TASTE – April 2019

London – recently opened

Mirroring the spring season, Britain’s food offering is bursting with fresh, new experiences.

Nobu has welcomed the beauty of spring into their London Shoreditch hotel with the newly launched ‘Hanami’ terrace, inspired by Japan’s famous cherry-blossom season. As well as decking out the terrace with blossoming Sakura, Nobu are offering an exclusive cocktail menu, bespoke dishes and Hana Afternoon Tea, from April until June.  Also inspired by the tastes of Japan, Dinings SW3 is now offering monthly off-menu Omasake dinners, paired with exclusive sakes. An intimate group of only 12 can sit around Executive Chef Masaki Sugisaki’s sushi table and taste the authentic and completely bespoke menu, which differs each month.

London – opening soon

Opening in May on London’s culture-rich Portobello Road is Gold Notting Hill, a neighbourhood restaurant and late-night bar full of artistic creativity, set to encompass the bohemian atmosphere of west London. Spanning four floors, Gold will have a contemporary modern European menu offering high quality food cooked over open flame or in wood oven, and a bar with a select menu of carefully curated cocktails.

Also coming to Notting Hill this May is Suzi Tros, a relaxed, modern Greek restaurant from the couple who created Mazi. With a strong ethos of sustainability, and inspired by the cosy eateries of the owner’s hometown of Thessaloniki, Suzi Tros will serve small plates designed for sharing and offer cocktails made with Greek spirits in an intimate downstairs bar.

The queue-inducing Soho favourite Bao is set to open another of their Taiwanese steamed bun restaurants in Borough Market early in May, but this one comes with a new experience – a karaoke room, available to book from 27 May. Another addition to the Soho food and drink scene this spring is Martha’s, a retro-luxe eatery and bar serving all-American classics accompanied by live jazz and drag acts, which opens 15 April.

The Little Blue Door launches in May and promises the same mix of welcoming and cool, homely yet hipster as its predecessor, The Little Yellow Door. Expect everything from unforgettable late nights, bottomless brunches and ‘London’s Yummiest Roast’ in this ‘anything goes’ establishment, bookable via WhatsApp.

Manchester – recently opened

Located in Stockport’s Grade II listed Market Place building, The Produce Hall is a new addition to Manchester’s growing alternative eating scene. The original Market Place, dating back to the 1860s, which once housed traditional butchers and cheesemongers, now offers a range of comfort food dishes from almost a dozen diverse stalls.

Having progressed from pop-up to a permanent residence in Ancoats, The Hip Hop Chip Shop serves up a perfect portion of traditional chippy dinner but with a cooler-than-cool soundtrack. Bringing together their love of fried food and hip-hop, they offer dishes such as battered halloumi, Louisiana spiced crab cakes and ‘Feastie Boys’ battered fish fritters.

Adding to the restaurants and bars that have been popping up in the Ancoats area of Manchester, The Counter House is an informal, stylish eatery based in Cutting Room Square.  Taking inspiration from the laid-back cafés of Australia, The Counter House combines high quality fresh food from a Michelin star trained chef, in a stripped-back and highly ‘Instagrammable’ setting in Cutting Room Square . Offering both indulgent comfort food and healthy dishes, this all-day food spot is sure to be a great addition to a thriving part of Manchester.

Sheffield – recently opened

Kommune is the newest addition to Sheffield’s ever-growing independent food and drink scene. This vibrant new food hall brings together some of the Steel City’s best-loved hipster eats under one roof. Most notably, the New Zealand inspired Tamper Coffee, the vegan all-rainbow-everything Pom Kitchen and delicious baked goods from Kelham Island’s Depot Bakery.

The opening of ultra-modern all-day café Ambulo adds to the exciting changes in Sheffield city centre. From the people who turned a public toilet into the most stylish cocktail bar in Sheffield and Arctic Monkey’s drummer Matt Helders, expect all-day dining with a difference.

Upcoming events

Fantastic Food Festivals will be back at Blenheim Palace over the May Bank Holiday weekend this year, with an exciting line-up of food demonstrations from both local and celebrity chefs, fun food-based activities, 160 exhibitors and enticing tastings. The year’s theme is based around education and how food can impact our environment.

