TASTE – August 2019

From pop-up restaurants serving gourmet classics to modern takes on traditional cooking, Britain continues to welcome new restaurants and food offerings to its already thriving culinary scene. Here are the latest restaurant openings and unveilings for visitors to get their teeth into.

 

Recently opened

 

The Samling, Lake District

 

The luxurious Lake District hotel, The Samling, has relaunched its food offering with the support of new Executive Chef Robby Jenks. Several new fine dining menus now cover lunch and dinner to give guests plenty of options, including a three-course set lunch Table D’Hote menu and The Choice Menu, offering three courses of à la carte dining. Both menus will include a delectable array of seasonal ingredients as well as some from The Samling’s own gardens. Dinner service will include the Choice Menu and a delightful five-course Tasting Menu packed with a unique fusion of cooking styles, flavours and tastes. The lunch menu options are priced at £25 per head for the Table D’Hote menu and £65 per person for the Choice Menu. The Tasting Menu costs £85 per person.

 

Feasts from the Middle East, various locations

 

Comptoir Libanais Group founder Tony Kitous launched Britain’s first high-end large-scale Middle Eastern catering company in June, having partnered with leading events designers Admirable Crichton. Feasts from the Middle East specialises in mezze, small sharable plates of food that aim to showcase the best of Middle Eastern and North African cuisine. The venture aims to bring an array of grilled meats, rice dishes and plant-based delicacies to events, award ceremonies, product launches, weddings and private parties across the UK.

 

The Mantl, Knightsbridge, London

 

Using traditional cooking methods over hot coals to create an authentic Turkish sharing experience, The Mantl in Knightsbridge offers refined food in a sleek, modern setting. Founder Serdar Demir’s carefully curated menu puts a focus on lesser-known Turkish dishes, including Smoked Sheep’s Yogurt, Smoked Eggplant, Feraye and Chargrilled Octopus. The house speciality Lamb Shish is lovingly prepared over four days, while the Pistachio Lamb Chops promise a mix of mouth-watering flavours. Deserts include the restaurant’s own take on Baklava and Chocolate Delights, a twist on Turkish Delight. A set lunch menu with two or three courses is also available at a cost of £14.90 per person and £17.90 per person respectively.

 

The Freemasons at Wiswell, Lancashire

 

To coincide with the opening of new kitchen space, chef owner Steven Smith has launched a selection of exciting new menus at The Freemasons at Wiswell. The award-winning gastropub in the heart of the Ribble Valley in Lancashire now includes Mr Smith’s Table and Bench, offering guests the chance to dine in the heart of the kitchen. The Kitchen Table seats up to 12 – with a minimum of six needed to book – and provides a premium space for guests to try out tasting menus or celebrate special occasions. Meanwhile the Kitchen Bench features four stools in front of the kitchen, enabling guests to watch their meals being made from scratch.

 

Glasshouse at the Gherkin, London

 

In partnership with Perrier-Jouët Champagne, the Iris Bar at the top of the Gherkin has been transformed into a luscious botanical greenhouse. With splendid views of the River Thames, all of level 40 has become an oasis of greenery where guests can try an inspired seasonal menu, a delightful array of botanical gin cocktails and Champagne pairings by Perrier-Jouët. Glasshouse at the Gherkin runs until 1 September.

 

High Tea at the Orangery, Rockliffe Hall, Yorkshire

 

Rockliffe Hall’s flagship 4AA Rosette restaurant, The Orangery, has launched an indulgent afternoon tea experience. Executive chef Richard Allen’s offering includes an abundance of sweet and savoury treats and takes inspiration from the restaurant’s tasting and à la carte evening dinners. Expect a modern take on a traditional favourite, as the menu includes Duck Egg Mayonnaise and Cured Cumbrian open sandwiches, Warm Whitby Crab and Wensleydale Cheese Tart with Garden Chard and Raspberry Short Bread with Rockliffe Estate Honey and Candied Lemon, all served with loose leaf tea or fresh coffee. The Orangery High Tea is available daily between 1pm and 3pm for £35 per person. A Champagne Tea, including a glass of Perrier-Jouët Grand Brut, is priced at £49 per person.

