With restaurants and hotels hopefully opening their doors as soon as May 17 in England, we’re getting particularly excited about UK breaks and exploring the country’s best foodie destinations.

From the Cumberland sausage and Cheddar cheese, to Sussex sparkling wines and timeless afternoon tea, England has a lot to offer when it comes to delicious food and drink.

And our UK food culture is still very much alive, with traditional recipes being revived – like the 300-year-old Blue Vinny cheese that was lost after WWII and revived on Woodbridge Farm in 1980; as well as scrummy new inventions – like the Black Bull in Sedbergh’s Japanese-inspired recipes made from local Cumbrian ingredients.

To celebrate the return to travel (from May 17th at hotels in England), we’ve delved deep into some of the best UK foodie destinations that you can visit this summer, including Michelin-starred restaurants, renowned pubs, organic gardens and vineyards – oh, and don’t forget crab shacks on the beach!

Some of these eateries have rooms to spend the night in; other destinations have a lovely offering of local self-catering cottages. Wherever you choose to visit when it’s safe to do so, make it delicious!

Warning, this might make you hungry…

Somerset and Dorset

Apples are at the heart of West Country food and drink; think sharp ciders, cinnamon-spiced apple cakes, pork with apple sauce, pumpkin and apple soups.

Not to mention cheese: Cheddar originates from – you guessed it – Cheddar, in Somerset and Wookey Hole sells its own special cave-aged farmhouse Cheddar, matured two hundred feet underground in the Mendip Hills. Then there’s the 300-year-old recipe for Dorset’s creamy Blue Vinny cheese.

britain's best foodie breaks

dan tarradellasGetty Images

Well-known for its organic dairy products, the Yeo Valley organic farm is open to visitors of all ages.

Once on the farm, you can tour Yeo Valley organic gardens, which comprises six and a half acres of ornamental and edible plants in a seasonal patchwork that’s been constantly evolving since the farm started more than 18 years ago; you can catch a cooking demo on the estate; or enjoy lunch, coffee and cake in the canteen.

Where to stay: Cheddar’s charming Strawberry Lodge is as idyllic as it sounds, with its own kitchen, dishwasher and parking spaces.

In large part due to the River Cottage series, Dorset’s Jurassic Coast attracts foodies from all over. The Hive Beach Cafe in Bridport, for example, is known for its fresh spider crab caught from the beach below, legendary crab sandwiches and local Craig’s Farm Dairy ice-cream sundaes served at the Beach Hut.

The Seaside Boarding House next door offers lunch, dinner and afternoon tea on a cliff top overlooking the sweep of Lyme Bay. It’s revered for its outstanding fresh seafood and juicy meat dishes.

This content is imported from Instagram. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.

A 10-minute drive from popular Lyme Regis, lies the River Cottage estate, made famous by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall nearly 20 years ago. River Cottage changed the culinary landscape in the UK, encouraging concern for food provenance and interest in foraging and organic farming.

On an exclusive Good Housekeeping tour, you could spend a day at the famous River Cottage estate, take part in a foraging session and wood-fired cookery demonstration, enjoy a two-course lunch prepared by the River Cottage team, and a teatime talk and Q&A with Hugh.

There’s also plenty of time to explore different parts of Somerset and Dorset, including the fossil-laden Jurassic Coast and its vibrant beachside restaurants.

Kent and Sussex

English wines have earned a fantastic reputation in recent years, with some of the finest bottles coming out of the award-winning vineyards and wineries of Kent and Sussex.

Hush Heath Estate near Tonbridge has been producing award-winning wines since 2002, with their flagship Balfour Brut Rosé being the first English sparkling wine to be served in British Airways First Class and the official English wine of the 2012 London Olympics.

This content is imported from Instagram. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.

The best way to experience the estate and learn about its wine making tradition is on a guided tour of the vineyard, followed by a tasting of the wines, ciders or beers from the comfort of its tasting room.

For Bib Gourmand and AA-Rosette dining alongside top-notch wines, dine at The Swan Wine Kitchen, located within Chapel Down Winery in Ashford. At The Chef’s Table you can watch the chefs at work from an elevated room in the main restaurant over sparkling English wines and cod cheek, saddle of Lamb or perhaps a sticky date and porter pudding.

This content is imported from Instagram. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.

For something a little bit different, try a picnic lunch box for two from Bluebell Vineyard in Sussex, stuffed with local cheese from High Weald Dairy, charcuterie from Beal’s Farm and biscuits and chutney from Deerview.

You can take the picnic box out into the Bluebell Vineyard and enjoy it overlooking the vines and ponds. Plus, it won’t leave you out of pocket, at a reasonable £20.

Dotted with historic manor houses and seaside properties, surrounded by natural beauty and with a friendly small-town atmosphere stretching across this home county, Kent is also one of the best places to take afternoon tea.

This content is imported from Instagram. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.

Chilston Park, for example, is a classic British country house hotel, known for its savoury afternoon tea, served in the smart, but tranquil Marble Lounge overlooking a serene lake. There’s also the 2 AA-Rosette Culpeper’s restaurant, serving traditional British cuisine in a formal dining room.

Eastwell Manor, on the other hand, is ideal if you have a sweet tooth and want to treat yourself to afternoon tea and a spa treatment. The Spa restaurant offers healthy dishes and light bites, and you can find fancier European cuisine in the Brasserie at the Manor. Eastwell has it all!