Discover English wine at some of the UK's best vineyards

Britain is home to an incredible selection of thriving vineyards that produce deliciously tempting wines. From the greenery of Kent and Dorset to the rolling hills of Yorkshire, a visit to one of the wineries can add some sparkle to the summer in more ways than one.

English Wine Week, running from 25 May to 2 June, promotes the nation’s wine industry and will see many vineyards opening their doors to welcome visitors with tours, tastings and special offers. English Wine Tasting and Tours also operate from central London to wineries in Kent and Sussex, meaning English wine remains incredibly accessible.

With award-winning wine offerings in a number of counties, it’s time to explore Britain’s vineyards and raise a glass to a blossoming industry.

Langham, Dorset

Occupying 30 acres at Crawthorne Farm, the Langham Wine Estate takes a ‘low-intervention’ approach to its growing process in a bid to limit its environmental impact. What results is a mix of terroir-driven sparkling wines from hand-picked grapes that are processed on site. Visitors can be talked through the entire process during a two-hour guided tour and tasting. Alternatively, they can embark on a self-guided tour, before treating themselves to lunch or afternoon tea in the Vineyard Café, set in a former 19th-century milking parlour.

Rodington, Shropshire

Hidden away in the heart of picturesque Shropshire is Rodington Vineyard, a family-run 10-acre site that offers an abundance of fine wines. Their Blue Tractor Wines are internationally recognised for their quality and visitors can arrange tastings and a visit to the vineyard during its opening hours – 10am to 4pm daily (closed Wednesdays) – to find out more.

Giffords Hall, Suffolk

Renowned for its array of sparkling wine, rosés and reds, Giffords Hall in Hartest, Suffolk is set on the clay soils of a former glacial riverbed. Taking advantage of its geographic location, it produces quality grapes that are high in both natural sugars and acids – a fantastic combination for both sparkling and dry aromatic wines. Visitors can take part in private or group tours and dogs are also welcome, although they must be kept on a lead to protect the vineyard’s collection of free-roaming lambs and chicks. Grand Tours of the vineyard also take place on selected dates throughout the summer, featuring a guided tour and tasting session with 3 wines and 3 liquors.

When? Grand Tours at 11am on 6 May, 27 May, 22 June, 13 July and 26 August.

Three Choirs, Gloucestershire

With a unique microclimate that is perfectly suited to grape growing, the Three Choirs vineyard and brasserie is found amid the scenic beauty of the Cotswolds. Having first been planted in 1973, the 75-acre site near Newent is among England’s oldest vineyards and is best explored via a guided tour. Visitors can also stay among the vines in one of the luxury vineyard lodges, which offer verandas on two sides for soaking up the sun and the scenery. The Brasserie has a menu packed with country classics and plates that are designed around the seasons using fresh ingredients from the region. Booking in advance for tours and tastings is a necessity.

Camel Valley, Cornwall

Nestled in the spectacular Cornish countryside in Bodmin is Camel Valley, developed by husband and wife pair Bob and Annie Lindo. They’ve been making wine at the site for two decades and possess a Royal Warrant for their sparkling wine from the Prince of Wales. All of the wines produced at Camel Valley are sold in the onsite shop too, meaning visitors can sample the flavours even when Grand Tour tastings are fully booked. Sit back and relax on the terrace or follow the Camel Trail through the farm to the picturesque sandy beaches of Padstow. The Grand Tour details the entire process of winemaking and is accompanied by a taster session when visitors can try the highly acclaimed Cornwall Brut.

When? Grand Tours take place at 5pm on Wednesday evenings between April and October, with additional tours at the same time on Thursdays throughout August. Guided Tours also take place at 2.30pm, Monday to Friday, between April and September.

Chapel Down, Kent

Using locally sourced fruit and mirroring the Traditional Method that is used to create Champagne, Chapel Down vineyard is notorious for its still and sparkling wines. Now covering hundreds of acres of prime Kentish countryside, the vineyard is open all year round to visitors, with gift experiences, tutored tasting sessions and guided tours all available. Chapel Down supplies iconic British institutions including The Royal Opera House and No. 10 Downing Street, while its wines are also popular with leading chefs Gordon Ramsey and Jamie Oliver. Visitors can also enjoy modern British cuisine in the Michelin Bib Gourmand-awarded restaurant The Swan, with its spectacular outdoor terrace that overlooks the vineyard.

