in Kent, the inn became a luxury bed and breakfast last year, offering five purpose-built log-cabins for those looking to extend their stay into the night. It’s not the seaside location or the newly appointed cabins that maintain the Sportman’s loyal fanbase, however. With an impressive tasting menu, currently consisting of nine courses, includes recipes both past and present – from roast partridge with celeriac ‘risotto’ to slip sole grilled in seaweed butter. Rather refreshingly, the menu does not focus solely on the sea food it surrounds, but the fresh, seasonal ingredients yielded from a wider area so is an option for sea food and meat lovers alike.
Top tip: The tasting menu changes regularly but continues to have a weighted balance of both meat and fish options. Booking in advance is not just recommended, but wholly essential – so that the kitchen is able to prepare before arrival.
Set in the sprawling Cotswolds countryside, Whatley Manor is a fine 18th century country house set in 12 acres of beautiful countryside. With a Michelin-starred restaurant, and state of the art ‘Aquarias’ Spa, it’s no wonder the house has been hugely oversubscribed since its opening over ten years ago. The in-house restaurant The Dining Room, headed by Executive Chef Niall Keating offers modern British cuisine and is a fantastic choice for meat eaters, vegetarians and vegans alike. Room are comfortable and mirror the country houses traditional feel, with prices still affordable considering the hotel’s close proximity to the rest of the Cotswolds.
Top tip: For those with four legged companions, the hotel is happy to accommodate (an aspect of hotelier that is becoming rarer and rarer). There will be a small surcharge in return for dog basket, food, and even treats to keep furry friends entertained.
Now a world-renowned restaurant on the Isle of Skye, The Three Chimneys has been at the forefront of celebrated, Scottish cuisine since its inception over 19 years ago. Head Chef Scott Davies focuses on utilising the island’s ‘natural larder’ with an equal emphasis placed on the land and the sea. By booking a room upstairs in the hotel, a table is automatically allocated to dine in the restaurant come the evening, so booking opportunities in the high season are rare for those without a reservation overnight. We recommend booking well in advance (particularly during the milder months of May-September) in order to take advantage of the best renowned restaurant on the island.
Top tip: The Head Sommelier, Charlotte Davies, should be utilised as her knowledge of wines is second to none. While the menu is offered with wine pairing for an additional cost, we recommend heading off-piste and trying some of the rarer options which are rotated on a daily basis.
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