 

Mahé Cookery School, Padstow

 

Chef Paul Ainsworth and wife Emma have continued to put their stamp on Cornwall’s culinary scene with the launch of their fourth venture in Padstow, the Mahé Cookery School. With space for up to five guests to hone their kitchen skills under the guidance of Michelin-starred executive chef John Walton, the kitchen will provide a range of courses including Pasta Masterclass, Bistro Cooking, Dinner Party Secrets and Sugar and Spice. From learning the essentials to making authentic Italian pasta, knowing how to create restaurant quality dishes at home and designing eye-catching deserts, each class will include one-to-one teaching and a wealth of expert advice. The adjoining Michelin-starred No. 6 restaurant, Mahé, will offer its cookery lessons during the day and a bespoke culinary experience at the Chef’s Table, capable of seating six guests in the evenings. A range of classes can be booked in the remainder of 2019, with prices ranging between £195 and £275 per person.

 

Boringdon Hall Hotel, Devon

 

The five-star country hotel Boringdon Hall launched its Tasting Menu to Remember package in June, giving guests the opportunity to transform their special memories into a bespoke culinary experience. The package includes the creation of a five-course tasting menu with matched wines from head chef Scott Paton to be enjoyed in the intimate surroundings of The Gallery dining room, an overnight stay in one of the hotel’s luxury suites, a welcome gift and a 60-minute treatment each at the hotel’s luxury Gaia Spa for £975 per couple. Each menu will be unique to each couple and will feature an array of skilfully executed dishes and seasonal local produce.

 

The Furnace Kitchen, Ironbridge Gorge Museums

 

Celebrity chef Marcus Bean launched the Furnace Kitchen at the Ironbridge Gorge Museums at Coalbrookdale in late July, offering a variety of brunch, lunch and snack options. Mixing British classics and European cuisine, visitors will be able to sample homemade cakes and tasty light bites, as well as fresh oven-roasted pizzas from the on-site pizza oven. Open to museum visitors and the public every day from 8.30am to 5pm, as well as on selected evenings, the restaurant is located in the former Long Warehouse of the historic Coalbrookdale Company, once the loading bay for rail wagons.

 

Bill’s Baker Street, London

 

Having undergone an extensive transformation, Bill’s Restaurant and Bar opened another new-look London restaurant in June at Bill’s Baker Street. Modern décor and luxurious seating have been combined with an enhanced evening menu, packed with cocktails and delicious treats. Seasonal additions include Steak and Rarebit Pie and Vegan Black Bean Chilli, while the cocktail menu features favourites such as a Coconut and Raspberry Daiquiri and an Apple and Elderflower Collins.

 

New menus

 

Little Kolkata, Covent Garden, London

 

To celebrate the sunshine, popular Bengali restaurant Little Kolkata has introduced a brand new seasonal menu. With more than 20 new dishes and a fresh summer drinks menu to sample, guests can choose from highlights including spicy jumbo prawn with coconut cream and green chilli, and beetroot croquettes with green chutney. Hidden away behind bustling Covent Garden, and with a restorative range of summery cocktails including spiced gin, Campari and Martini Rosso on offer, this little gem is the perfect spot to savour authentic Bengali cuisine in the heart of London.

 

Patisserie Valerie, nationwide

 

Sweet-toothed staple Patisserie Valerie has started the first stage of its redevelopment with a brand new summer menu. Focusing on ethical produce, fine ingredients and creativity, diners can choose from a range of tasty treats such as strawberry gateau with vanilla sponge, whipped cream and fresh strawberries.  With a brand new cold drinks range produced with British drinks brand Cawston Press, a new all-day brunch menu, and a wide range of plant-based and vegetarian options, the new menu is the sweetest way to savour summer.

 

Coming soon

 

Story by the Sea, Carbis Bay, Cornwall

 

Critically acclaimed chef Tom Sellers and the team from Restaurant Story are relocating to the Cornish coast for six weeks from early August. The exclusive residency in Carbis Bay, titled Story by the Sea, promises a delicious five or six-course menu that takes inspiration from the ocean and Cornwall’s incredible surroundings, alongside a carefully crafted cocktail menu. Restaurant Story also intends to work alongside ocean campaigners Parley to remove 50 tonnes of plastic from the seas during the residency at the Carbis Bay Estate, by creating a series of limited edition upcycled tote bags. Running from 2 August to 14 September, the pop-up restaurant will be open every day throughout that period. Experience the set five-course lunch menu from £95 and the six-course dinner menu from £125 per person.