When? Guided tours run throughout the year, and booking in advance is recommended.

Greyfriars, Surrey

Occupying close to 50 acres of the Surrey North Downs, Greyfriars is another vineyard that mixes traditional methods with modern wine making technology to create a delightful array of English sparkling wines. Reflecting the unique soil conditions and climate of the region, the wines have won numerous international accolades for owners Mike and Hilary Wagstaff. Tours and tastings run on most weekends, while Greyfriars also hosts open days with free entry on selected days throughout the year.

When? Open days on Saturday 8 June and Saturday 14 September 2019. Booking in advance for tours and tastings is recommended.

Hush Heath Estate and Winery, Kent

Hidden away amid scenic Kentish countryside, the Hush Heath Estate and Winery is home to the award-winning Balfour Brut Rose. Alongside the winery is a picturesque Tudor-framed manor house, glorious gardens and acres of ancient orchards and woodlands. Visitors can embark on a self-guided tour at their own pace after picking up a map from the Cellar Door, taking in the spectacular scenery and wildlife on the way before finishing up with a complimentary sample of wine, cider or beer in the tasting room. There’s an option to add more tastings for an additional fee. Tutored tasting tours, full estate tours and private group tours are also available, but must be booked in advance.

When? Tours take place all year round when the winery is open.

Kingscote, West Sussex

Developed to be a wine tasting break, Kingscote in West Sussex offers not only vineyard tours and tastings, but an all-encompassing countryside experience. The 150-acre estate is also home to Tithe Barn, a spectacular venue used for weddings and corporate events. Visitors can fish at two picturesque lakes known as Leggett Lakes or join one of the public footpaths that meander their way through the estate to discover other attractions in the 2,000-acre Kingscote Valley. Guided tours of the site take in the vines, winery, Tithe Barn and the shop and feature a tutored tasting of 2 of the vineyard’s award-winning wines. Vineyard tours with lunch or afternoon tea are also available, as well as a Gourmet Vineyard Tour option.

When? The vineyard shop is open daily from 10am to 5.30pm. Tours run from the start of April to the end of September and must be booked in advance.

Wyken Vineyards, Suffolk

With its country lanes, tall hedgerows and patchwork fields, the 1,200-acre farm of Wyken is characteristically Suffolk. The 7-acre winery, first established in 1988, produces several award-winning wines that are sold via the shop and the on-site Leaping Hare restaurant. Housed in a 400-year-old barn, the Bib Gourmand awarded restaurant serves a delightful mix of British and European dishes, while Wyken Farmer’s Market runs adjacent to the restaurant on Saturdays, selling an array of local goods, delicious food, alcohol, plants and sculpture. Visitors are encouraged to walk to the vineyard through the grounds of the estate. Alongside the Elizabethan manor house Wyken Hall there is a set of formal gardens that can also be explored.

When? The restaurant is open daily between 12pm and 3pm for lunch, and from 7pm on Friday and Saturday for dinner. The café is open from 10am to 6pm from Sunday to Friday, and from 9am to 6pm on Saturdays. The Farmer’s Market runs from 9am to 1pm on Saturdays. The Gardens are open daily from 2pm to 6pm but are closed on Saturdays.

Sharpen Wine and Cheese, Devon

Producing more than a dozen wines, many of which have won awards internationally, as well as unpasteurised cheeses, Sharpham offers an array of exciting tours and tastings opportunities. Visitors can explore the site overlooking the River Dart as part of a self-directed vineyard walk, or can take part in a Vine to Wine Tour that takes in the vineyard and the winery with expert guidance. The Cellar Door Kitchen, an on-site alfresco kitchen café, is open throughout the season and features local ingredients and those picked from the estate itself.

When? Vine to Wine tours run from April to October at 3pm on weekends. Booking in advance is a must.

Ryedale Vineyards, North Yorkshire

The UK’s most northerly commercial vineyard, Ryedale Vineyards is a small family-run business near Malton at the foot of the North Yorkshire Wolds. Enjoy informal tours and tastings, or relax with a stay at the small B&B at the vineyard farmhouse. The 7-acre vineyard, established in 2007, produces an array of white, red, rosé and sparkling wines, as well as cider and apple juice.

