We’re going to show you the best restaurants outside of London, so you can get out of the city and have a great time. They say you’ve done a good job if you’ve kept a restaurant going for three years, and a remarkable one if you’ve gone seven. That considered, much of the following establishments have been going for eight or more, and none of them are through pure luck.
Train time: 25-31 minutes from Paddington
The restaurant with Reading’s only Michelin star is definitely a homely one too. The kitchen and dining room occupies an impressive grade II listed vicarage. If however you’re more interested in the food than the surroundings, then Alan Murchison, formerly of Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons and Nobu, is sure to tingle the tastebuds. Berkshire is one of the best restaurants outside of London.
Train time: 63 minutes from Waterloo
Jake Saul Watkins, chef-proprietor, prides himself in creating the simple but sumptuous sorts of dishes easy on the eye and on the palate. Aside from the food, what’s perhaps most impressive about JSW is its selection of 900-odd bottles of wine kept in the cellar.
Train time: 36 minutes from London Bridge
La Barbe has been serving some of Surreys finest French cuisine since its opening an astonishing 30 years ago. As a result it’s popular with the locals, but what keeps bringing them back is the sumptuous food. With an experienced and talented chef in Romain Harvard, and a list of 80 wines to boot, there’s little to suggest La Barbe won’t be going just as strong in another 30 years’ time.
The West House
Train time: 52 minutes from London Bridge
Tucked away in an ancient village, amidst lush winelands and 60-year old thatched cottages, is esteemed chef Graham Garret’s remarkable restaurant. Having been named Kent chef of the year in 2013, Graham earned his first Michelin star after one year of setting up shop in Biddenden. Now in its twelfth year and less than an hour from London, the West House has a reputation that competing restaurants can only envy.
Location: Great Milton
Station: Haddenham & Thame Parkway
Train time: 37-45 minutes from Marylebone
Le Manoir houses without any doubt one the most beautiful restaurants on this list, if not out of the restaurants we’ve ever seen. There’s little else to add to what you already know about Raymond Blanc’s famous establishment, but we will say this: according to legend, Blanc keeps 90 different types of vegetable in his garden.
The Harrow at Little Bedwyn
Location: Little Bedwyn
Train time: 60-80 minutes from Paddington
One might not first assume that a little restaurant in Wiltshire serves up some of the most exotic dishes this side of the Mediterranean, but The Harrow has plenty of such surprises up its sleeve. From Sashimi to Pembroke Lobster, it would be fair to say The Harrow has an eclectic menu. The knowledge of wine expert Roger Jones is also on hand to make sure you’re never dissatisfied with what’s in your glass.
Sebastian is a former hedge fund trader who worked only to indulge his true passion – food.
He has dined at over 240 Michelin-starred restaurants around the world, savoring culinary masterpieces and understanding the stories behind them. He now advises restaurants on menu design, decor and holistic diner experience.