 

Kindling, Brighton

 

Opening in September, ‘land-sea-fire’ concept Kindling promises to deliver a range of delicious vegetarian, ethically-sourced meat and sustainable fish dishes under the mantra “good food, done well”. Created by husband and wife team Ramin and Jane Mostowfi, the duo behind ground-breaking vegetarian restaurant Food for Friends, the restaurant will feature reclaimed wood, elegant décor and a wood-fired grill, for an ethical dining experience with style.

Foodie focus on… Cornwall

The south-western corner of England is a slice of foodie heaven. From mouth-watering local specialities to the hottest restaurants and must-do food experiences, Cornwall’s culinary capabilities are not to be missed.

 

Regional specialities and where to taste them

CORNISH PASTY: Succulent meat and vegetables encased in warm, golden pastry, formed into a distinctive ‘D’ shape and should be crimped on one side to ensure it’s a genuine Cornish pasty.

Where can I eat it? Pretty much in every butcher’s shop or bakery in Cornwall. Rowe’s Bakeries, dotted throughout the county, make award-winning pasties, with four bakeries in the coastal town of Falmouth alone. Malcolm Barnecutt has several bakeries around Cornwall selling hand-made goodies made fresh overnight, plus two restaurants where you can linger over a pasty, one in St Austell and one in Bodmin.

 

CORNISH CREAM TEA: A truly scrumptious treat, this is where you load jam and melt-in-the-mouth Cornish clotted cream onto a sweet scone. And, if you’re in Cornwall, the jam goes on first, topped off by the cream (neighbouring Devon does it the other way round)!

Where can I eat it? Cream teas are ubiquitous throughout the tearooms, restaurants and hotels of Cornwall. The Cream Tea Guide is a handy source of where to find some of the best – check out either the traditional cream tea or a savoury cheese tea with Cornish cheeses and chutney at The Elm Tree in Truro, or enjoy cream teas on the terrace of the Duchy of Cornwall Nursery Café, with views over the 13th-century Restormel Castle.

 

KERN AND YARG CHEESE: Crowned Supreme Champion at World Cheese Awards in 2017, Kern matures over 16 months and is a hard cheese with buttery and caramel notes. It is made by the same dairy that makes Yarg cheese (wrapped in nettles to produce a lemony, creamy taste), Lynher Dairies, and both are only produced by this dairy.

Where can I eat it?: Kern is not yet available to buy from the dairy (although watch this space – you could be among the first to buy it) but you can buy Yarg and it is often served on restaurant cheeseboards throughout the county, such as at The Herring at the Bedruthan hotel.

 

TREGOTHNAN TEA: The first tea ever to be grown in England is made from Camellia sinensis leaves from the Tregothnan Estate in south Cornwall, the first estate to grow ornamental camellia plants in the UK, which is possible thanks to the area’s microclimate. As well as Black Tea it also produces Green tea, herbal infusions and Earl Grey tea.

Where can I drink it?: Tregothnan is sold in supermarkets across the UK and is served in many tearooms across Cornwall, but why not sip it while overlooking the gorgeous views of St Michael’s Mount at the Godolphin Arms in Marazion.

 

CORNISH WINE: Thanks to the development of grape varieties that work well in the climate of south-west England, Cornish wine regularly wins awards, particularly with its sparkling wines. There are several lovely vineyards to explore in the region – Polgoon, Trevibban Mill, Knightor, Bosue, Polmassick and Cornwall’s largest vineyard Camel Valley.

Where can I drink it?: Cornish wine is sold in supermarkets and off licences throughout the UK, but a lovely spot to enjoy a glass is on the sun terrace at Camel Valley – overlooking the vineyard itself.

 

5 must-do food and drink experiences

Tea: To fully understand how tea is grown in England, join a garden tour of the Tregothnan Estate’s botanical garden or even learn how to become a tea guru with a Tregothnan tea masterclass. You’ll pluck your own tea leaves and have the chance to create your own bespoke blend of tea.

Beer: Take a tour around Cornwall's oldest independent family brewery, established more than 150 years ago, at the St Austell Brewery Visitor Centre. Many original traditions and skills remain in its brewing method today, from the raw ingredients that are used through to the sampling process.