When? Tours and tastings take place on selected days at 3pm between April and October, and must be booked in advance.

Rathfinny Estate, West Sussex

A relative newcomer to the English wine scene, having been founded in 2010 by husband and wife team Mark and Sarah Driver, the Rathfinny Estate occupies exceptionally beautiful countryside in the South Downs. With vines separated by rows of wildflowers, the picturesque site has glimpses of the Sussex heritage coast and features an abundance of tour opportunities. The state-of-the-art winery on the estate is capable of producing one million bottles of sparkling wine annually, a process that is explained as part of an exclusive tour and tasting experience that includes food at the site’s Tasting Room restaurant. Visitors can also stay at the Flint Barns or explore the Rathfinny Trail, a pathway that weaves its way through a mosaic of habitats, presenting numerous opportunities to spot plants, flowers and wildlife.

When? Tour, Tastings and Lunch, and Afternoon Tour and Tastings run on selected days between May and September and must be booked in advance. The Rathfinny trail is open daily, but can be closed at short notice for vineyard works.

The best places for a caffeine hit in London

Brits drink an estimated 95 million cups of coffee every day and across London there are a host of exceptional coffee outlets that have perfected the fine art of creating the perfect brew. From using carefully selected seasonal coffee beans from around the world to roasting them in-house, expect speciality coffee experiences that get the senses tingling.

Celebrate all that’s great about coffee

The Old Truman Brewery on Brick Lane welcomes the London Coffee Festival in late March, bringing together a selection of the best baristas alongside ample opportunities for tastings, demonstrations and workshops. Live music will accompany the festival (28-31 March 2019), which also includes a Latte Art competition and an exciting Coffee Art Project featuring everything from paintings and drawings to film, sculpture and conceptual art.

Watch as baristas go head-to-head across a range of coffee creation disciplines to showcase their skills, in a bid to be crowned Coffee Master. You can also embark on a flavour challenge to test the senses or visit the Tasting Room to discover how coffee can be paired with chocolate, beer, wine and whisky.

Experience London’s coffee collection

Across the capital there are an abundance of specialist coffee houses, small independent cafés and roasters that can provide a much-needed caffeine hit.

Origin Coffee

Having sourced coffee from all over the world, Origin Coffee puts the focus on the unique and incredible stories that accompany every cup. Found occupying spots in Shoreditch, Hammersmith, Southwark and the British Library, a complex roasting process ensures that each cup delivers an abundance of tastes to swell the senses.

Esters

Tucked away on Kynaston Road in North London, Esters uses a few select trusted roasters to provide its coffee alongside a brunch menu based on local produce, seasonal fruit and vegetables and delicious baked goods.

Kaffeine

Taking its inspiration from New Zealand and Australia, independent coffee café Kaffeine has two locations in Fitzrovia, one on Great Titchfield Street and the other on Eastcastle Street. Celebrating its tenth anniversary in 2019, the coffee outlet runs fortnightly group art latte classes as well as one-on-ones with the lead barista for those who want to find out more about the art of coffee making.

Abuelo

Combining South American coffee beans with Australian coffee techniques, Abuelo offers a delightful speciality coffee experience in the heart of Covent Garden. Thanks to a partnership with Wogan Coffee Roasters, expect single origin, 100% Arabica beans that are roasted in Britain to be the mainstay of the coffee and cocktail menu. Ethically sourced, organic, farm to table meals can accompany the coffee offering, as the menu takes inspiration from Abuelo’s Australian and Argentinian owners.

Monmouth Coffee Company

With a focus on sustainable processes, the Monmouth Coffee Company sources and roasts coffee from small farms, estates and cooperatives, purchasing small batches from many countries across the world. Alongside sites in Covent Garden and Borough, they have a set of Loring roasters in Bermondsey, a hub of coffee production.

Press Coffee

Having arrived on London’s coffee scene in 2013, Press Coffee has expanded from its initial site on Fleet Street to take in locations on Chancery Lane, Saint Bride and a collaboration with Framestore, as well as more recent additions in Fulham Market Hall and Victoria Market Hall. Press sources and roasts coffee from the world’s most stirring coffee producing regions, and follows specific procedures to get the most out of any individual coffee, resulting in exceptional flavours.

