This country restaurant’s most recent cookbook featured almost as many photos of its stunning environs as of it’s exquisite dishes. Located within a restored Victorian walled garden, 12 miles outside of Bristol, The Ethicurean is a bucolic delight, with sweeping views over the Mendip hills beyond.
Whet your appetite (or work off your meal) with a stroll through the gardens, where many of the greens used in the dishes are grown. You might even discover the apple-pressing hut, where strong muscles squeeze the juice from the fruit grown in the orchard around you. The toffee apple cake served with cinnamon sauce is a speciality here, and apples often crop up elsewhere on a daily-changing menu – find them pickled alongside the 12-hour pork belly (£20), or scattered among the ploughman’s (£9).
The cookbook focuses on the seasons, as does the menu, with starters at around £8 and mains averaging at about £16. Try the bavette of Gloucester beef with kimchi, burnt aubergine, and hispi cabbage in brown butter, or the salt mash lamb cooked in vermouth. This isn’t your regular off-the-shelf stuff, either – the vermouth at The Ethicurean is made by resident mixologist Jack Adair Bevan from herbs and plants from the garden and surrounding countryside.
Events throughout the year include Mexican Day of the Dead festivities and, this being the West Country, a popular wassail to ward away evil spirits from those all-important apple trees.