Chocolate: Watch chocolate being lovingly created by hand at the factory of Kernow Chocolate in St Eval, in the south west of the county. Every piece of chocolate is made by skilled chocolatiers and while you can’t tour the factory itself, its large viewing window allows you to see how its 20 flavours come together. An added bonus? There’s a tasting table so you can decide which chocolate is your favourite.

Fish: The Fat Hen near Penzance in the south of Cornwall offers a series of great experiences run by sustainable-living guru Caroline Davey. Courses including picking out and cooking live crab fished the same day, learning how to source, prepare and cook Cornish fish and shellfish, and there’s also a range of foraging courses.

Ice cream: If you enjoy Cornish clotted cream on a scone, can you imagine how delicious it must taste in ice cream? Discover how this delectable treat is made at Callestick Farm in north Cornwall, from the mixing of flavours, to freezing and the filling of tubs. And, of course, there’s ample opportunity to try the resulting product, flavours which range from clotted cream vanilla and Cornish sea salted caramel, to cinnamon, chunky root ginger and even bubblegum!

 

Hot restaurants you have to visit

Rick Stein, Padstow

You can’t come to Cornwall and not try a meal at a Rick Stein establishment – there are now nine across the county. Padstow is famously known as ‘PadStein’, such is the great chef’s influence in the area. His flagship restaurant is The Seafood Restaurant and the town is also home to Rick Stein’s Café, Stein’s Fish & Chips (for something a little more casual), Fisheries & Seafood Bar, Ruby’s Bar and St Petroc’s Brasserie (which also offers accommodation). Whichever eaterie you choose, the focus is on serving the freshest of fish, cooked to perfection.

Restaurant Nathan Outlaw, Port Isaac

Another master of seafood cuisine, chef Nathan Outlaw worked under Rick Stein at The Seafood Restaurant, and has since gone on to run the eponymous Restaurant Nathan Outlaw, Outlaw’s Fish Kitchen and The Mariners (also a pub serving local beers from Sharps Brewery), and is the proud owner of four Michelin stars. Restaurant Nathan Outlaw is a real treat for lovers of seafood; it exclusively serves a seafood tasting menu highlighting the best in sustainable produce caught off the Cornish coast.

Fern Pit Café, Newquay

Choose your live crab or lobster caught by the Fern Pit Café’s own fishing boat, have it cooked to order and then savour the flavours while overlooking the beautiful Gannel Estuary or order it in takeaway form and head down to enjoy your food on Crantock Beach. Simple yet tasty crab sandwiches are also on the menu and, through the lobster season, the café creates its must-try lobster salad lunches.

Alba, St Ives

Alba’s first-floor restaurant one of the places to go in St Ives for an elegant dining experience. Housed in the refurbished Old Lifeboat House on St Ives harbour, the experience is further enhanced by the panoramic views to Godrevy Lighthouse across St Ives Bay, as well as a menu created from locally sourced ingredients and herbs grown on site. Award-winning chef and proprietor Grant Nethercott serves up modern British style cuisine that comes in the form of dishes such as blow-torched gin-cured sea trout and Cornish grass-fed beef fillet. For cocktails and small plates, head to its walk-in A Bar downstairs.

Fifteen Cornwall, Watergate Bay

Eat well and feel good; not only does Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen offer an amazing menu of Italian dishes using Cornish produce but this award-winning restaurant from the TV chef is also a social enterprise, with all profits going to its charity Cornwall Food Foundation. Why not try Jamie’s Corn Fritters with poached eggs for breakfast, slow-cooked duck with lentils and agro dolce for lunch and olive oil poached turbot with vignole for dinner?

The Hidden Hut, Porthcurnick Beach

It may be little more than a wooden hut on a beautiful beach on the Roseland Heritage Coast, but The Hidden Hut, located around 30 minutes’ drive from Truro, hosts spectacularly large outdoor cook-ups, where there’s only one dish served – think rotisserie duck, 12-hour Greek lamb, wood-fired mezze or Sri Lankan monkfish curry (there are always vegetarian options too). It’s bring-your-own plates, cutlery and drinks, and dress for the weather because it all takes place outdoors come rain or shine. Feast nights take place from May to September and you have to book ahead.

Paul Ainsworth at No.6, Padstow

It’s easy to understand why Paul Ainsworth At No.6 has a Michelin star, with inventive menus filled with gastronomic delights such as hogget (sheep meat that’s one to two year’s old) from the Tamar Valley (an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty that straddles both Cornwall and Devon) with red garlic ketchup and sweetbread fricassee, and raw sea bream with sand shrimp slaw and katsuobushi mayonnaise. Located in a lovely Georgian townhouse in Padstow, dining here is a special experience.