Association Coffee

With a range of coffees that change by season, Association Coffee on Creechurch Lane has something new to experience on a constant basis, serving speciality coffee from London’s leading roasters. Expect guest espressos and single origin coffee, as well as a selection of teas, pastries and other baked goods. They also stock an array of home brewing equipment for those who want to take their love of coffee that step further.

Coleman Coffee Roasters

Serving up specialist coffees on Lower Marsh Street in Lambeth, Coleman Coffee Roasters uses a gas powered roaster originating from post-war Vienna. While predominantly a wholesaler, the shop opens on Saturday morning for taster sessions where visitors can try a selection of south American coffee beans.

The Watch House

The Watch House is a small rustic coffee shop in Bermondsey, set in the surroundings of an old Victorian building designed for men guarding the nearby St Mary Magdalene Church graveyard. Alongside Empire Blend and Single Origin Filter Coffee, the watch serves an array of monthly brews alongside plenty of delicious house-made food. Its other sites near Tower Bridge and Fetter Lane draw inspiration for their surroundings, serving a delightful concoction of coffees, cocktails and small dishes.

Top UK festivals for beer, wine and spirits

Britain is renowned for its craft beers, fine spirits and delightful mixology, while the growth of its wine industry continues to gather pace. With ‘Dry January’ at an end, those keen to sample the best of Britain’s alcohol can enjoy an abundance of incredible festivals for beer, wine and spirits throughout 2019, all of which provide ample opportunity to discover innovative concoctions and perhaps even a new tipple of choice…

Great British Gin Festival

The Great British Gin Festival will continue its tour of Britain in 2019, bringing 100 different gins from around the world to a range of locations. With cocktail demos and presentations from industry producers, they’ll be a generous helping of flavoured gins to test the taste buds, all with a background of live music.

When? On selected Fridays and Saturdays throughout 2019: 9 February (Hartlepool), 23 February (Winchester), 9 March (Portsmouth), 23 March (Ipswich), 29 March (Northamptonshire), 12 April (Bristol), 20 April (Hastings), 20 April (Edinburgh), 4 May (Belfast), 17 May (Birmingham), 25 May (Isle of Wight), 1 June (Cardiff), 7 June (Maidstone), 22 June (Newcastle), 29 June (London), 13 July (Nottingham), 27 July (Jersey)

Craft Beer Rising   

Tantalise your taste buds at The Old Truman Brewery on Brick Lane, as Craft Beer Rising brings together more than a hundred of the finest craft brewers and ten cider producers. Alongside established names from the craft beer world, such as Brewdog, London Fields Brewery and Tiny Rebel, the festival will also welcome Brooklyn Brewery and Goose Island from the United States. Visitors can sample an array of delicious street food in The Foxes Den and enjoy live music across all three days of the event.

When? 21-23 February

The Wine and Spirits Show

Following an extremely popular show in autumn 2018, in April this year The Wine and Spirits Show returns to One Whitehall Place, part of the iconic The Royal Horseguards hotel in Westminster. Sample masterclasses from major wine and spirit brands, meet up with boutique wine producers and discover more about the fantastic history of Champagne. Head to the Global Masters Zone to find out more about prestigious entries into Global Masters competitions, sample a range of brews from every continent as part of the Global Beer Tour Zone, or visit the Spirits Hall – home to award-winning vodka, whisky, tequila, bourbon and more.

When? 12-13 April

London Whisky Weekender

Try an array of the finest home-grown Scottish whiskies, alongside brands from all corners of the globe at the London Whisky Weekender. With set sessions at the Kia Oval to ensure things don’t get too crowded, try the finest whiskies that India, Japan, the USA and Taiwan (among many others) have to offer, or purchase ‘under the counter dram tokens’ to sample rarer, more exclusive tipples.

When? 10-12 May

Prosecco Springs

The UK’s largest festival dedicated to sparkling wine, Prosecco Springs, will return to London’s Oval Space in May. With more producers on the bill than in previous years, visitors can sample authentic Italian street food, live music and an abundance of Prosecco in the heart of East London.

