This edition of TASTE brings you VisitBritain's latest round-up of new restaurant openings and foodie news from across the destination.
TREND: CONSCIOUS DINING
Conscious dining has become a phenomenon across Britain. Restaurants, both old and new, are moving to waste-free ways of providing a delicious meal that can help make a difference on the planet. Many have started with ditching plastic straws to completely going plastic-free, from chains like Wagamama and Pizza Express to the Scottish Shetland Islands and the small Welsh village of Aberporth. Acclaimed restaurants like The Mandrake have only ever used biodegradable raw rye and corn-starch straws, while others like Spring have appointed Plastic Ambassadors to look into bio-degradable clingfilm alternatives by 2019.
TREND: SUSTAINABLE FOOD
With a unique concept offering pay-as-you-feel meals using quality-assured food that would otherwise be thrown out, Real Junk Food Manchester aims to tackle the issues of food waste & social inclusion. The project is open every week day for breakfast & lunch, and every Thurs, Fri & Sat night for fine dining evenings at its Oxford Street city centre restaurant. The team at RJFM hope to open more venues across the city centre & beyond using their waste food pay-as-you-feel model.
Tom Hunt’s Bristol tapas restaurant, Poco, sources almost exclusively within a 50-mile-radius. Their food is nutritional, vegetable-centric, and made with whole foods and non-processed ingredients.
New restaurant Brat has opened up in Shoreditch this March by Welsh chef Tomos Parry, bringing together Welsh and Basque cuisine with an emphasis on cooking on fire. With the people behind Noble Rot on the wine list, expect a great choice on the wine front.
Also newly opened, Sabor is located on Heddon Street and takes you on a journey from the tapas bars of Andalucía through to the asadors of Castile and the seafood restaurants of Galicia. For years, Nieves Barragan was a driving force behind the menus at Barrafina and now she's opening up her own place, teaming up with another Barrafina Alumni José Etura. Expect the food and experience here to mix influences from the tapas bars of Andalucía, the asadors of Castile and the seafood restaurants of Galicia. There's a separate bar - and it should be a place for some top counter dining action.
Another ‘must see’, greenhouse restaurants La Goccia and The Petersham will be opening in Petersham Nurseries in Covent Garden this April, following the opening of the deli, cellar and café. And you can expect the room to look spectacular. Also opening in spring this year is Brigadiers, the latest from the Sethis - the people behind Gymkhana, Hoppers and Trishna - and this time they're opening their version of an Indian pub in the City. Expect all manner of dishes charred, smoked and grilled with kebabs, chops, tikka and feasting options on the menu. And, of course, a pretty decent beer selection too.
The follow-up to Bob Bob Ricard, Bob Bob Cité is opening in May this year and will be just as opulent as the West End branch, with plenty of booths and special private rooms; a mini sushi restaurant inside; and of course the infamous Press for Champagne buttons.
WEST-MIDLANDS AND EAST ENGLAND
Expected to be a beautiful, flamboyant and idiosyncratic restaurant; the Parker’s Tavern restaurant at University Arms, Cambridge will launch in August 2018 and will be a stand-alone destination restaurant and bar serving good, honest, locally sourced food – a delicious taste of Cambridge. The independently run restaurant will be overseen by Cambridge born and bred Chef Tristan Welch. Everything served will have British origins and will be rooted back to Cambridge and East Anglian producers. The restaurant overlooks Parker’s Piece and forms part of the UNIVERSITY ARMS, CAMBRIDGE which is also set to open early Summer 2018.There will be up to 110 covers in the restaurant and 61 in the bar and the food menu will consist of a selection of new modern classics, complimented by a seasonally changing menu.
SOUTH AND SOUTH-EAST
London’s burger joint Patty and Bun opened in February its first restaurant outside the capital, bringing all the classics from its menu along with a new vegan burger. Located amongst the South Lanes, this 40 seat burger joint offers the same banging burgers you get in all the other shops, as well as a tempting cocktail list, milkshakes, and local brews in the fridge and on tap.
The Ivy has been a firm fixture on London’s dining and social scene since its foundation in 1917 and there will be a new restaurant opening up in Brighton this spring. Renowned for its food, Executive Chef Gary Lee creates balanced seasonal lunch and dinner menus that place the Ivy classics alongside a contemporary global palette, incorporating more Asian dishes, salads and vegetables, and a “sea and shells” section.
Opening early 2018, Broadley's will be a new independent bistro and wine bar by local, award winning chef, Matthew Broadley. Known to many due to his time as Head Chef at The Devonshire Arms Brasserie, The Wheatley Arms and more recently, The Black Hat. With a focus on local produce and classic British dishes, there’ll also be a bar stocked with handpicked labels from around the world.
After a runaway success operating on the doorsteps of Altrincham Market, Sugo Pasta Kitchen will bring their hugely popular southern Italian pasta dishes to the city centre in early 2018.
In addition, 20 Stories, a rooftop destination restaurant and botanical terrace bar operated by iconic restaurant group D&D London, opened on the 1 March this year in the flagship building development No.1 Spinningfields. Aiden has created a menu that also showcases the best of the Northwest with an aim to source ingredients no more than 50 miles from outside Manchester.
Cain’s Brewery Village in the trendy Baltic Triangle neighbourhood, has very quickly become the city’s brightest hotspot for food and drink. The biggest draw is Baltic Market, a rolling collection of innovative independents competing to be the name on everyone’s lips, literally. From Thursday to Sunday, its long rows of wooden benches are packed with gastronomes. However, you’d be mistaken to think it’s the be-all and end-all of the area. Ryde Coffee Shop provides top cycling gear and repairs alongside its espressos; Kiosk is a cocktail bar in a converted...well, kiosk…which changes its theme according to the season; and Peaky Blinders, named for the global hit series, is much cooler than the average theme bar.