Gylly Beach Café, Falmouth

Family-run, Gylly Beach Café comes with views to die for over Gyllyngvase Beach and with panoramic views of the Lizard Peninsula. Its menu is pretty special too. Breakfast and lunch is about walk-ins; try the Full Cornish Breakfast early on or how about a slice of Homity Pie (puff pastry filled with creamed potato, leeks and Cornish cheddar) for lunch? Come evening, book a table so you can try out dishes such as locally sourced pork and prawns, venison loin and Newlyn pollock fillet.

 

A 48-hour foodie itinerary

The whole of Cornwall is filled with incredible food destinations – here are suggestions for just one area, from Port Isaac on the rugged Atlantic coast to Falmouth in the south-east of the county, to tempt your tastebuds.

Day one

09:00 Don’t go light on breakfast (it’s the most important meal of the day after all!), enjoy a plate of delicious Cornish produce at the Chapel Café in the pretty coastal village of Port Isaac, which includes Cornish hogs pudding and local meats, all for under £10. Even the coffee is locally roasted using ethically-sourced beans.

10:00 Discover the art of cooking seafood and check in to the masterclasses at Rick Stein’s Cookery School in Padstow, 45 minutes from Port Isaac. Got seafood sorted? Check out one of the other fantastic courses available here, which range from Indian street food, Spanish tapas or patisserie.

13:00 You can’t come to Cornwall and not hit the beach – half an hour from Padstow is the surfer’s paradise of Newquay – and here you can walk straight off the sand and straight into the Beach Hut Café, with its awesome views over the sea and vibrant atmosphere. Order Cornish mussels or huge dishes of beef chilli.

15:00 Head 20 minutes from Newquay to nearby Perranporth, home to Healey’s Cornish Cyder Farm. Take a self-guided tour through its press house, bottlery and jam kitchen or book onto a fully guided tour, plus a tutored tasting.

17:00 Set off on the 20-minute drive to Truro, but don’t forget to stop off at the Great Cornish Food Store and stock up on some enticing local delicacies to take home.

19:30 Truro has lots of lovely places to dine – for more fish favourites head to Hooked! Restaurant & Bar and for a fine-dining experience try out Tabbs, which is listed in the Michelin Guide and has two AA Rosettes.

 

Day two

09:00 Drive 30 minutes from Truro to the cute fishing village of Charleston, close to St Austell, and fill up on a breakfast packed with local goodies at Charlie’s Boathouse. As well as the harbour views to admire over your meal, the restaurant has its own resident artist, whose work you can buy as a keepsake of your time in Cornwall.

11:00 Time to explore one of Cornwall’s excellent vineyards; just 15-20 minutes from your breakfast stop is Bosue Vineyard and its award-winning wines, or tour what is Cornwall’s oldest vineyard (planted in 1976!) at Polmassick Vineyard.

13:00 Head to the picture-perfect fishing village of Mevagissey, 15 minutes’ drive away, which is part of the stunning Roseland Peninsula and enjoy lunch at one of the superb restaurants, such as No.5 Mevagissey. Proudly using local produce in its dishes, you’ll also find an awesome selection of locally made drinks, such as Cornish beers, lagers and ciders, Cornish gins from Tarquin’s and Stafford distilleries and Cornish vodka Aval Dor.

16:00 If you’ve had a relatively light lunch, now’s a good time to tuck into a gorgeous Cornish cream tea. For a pretty setting as well as a delicious treat, try the freshly baked homemade scones, homemade jam and Trewithen Dairy Cornish cream at Miss V’s Vintage High Tea, located in semi-tropical gardens on the banks of the Fal Estuary.  

20:00 When you’re in this part of the world, a meal overlooking the sea is a must; end your foodie trip in Falmouth and enjoy crab, squid, mussels, prawns, oysters and scallops in the unassuming, but charmingly rustic shellfish bar, The Shack.

 

Food festivals in Cornwall 2018

 

Getting there

Central Cornwall is approximately five hours by train or car from London, with high-speed train services running from London Paddington, including the Night Riviera Sleeper Service to Penzance. There are also daily direct trains from Bristol and Bath.