When? 17-19 May

Fyne Fest    

The annual celebration of beer, food and music at the Fyne Ales brewery estate in Cairndow, Argyll marks its tenth year in 2019. Having won Beer event of the Year at the 2018 Scottish Beer Awards, the family-friendly festival welcomes people of any age and has plenty of space for visitors to pitch tents or park up in motorhome and caravans. Fyne Fest will have more than 200 beers from over 50 of Europe’s breweries available to try, as well as a wealth of cider, cocktails, wines and spirits. Three stages host live music while 11 local and award-winning producers provide the food.

When? 31 May - 3 June

Festival of Wine 

Having originated in Glasgow in 2002, wine expert Tom Cannavan’s popular festival has expanded to take in three cities across Britain. The Festival of Wine features tastings and masterclasses in city centre locations from top winemakers, retailers and importers, allowing visitors to discover great wines and to learn the stories behind them.

When? 29 June (Glasgow), 19 October (London), 9 November (Edinburgh)

Great British Beer Festival

Developed by the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA), the Great British Beer Festival showcases more than 900 real ales and craft beers from around the world, of which more than half come from British brewers. Having operated for more than 40 years, the festival is run by hundreds of volunteers and also serves an array of ciders, fine wines, perries and gin from more than 30 bars. Tutored tasting sessions reveal more about the brews on offer, with each brewery also competing for the prestigious title of 2019 Champion Beer of Britain.

When? 6-10 August

Indy Man Beer Con

Hosted in the glorious surroundings of Victoria Baths in Manchester, Independent Manchester Beer Convention will return for its eighth year in October. Welcoming breweries from across Britain, and a sprinkling of those from elsewhere in the world, the event features an eclectic mix of tasting sessions and a food village packed with delicacies from around the region.

When? 3-6 October

RumFest

Showcasing more than 400 rums from across the world, RumFest returns to the ILEC conference centre in Earls Court, London, for its thirteenth year in 2019. Expect intimate seminars from some of the industry’s leading lights, an array of delicious food tastings, live music and holiday giveaways as part of a carnival-like experience.

When? 19-20 October

Craft Beer Calling 

Bringing together an abundance of craft breweries under one roof, Newcastle’s Wylam Brewery will host the sixth edition of Craft Beer Calling in late October. As well as a Gin Palace and an artisan cider cellar, visitors can talk with the brewery staff to find out more about their favourite tipples before indulging at the on-site street food market.

When? 24-26 October

The Wine Festival 

Featuring hundreds of wines from English wine producers and some from further afield, Winchester Guildhall hosts The Wine Festival, a selection of tasters, masterclasses, street food and merchandise. Masters of Wine and TV presenters, Susie Barry and Peter Richards, host the event, imparting their expert knowledge while visitors discover exciting new wines.

When? 29-30 November

TASTE – February 2019

London – recently opened

 

London’s thriving restaurant scene has shown no signs of slowing in the early part of 2019, as numerous new eateries are now serving up an array of exciting dishes and experiences.

 

Acclaimed Turkish chef Civan Er has brought the taste of his famed Istanbul restaurant Yeni Lokanta to Soho with the opening of Yeni. A menu packed with innovative vegetable dishes, inventive takes on street food and sophisticated fish and meat plates takes inspiration from Istanbul’s location as a meeting point between Europe and Asia.

 

Sushi Daily has built on the success of its global food kiosks by opening its own permanent site on New Oxford Street, as founder Kelly Choi joins forces with sushi expert Silla Bjerrum. Serving an array of fresh, handmade sushi, breakfast dishes and hot options, visitors can expect classic sushi and authentic Japanese dishes, including yakisoba, katsu curry and udon soup, as well as porridge options to start the day.

 

France’s oldest luxury tea emporium Mariage Frères has now opened its doors in a beautiful Georgian five-storey townhouse on Covent Garden’s King Street. Choose from the world’s largest collection of tea, with 1,000 aromatic varieties from 36 tea producing countries, all stored in an apothecary-style wall stretched out over 1,200 square metres. The first floor Salon De Thé is open for breakfast, brunch, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner, with Mariage Frères’ Cuisine au Thé concept using tea as a delicate ingredient, flavouring or spice in every dish on the menu.

