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The Black Swan at Oldstead
Photograph: Andrew Hayes-Watkins The Black Swan at Oldstead

Taste your way around the UK

Like the idea of taking your palate on a tour of the UK? Here’s everything you need, whatever might tickle your culinary fancy

Written by Time Out. Sponsored by 'Enjoy Summer Safely'
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There’s certainly a lot to get your teeth into when it comes to eating out in the UK. From world-class seafood on the Essex coast to incredible vegan food on the Isle of Wight, Michelin-starred fine-dining in Yorkshire and seriously amazing fish and chips in Grimsby, it doesn’t matter what you’re after, you’ll find it here. And do you wanna know the best thing about all this? The locations are often every bit as delicious as the food.

As part of our partnership with the ‘Enjoy Summer Safely’ campaign, we’ve highlighted some of our favourite spots where you can snag incredible fare in incredible places. And just because we want to really make things easy for you, we’ve highlighted all those taking part in the government’s ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme, where you can bag 50 percent off food and non-alcoholic drinks (up to a tenner per person) at participating venues, Monday to Wednesday. But be quick – the scheme ends August 31. Find out more here.

Anyway, onto our favourite spots. Cutlery at the ready!

Find more UK holiday inspiration here

1. The Sail Loft

Located right by the sea, between the beautiful coastal town of Southwold and the impossibly charming village of Walberswick, this beachside restaurant is one of Suffolk’s finest. Superb seafood plays a prominent role on the menu but posh burgers, Japanese curries and an extraordinary ploughman’s show there’s more to the kitchen than the stuff they pull from the sea (though the lobster risotto is really very good indeed). And if you’re really enjoying yourself? You can stay the night, too. Waking up with views across the dunes and out to the Atlantic sounds pretty good to us, to be fair.
The Sail Loft is taking part in the ‘Eat Out To Help Out’ scheme.

Photograph: Iain Pennington
Photograph: Iain Pennington
Photograph: Iain Pennington

2. The Ethicurean Restaurant

Into eating ethically without compromising those precious little taste buds of yours? Well, that’s essentially what this highly-regarded West Country restaurant is all about. It’s located in Wrington, a charming Somerset village just outside Bristol, and makes a big play of its pretty walled garden. You see, it’s from here that the chefs pick much of the produce that goes onto your plate. And boy does it taste good, with menus changing according to what’s in season. Tucking in as you gaze out across the rolling Somerset hills is very, very pleasant. Right now, they're open from Fridays to Sundays for outdoor picnics.

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3. The Tan Hill Inn

Ever wanted to eat at the highest pub in Britain? Well here’s where to head. This famous Yorkshire boozer has some pretty spectacular views of the Dales and yeah, sure, it’s miles from anywhere but it’s very much worth the trek. Why? Well that lush scenery for starters (and with the Pennine Way on your doorstep it’s great for hiking and biking around here) but the food is about as solid a representation of good pub grub as you’re likely to get. We’re big fans of the Tann Hill sausage – served in a giant Yorkshire pudding. Well of course it is.
The Tan Hill Inn is taking part in the ‘Eat Out To Help Out’ scheme.

The Black Swan at Oldstead
The Black Swan at Oldstead
Photograph: Andrew Hayes-Watkins

4. The Black Swan at Oldstead

Feeling spenny? This could be the place for you. Sure, there are plenty of Michelin-starred restaurants around the UK but few can match this for setting. Not only is it located in the stunning Yorkshire village of Oldstead, it’s set in the kind of traditional country inn that puts tourists in a right old flap. Headed up by chef Tommy Banks all the produce is locally sourced (well, you’re in Yorkshire so why wouldn’t you?) and is used to create seasonal tasting menus that really show off all that expertise in the kitchen. Sure it’s pricey but good golly it’s worth it.

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5. Gurkha Cafe

Partial to a takeaway from your local Indian restaurant? Love a Chinese? Well, friends, let us introduce you to Nepalese cuisine. Thanks to Nepal sharing its border with India, China and Tibet, the cooking here is influenced heavily by its neighbours, which basically means taking some of their best bits and turning them into something delicious. And if you want to see just how good it can be, head to the brilliant city of Edinburgh and make a beeline for Gurkha Cafe. It’s a small yet mighty restaurant with a reliably excellent menu including lamb khutta, a traditional Nepalese dish that will knock your socks off (in a good way). There are Indian dishes here too, so feel free to take your less adventurous friends. Their loss.
Gurkha Cafe is taking part in the ‘Eat Out To Help Out’ scheme.

Photograph: The Orchard
Photograph: The Orchard
Photograph: The Orchard

6. The Orchard

Things don’t get much more genteel than this almost impossibly British tea room in Grantchester. It’s easily walkable from the centre of Cambridge and its positively exquisite afternoon tea draws crowds from all over. So why the name? Because it’s literally in an orchard, silly – these guys were socially distanced before it was even a thing. So go, and sip on fine-leaf tea from a bone-china cup while cooing over finger sandwiches and Victoria sponge. And while you’re at it? Revel in the fact you’re in such good company: this place has welcomed the scholarly great and the scholarly good of Cambridge University’s finest, including Bertrand Russel and Virgina Woolf. Lovely stuff.
The Orchard is taking part in the ‘Eat Out To Help Out’ scheme.

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Photograph: Peach Store & Kitchen
Photograph: Peach Store & Kitchen
Photograph: Peach Store & Kitchen

7. Peach Vegan Kitchen

The Isle of Wight’s just a very pleasant place to visit with its beautiful beaches, bays, promenades and rolling countryside. And while some people say it’s a bit old-fashioned (isn’t that part of its charm?) places like Peach Vegan Kitchen offer a slightly different narrative. Not only does this excellent little cafe serve brilliant vegan food (try the scrambled tofu: incredible) but it doubles up as a zero waste store. Basically, they’ve got their sustainability credentials down pat, which is something we can totally get behind. 
Peach Vegan Kitchen is taking part in the ‘Eat Out To Help Out’ scheme.

8. The Dukes Seafood

Most hardened oyster fans will know that Mersea, where this superb little seafood spot lives, is from where fishermen launch their crafts to harvest Colchester Natives – the oysters we reckon are the best in the world. And we’re right, btw. The Dukes is less a restaurant than a shack with al fresco seating but that’s totally okay: there’s really nothing better than a dressed crab, shell-on prawns or, of course, a plate of oysters while you gaze out at the Atlantic from where it all came. Genuinely a very rewarding experience. If you like seafood, of course. 
The Dukes Seafood is taking part in the ‘Eat Out To Help Out’ scheme.

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Photograph: Wybers Chippy
Photograph: Wybers Chippy
Photograph: Wybers Chippy

9. Wyber’s Chippy

Things can get pretty heated when discussing where you can get the best fish and chips but this superb Grimsby spot was a clear winner in a not-always-very-civil battle in the Time Out editorial team. To be honest, being located in the famed fishing port of Grimsby certainly helps but once you’ve tried fresh-off-the-boat fish in batter so light it needs a tether, you’ll be, erm, hooked. Be warned, though: it gets incredibly busy but believe us when we say it’s more than worth the wait. This is the place to introduce people to a very British dish.

Find more inspiration and guidance for your UK summer holiday here.


       

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