For a special break, check in to Lympstone Manor, opened in spring by chef Michael Caines. With views of the Exe Estuary, the Georgian country house has its own sprawling vineyard, a fine dining restaurant and gorgeous rooms, each with its own gin bar. Well worth saving up for.
ON ITS GAME
The Stafford isn’t stuffy. Ooze aristocracy it might do, but at this luxury London hotel and WWII haunt of American officers, they’ve always known how to have a good time. Its new restaurant, The Game Bird, is no exception. Here you’ll find that quintessentially British combo – brilliant comfort food seasoned with a dash of eccentricity. Cheshire-born chef James Durrant casts his net wide to source some of the UK’s finest produce, whether its Orkney scallops, Devon crab or Welsh salt marsh lamb. Start with oysters – from Colchester or Porthilly, perhaps – or the wooden salmon trolley, wheeled to your table with a flourish and topped with a beautiful beetroot-cured fish. There’s steak and ale suet pudding but also simple yet lovely vegetarian options. Don’t push back if the smiling staff offer you a pistachio soufflé, or a tour of the 380-year-old wine cellar. It’s all part of the fun.
The latest bar from cocktail guru Matt Whiley celebrates foraged British produce. With just 10 seasonal cocktails, five house ferments and five craft beers, the menu at Scout, in London’s Shoreditch, is as refreshingly minimal as the Scandi décor. Drinks combine fermented rhubarb, custard and pine or apricot, sea buckthorn and gin. The zero-waste ethos means spare fruit is turned into innovative fermented drinks and bar snacks to keep you sated, such as toasted sourdough with house-made sauerkraut.
TWO FOR JOY
The team behind Michelin-starred Pidgin, in London’s Hackney are setting out to revive the retro restaurant trolley, with the opening of a second site in the capital this month – and this time they’re bringing their inventive cooking to central London. At Magpie, in Piccadilly, a drinks cart comes laden with inventive premixed cocktails (try the killer vodka martini with elderflower, kombu and nori) while a trolley of inventive Asian-influenced small plates weaves its way through the restaurant during service, dim sum-style. The beautifully crafted, often surprising dishes – such as cod with cockles, cucumber, nori and lovage, savoury truffle pain perdu and pici with kimchi beurre blanc – are made with a magpie-like approach, marrying classic French techniques with Asian flavours and British produce. It’s a true celebration of the boundary-pushing restaurant scene in the capital today.
THE FEELGOOD FACTOR
You’ll be welcomed in like an old friend at Andi’s, the epoynomous new restaurant from Great British Menu judge Andi Oliver, in London’s Hackney. Expect eclectic dishes, such as buttermilk fried chicken and crispy squid with coconut, lime and chilli, and cracking cocktails, like the blood orange mezcal sour. The fun brunch menu includes rum and maple iced lattes and ‘build-your-own’ baked eggs. Easygoing staff amp up the neighbourhood feel, while the space is postcard-pretty – especially the fairy-lit courtyard. Good vibes guaranteed.
FITS THE BILL
Chef Dan Doherty is setting out to change the face of fast, affordable dining in the capital with the opening of his much-anticipated second restaurant, Duck & Waffle Local, in the heart of the West End. Customers order at the counter (choose food to go or have a seat in the bustling restaurant) from a duck-tastic menu, which includes shredded duck burgers, crispy battered gizzards and duck fat fries. Innovative cocktails, infused with the flavours of burnt toast or black olive, are poured on tap. To finish, there are Insta-worthy sweet waffle cones filled with chocolate fudge brownie and salted caramel. With its top-level cooking at keen prices, we’re predicting queues.
The classic Anglo-French brasserie Randall & Aubin has just opened in Spinningfields, Manchester’s trendiest dining district. Expect the fresh-as-it-gets seafood, oysters and fizz, rotisserie-grilled meats and on-point steaks that have made the original restaurant in London such an enduring success. Hot tip: the Sunday roast is killer.
THE BEE’S KNEES
Opened in May, Edinburgh’s Honeycomb & Co is another stellar addition to the city’s flourishing food scene. The laid-back daytime dining spot in Bruntsfield serves Middle Eastern-style brunches, nourishing grain salads and ramen bowls. There’s also an in-house gelato bar – the fior de latte affagato, drowned in local Artisan Roast coffee, will perk you right up.
Find out about more new and exciting foodie openings in Jamie magazine every issue, or click here to save on a subscription. Words: Heather Taylor