 

The pair behind Camden Market’s popular vegan bakery, Cupcakes and Shhht, have launched We Are Vegan Everything (WAVE) in the heart of Hackney. Expect vegan ‘freakshakes’, juice shots, superfood lattes and vegan gluten and sugar free cakes, brownies and croissants, as well as a brunch menu featuring vegan fried eggs and vegan salmon and cream cheese.

 

London – opening soon

 

Opening in February, Centre Point’s flagship restaurant VIVI will offer a return to the Swinging Sixties, with a bold seasonal menu and extravagant décor right in the centre of the capital’s theatre district. Divided into four key spaces, including The Dining Room, The Bar, The Gallery and the Liquid Lounge, the restaurant will serve everything from simple breakfasts through to evening dining.

 

X-upper is set to open at 88 Upper Street, Islington in early March, serving a delectable array of gourmet sausages, with carefully curated recipes by a handful of top London chefs. Alongside six core sausages, they’ll also be daily specials for visitors to get their teeth into.

 

Craft pasta restaurant Emilia’s in St Katherine Docks is all set to open a second offering in the heart of Aldgate, offering 7 carefully created pasta dishes and a range of exciting specials. Get ready for delicious twists on original dishes, a small wine list packed with Italian vintages and a unique Italian craft beer selection, set against a vibrant terracotta backdrop.

 

As part of a dramatic transformation, former late-night bar Gigalum in Clapham South is being turned into The Perky Nel, a neighbourhood pub serving delightful British food from local suppliers and producers. The offering, from independent pub group livelihood, will also host live sport screenings and other entertainment when it opens in February.

 

Although not strictly a new opening, Vaughn’s Cookery School in Devizes, Wiltshire, and chef Peter Vaughn, will mark St David’s Day on 1 March with a Chef’s Table Supper Club. Alongside a three-course meal with plenty of Welsh influences, Vaughn will share his experiences while putting unique twists on the food served.

 

Food will also be on the agenda at the Victoria and Albert Museum from mid-May, as a major exhibition will take visitors on a multi-sensory journey through the food cycle. Food: Bigger than the plate will explore the ways that innovative individuals and communities grow, distribute and experience food, with highlights including cheese made from human bacteria and an Urban Mushroom Farm installation.

 

Just opened – Bristol

 

Having tasted success in Cheltenham and Oxford, independent micro-chain Coconut Tree launched in two Bristol locations in late 2018, bringing affordable Sri Lankan street food to Gloucester Road and Clifton. Sample fiery cocktails, tropical tapas and egg hoppers, alongside plenty of other culinary delights.

 

Opening soon – Birmingham

 

Chef Adam Stokes, the Michelin-starred owner of Adam’s restaurant in Birmingham, will open his second venture in the city in February, specialising in fish and seafood. Crab toast, teriyaki salmon and fish and chips will be on the menu at The Oyster Club on Temple Street, alongside a dedicated oyster bar and a range of exciting meat and vegetarian dishes.

 

The huge basement boiler room of the Grand Hotel will soon welcome Tattu, offering contemporary Chinese cuisine that’s carefully presented and packed full of incredible flavours. The third branch from owner pair Adam and Drew Jones will serve up a delightful array of signature dishes and new additions to the menu, including chilli and sesame roasted scallops served with Chinese sausage.

Torquay B&B named world’s best at Trip Advisor traveller awards

Britain is home to the world’s best B&B – and lots more besides. The 25 Boutique B&B, nestled away on the English Riviera, took the crown of being The World’s number one B&B at the prestigious TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice awards. In just four years, The 25’s owners Andy and Julian Banner-Price have scooped an array of internationally renowned awards for the unique and memorable five-star experiences on offer.

Each of the boutique B&B’s six funky bedrooms has its own distinctive design, is packed with the latest technologies, and is within easy reach of the main harbour in Torquay. Taking into account the quality and quantity of traveller reviews and opinions specific to each award category, the hallmarks of Travellers’ Choice winners are extraordinary service, quality and value.

The 25 Boutique B&B wasn’t the only slice of Britain to scoop an award in 2019, with the winners showcasing the wide array of quality attractions, restaurants and hotels that are available to travellers from all over the world.