Heswall's newest and most exciting dining out sensation opened up in Liverpool earlier this year. SILK RD Restaurant share their passion for travel and love for fresh food in a concept that brings to life the food, drinks and soul that can be found along the ancient routes that run from the Pacific of East China through to the Mediterranean Sea. They aim to touch all of your senses, starting from when you arrive.
The winner of Cumbria Tourism’s most recent ‘Taste Cumbria’ award is set to grow its foodie reputation further with the official launch of its newly-restyled restaurant Allium, which opened with its new look in February. Under the guidance of Head Chef Richard Swale, the former home of the Earls of Lonsdale has been steadily building up its reputation for food and drink since it opened its doors to guests more than four years ago. From, the newly-styled restaurant will take on its own distinct identity, as part of a wider expansion at Askham.
The restaurant’s new name ‘Allium’ is taken from the striking purple flower which thrives within Askham Hall’s 12 acre gardens, alongside other varieties from the Allium family growing in the kitchen garden (onions / garlic) and the surrounding landscape (wild garlic). As well as representing a long-term change of direction for the ancient building, this trinity of alliums symbolises the restaurant’s desire to produce plates of food which are completely in harmony with nature.
The foodie hub Bristol keeps on giving, as a plethora of new restaurants open in 2018. Inspired by fire, meat & music, Pasture will open early 2018 as a steakhouse and bar from Sam Elliott, former nationwide chef director at Jamie’s Italian.
Wapping Wharf favourites Woky Ko are opening a new restaurant on Queens Road at the top of Park Street; Pasta Ripiena from the team behind Pasta Loco on Cotham Hill are opening the UK’s first dedicated ravioli bar on St Stephen’s Street; and The Florist which offers cocktails, cocktail masterclasses, nightly DJs and culinary delights has just opened on Park Street. Another addition to Bristol’s food scene, The Bristol Cookhouse is a culinary hub for foodies – a cafe, dining club, food studio and cookery workshop with a focus on health, wellbeing, environment and food sustainability.
The new British Dal Festival made its debut on 19-25 March this year, celebrating Dal and other classic pulse-based dishes from around the world. Initiated by the British Edible Pulse Association and involving a diversity of Bristol communities, the free event includes a Dal trail around the city’s restaurants and cafes, each offering a signature dal. Following a break in 2017, Food Connections returns to the city in June 2018. A gathering of the Bristol food community, the festival aims to bring together the city’s independent spirit and creative food cultures. Events throughout the festival place emphasis on knowledge, participation and fun and in the past, have included a street food extravaganza in Millennium Square, producer markets, a huge food trail, debates, food walks, cookery classes and demos from celebrity chefs.
The newest Rockfish restaurant on England’s Seafood Coast will be in Exeter Quays later this year. The waterside new-build restaurant will have a bar and an open kitchen with wood fires to cook the seafood over. The seafood will come from the nearby renowned Brixham Fish Market. Acclaimed chef Mitch Tonks’ award-winning small seafood chain of restaurants specialise in sustainable seafood.
The team behind the renowned Watering Hole pub and restaurant on the beach in Perranporth, are set to open another foodie hero this summer, just a stone’s throw from their popular eatery. Pitched as a bristo, Alcatraz will be built into the cliff at a former WW2 gun shelter at the entrance to Perranporth Beach, and will feature pop-up feast and cocktail nights.
Argyll & The Isles
Amongst 28 acres of gardens and protected woodland you’ll spot Islay House, one of Scotland’s grandest and most historic country house hotels, located on the Whisky Isle. It has recently opened its farm-to-table restaurant The Jib Door. Local home-grown catch and produce means visitors will always get the freshest in-season ingredients and daily menu changes.
In the land of whisky, there’s a few new kids on the block. Argyll and The Isles welcomes The Botanist Dry Gin from Bruichladdich Distillery on the Isle of Islay, Lussa Gin at Ardlussa on the Isle of Jura, and Kintyre Gin at Beinn an Tuirc Distillery on the Isle of Arran, also sitting comfortably alongside the Campbeltown whiskies.
In 2017, Orchid won best cocktail bar of the year at the Scottish Licensed Trade News Awards. Aberdeen’s home for discerning drinkers, this styled and relaxed establishment features mixologists regarded among the best in the UK. Orchid is also home to award-winning Porters Gin.
Last year the slumbering giant of The Malt Whisky Trail was reawakened, rebranded and relaunched. Spanning the Moray Speyside region, the trail showcases nine whisky destinations, including seven operational distilleries, a cooperage and a historic distillery. This trail takes visitors from white beaches to tall forests, past legendary craftsmen to world-renowned brands all the way to discover the jewel in Scotland’s crown.
The Wales and Real Madrid footballer, Gareth Bale, has teamed up with Brains Brewery and opened a brand new sports bar in the heart of Cardiff, Elevens Bar & Grill.
In the new boutique Hotel Indigo, acclaimed chef Marco Pierre White opened his famous Steakhouse Bar & Grill on the rooftop, further increasing Cardiff’s claim to being a foodie destination outside of London.
The Admiral St David recently underwent a total refurbishment. The Australasian restaurant is an entirely new restaurant concept for Wales and the south west, serving up an exotic melting pot of fresh Australasian flavours. The relaxed, contemporary restaurant and bar, based at Cardiff Bay’s five-star luxury St David’s Hotel, features the very finest in Indonesian, Japanese, Sri Lankan, and Australian cuisine.