Where to stay: For free private parking, a washing machine and a fully-equipped kitchen, try the ‘exceptional’-rated The Studio at Hillsway, in Tonbridge.

If you’re looking for a champagne afternoon tea with a view, you can’t overlook one very special experience. Served from the comfort of an elegant vintage carriage, with views of the spectacular Weald of Kent through the window, you can delight in pastries with tea and champagne on board the Belmond British Pullman.

The pristine white linens and bespoke china make it all the more enticing for vintage-loving foodies.


Oxfordshire’s number one restaurant is undoubtedly Michelin-starred chef Raymond Blanc’s Belmond Le Manoir Aux Quat’Saisons. An idyllic lavender-lined path leads to the honey-stone Oxfordshire manor – the stage for Raymond’s cooking school, apple orchard and kitchen gardens, designer hotel and two-Michelin-starred restaurant.

foodie things to do in oxford belmond le manoir

Paul Wilkinson

The menu, which features organic ingredients from the manor’s grounds, has been designed with ‘a twist of imaginative genius’ from its creator. Book a table at the celebrated restaurant for a special five or six-course tasting menu, request the standalone vegetarian menu or even stay the night in one of the beautifully designed rooms.

For something a little less dear and closer to Oxford but still in a small town by the Thames, consider dining at Voco Oxford Thames. From chana masala to black olive and chilli tagliatelle, to slow-cooked lamb shank, its Crusader’s Bar has it all.

This content is imported from Instagram. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.

And it’s not just the all-day dining and charcoal brioche buns we come for; the restaurant is set in a stunning renovated barn, with stripped back bare-brick walls, contrasting bright modern artwork and colourful cushions dotted on cosy velvet sofas. The clash of ancient and modern gives the restaurant a quirky, exciting atmosphere.

You could either pop in for Scotch eggs, crispy chicken wings and salt ‘n’ pepper squid after a walk in Hayford Meadow or Bagley Wood nearby or in the Chilterns; or spend the night here in one of the immaculate, art-inspired rooms. You’ll rise to the sound of church bells and ducks, and you can order breakfast straight to your bed.

britain's best foodie destinations


Tony EvelingGetty Images

If vegan food is your thing, look no further than Oxfordshire’s only vegan Indian bar and restaurant, Delhish Vegetarian Kitchen in Bicester.

After home cook turned full-time chef, Jaya, found her pop-up food stalls in Summertown and Headington markets were drawing crowds from all over Oxford, she decided to start a full-time restaurant, offering vegan-friendly, gluten free and allergen free dishes.

Lake District

The Lake District doesn’t just boast stars in its skies; they’re also to be found on your plate at one of the region’s seven Michelin-starred restaurants. One of these is The Forest Side in Grasmere.

With a focus on local landscapes in presentation and origin, the kitchen sources 60 to 70% of its produce locally, with many of the ingredients grown in the kitchen garden or foraged nearby.

GH tip: Add the wine flight and spend a night overlooking the kitchen garden or the forest at the hotel upstairs.

Another is to be found at Henrock, Simon Rogan’s elegant dining spot at Linthwaite House, near Bowness. Wines are stiffly priced but many are from small, interesting producers plus there’s a great selection by the glass perfect for experimenting.

Spend the night here or save the pennies at Honeypot Cottage holiday home, with mountain views and characterful dry stone walls. For a mid-range option, with some top-end designer bedrooms and luxurious hot tub suites, go for Applegarth Villa on Windermere.

britain's best foodie destinations

Linthwaite House

A little more down-to-earth and located in the less popular south-eastern fringes of the Lake District, The Punch Bowl has found itself a keen following thanks to its award-winning food and charming rustic atmosphere.

We love having a choice of eating areas: the smart dining-room with white cloths and candles, the cosy snug by the bar, or the more casual spot by the wood-burning stove. Plus, in the summer there’s the lovely candlelit terrace.

If you’re a fan of fine ales, there’s one place to know about in the Lake District: the Hawkshead Brewery. Their taproom and restaurant, The Beer Hall, serves up mini burgers, BBQ ribs and beer-battered fish and the popular Hawkshead Bitter, as well as a range of other craft beers.

Relish your time here: the historic village of Hawkshead is home to the Hawkshead Relish Company, which still runs a small village shop and has boomed into a large business supplying a number of supermarkets with saucy magic.

Where to stay: Hawkshead is dotted with pretty cottages to rent for the night or longer. With a kitchen, garden, Wi-Fi, TV and washing machine, try Tock How View near Grizedale Forest.

Although it’s located on the very edge of the Lake District, in the less-touristy Howgills, it would be a sin not to mention The Black Bull. This family-run restaurant and hotel just 25 minutes from Kendal has a contemporary, forward-thinking feel.

This content is imported from Instagram. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.

The Black Bull’s head chef and co-owner, Nina Matsunaga, has German and Japanese heritage and her husband James Ratcliffe was born and raised in Cumbria.

Together they source local producers within 20 miles of Sedbergh and introduce global flavours to their dishes. You can even buy artisan and farm-reared produce from across the north of England at their sister business, Three Hares Deli.

Love a foodie break? Browse Good Housekeeping’s selection of gourmet escapes at home and abroad.


We want to help you stay inspired. Sign up for the latest travel tales and to hear about our favourite financially protected escapes and bucket list adventures.


This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io