Hotels

Hotel 41, London

The five-star Hotel 41, a beautiful gem overlooking the Royal Mews at Buckingham Palace, featured among the world’s top 25 hotels, taking 15th spot. An intimate private hideaway with 30 luxurious rooms and suites, the hotel has a stylish black and white design, enriched by mahogany and fabulous furnishings. Guests can enjoy Plunder the Pantry complementary treats in the residents only Executive Lounge.

Best Destination

London

England’s capital city ranked as the world’s second best destination thanks to the wealth of things to see and do, its restaurants, infrastructure and shopping experiences. With the Tower of London and Buckingham Palace featuring on most visitor itineraries, the city is also home to the spectacular National Gallery and the Tate Modern, as well as an abundance of historical attractions and fine dining.

Rentals

St Michaels, Whitstable

Ranking as the second best rental option in the world, St Michaels in Whitstable has space for up to 23 guests and offers an abundance of space and amenities. The executive 5-bedroom detached house is just 15-minute walk from the stunning Whitstable Harbour, castle and seafront.

Little Upton Threshing Barn, Glastonbury

The second of three rentals to feature in the global top ten, this time in eighth spot, Little Upton Threshing Barn in Glastonbury has six luxury rooms split across two converted barns with access to plenty of outdoor space, an enclosed heated swimming pool and a private hot tub. Visitors have the option to tailor their experience with an array of catering and activity options.

Snowdon House in Snowdonia, Llanberis

Taking tenth spot in the best rental ranking, Snowdon House is nestled among the picturesque beauty of Snowdonia National Park in North Wales. Alongside an outdoor hot tub and a sauna, the characterful home has heated floors and beautiful log burning stoves.

Restaurants

Restaurant Sat Bains, Nottingham

Nestled under a flyover off the A52, the two Michelin star Restaurant Sat Bains has tables seating up to six guests and 7 and 10-course tasting menus featuring plenty of stunning original dishes. The restaurant is popular with TripAdvisor guests too, having been named as the fourth best restaurant in the world in this year’s Travellers’ Choice awards.

Adam’s, Birmingham

Offering contemporary British fine dining in intimate surroundings, the 36-cover dining room at the Michelin starred Adam’s in Birmingham was another popular choice at the 2019 awards. Named as the 11th best restaurant in the world, owner and chef Adam Stokes has 3 AA Rosettes to his name and serves up a 3-course menu and a signature tasting menu in the heart of the city.

Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, Great Milton

Hidden among beautiful gardens in the rural Cotswolds countryside is the world’s 15th best restaurant, Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons. Having held two Michelin stars for 35 years, the gourmet hotel in Oxfordshire oozes gastronomic flair, with chef Raymond Blanc offering a 6-course weekend lunch menu, as well as a 5-course lunch and 7-course dinner options.

Museums

The British Museum, London

The British Museum, voted as the world’s fourth best museum at the Travellers’ Choice awards, houses a vast collection of world art and artefacts that are dedicated to human history, art and culture. Dating back to 1753, the museum’s collection includes more than eight million objects, of which only a fraction is on show at any one time. Special exhibitions take place across the year, including the largest exhibition of Norwegian artist Edvard Munch’s prints in the UK for 45 years, from early April 2019.

National Gallery, London

Home to more than 2,300 pieces of artwork, ranging from altarpieces to the Impressionists, the National Gallery hosts regular events and exhibitions and ranks as the 11th best museum in the world. Accessible across 361 days every year, its national collection of paintings in Western European styles cover the 13th to 19th centuries and can be viewed free of charge.

Beaches

Bournemouth Beach, Dorset

Bournemouth Beach, a sandy expanse of coastline on the south coast of England, featured among the world’s top 25 beaches, in 14th. Tuck into fish and chips along seven miles of spectacular sands, sit back and relax in a colourful deckchair or sample the many family attractions on Bournemouth Pier.

Amusement Parks

Paulton’s Park, Romsey, Hampshire

Home to the world’s first Peppa Pig World, Paultons Park on the edge of the New Forest National Park has more than 70 exciting rides and attractions for all the family to enjoy. The theme park features in the world’s top 25 amusement parks, with the Travellers’ Choice award recognising its eclectic mix of rides and entertainment.