Food is an artform, not an afterthought. The art of the culinary experience can sometimes be forgotten in everyday life, which is why it’s all the more important to recognise and celebrate first-rate gastronomy. Exploring the world of fine dining may be a luxury, but it’s also one of the most enriching pursuits life has to offer.
Today, we’re taking a look at Britain’s best luxury restaurants – from the nation’s favourites to some lesser-known gems. With both local delicacies and international influences on the menu, each of these reputable restaurants is sure to get your tastebuds tingling.
Paul Ainsworth at No. 6 |Padstow
Paul Ainsworth’s new chapter in Padstow has seen the arrival of three sister restaurants in the same area – Rojano’s in the Square, the Padstow Townhouse andPaul Ainsworth at No. 6– and it’s the latter that we’re particularly taken with. Set in a Georgian townhouse in the heart of Padstow, Paul Ainsworth at No. 6 serves modern British food but with a focus on luxurious Cornish produce.
Expect starters of locally sourced smoked haddock with vichyssoise, quail egg and caviar, followed by peking duck pie, soft garlic potato, pak choi and parmesan. With recipes designed by chef Paul Ainsworth and his team, this restaurant produces unique and creative dishes with international influences – while keeping one eye on regional Cornish cuisine at all times.
This award-winning restaurant boasts an array of accolades, from its Michelin star to three AA rosettes – and a visit is sure to provide a mouth-watering experience for visitors of all tastes.
House of Tides |Newcastle
Based on Newcastle’s historic Quayside, the House of Tides restaurant is set within a stunning restored Grade 1 listed townhouse. The restaurant’s rustic decor is in-keeping with the building’s original features, such as its 16th century flagstones and exposed beams. This comfortable and casual space fits the owner’s vision of creating a relaxed atmosphere where there is no compromise on quality. An essential part of any Newcastle break, this luxurious restaurant serves up nothing short of perfection.
Sourcing only the best quality seasonal ingredients from its North East pantry, each dish is classical with a contemporary twist. This focus on local, fresh produce means chef patron, Kenny Atkinson, determines the availability of a menu based on the excellence of the supplier’s crop. So, if the ingredients aren’t of the highest possible quality, the House of Tides team are prepared to alter their menu on a daily basis to ensure only the most perfect dish is served.
For a delicacy that is truly local, enjoy the raw Lindisfarne oysters with cucumber and ginger. Harvested from Northumberland’s Holy Island, this dish combines responsible shellfishing with a subtle yet exquisite taste.
The Box Tree |Ilkley
Tucked away in the spa town of Ilkley, this small yet renowned restaurant is Yorkshire’s most luxurious dinner time spot. An extensive wine cellar and modern French classical menu entices gourmands from across the globe – with lavish, antique decor that reflects the restaurant’s artistic ethos. Husband and wife team Simon and Rena Gueller are committed to sourcing only the freshest and most delicious local ingredients – creating a winning combination of style and taste.
The Box Tree is one of the oldest buildings in Ilkley. Originally built as a stone farmhouse in 1720, the property has a wealth of history. The plantation of box trees in the late nineteenth century saw the building earn its name – and it was the opening in 1962, by Malcolm Reid and Colin Long, which led The Box Tree to become known as the most successful fine dining restaurant in the North. The menu of this Michelin-starred restaurant has been influenced by chefs such as Michael Truelove, Edward Denny and Marco Pierre White.
It’s favourites such as roast sea scallops and the delectable signature soufflé which make this restaurant such a national favourite. Everything from the serene setting to the exemplary service is positively impeccable.
Aqua Shard |London
One of the most famous and exclusive restaurants anywhere in the UK, the Aqua Shard is the last word in luxury. Set on Level 31 of the Shard, the restaurant boasts a 360-degree panorama of the capital city. With reservations open on a three-month rolling basis, this high-end restaurant is unsurprisingly popular with visitors from all over the world.
Proudly protecting relationships with local suppliers, Aqua Shard even sources fruit and vegetables from the nearby Borough Market. Tailoring its menu in order to celebrate events such as Wimbledon and the centenary of Roald Dahl, this restaurant serves modern dishes with a side of sophistication.
Paul Kitching 21212 |Edinburgh
Located on the Royal Terrace in the heart of Edinburgh, 21212 is owned and managed by Michelin-starred chef Paul Kitching and his partner Katie O’Brien. Situated in a listed Georgian townhouse, this elegant setting is both spacious and welcoming.
True to Paul Kitching’s modern French cookery style, each dish is a testament to his creative genius. Unlike most luxury restaurants, you can expect a broad and diverse menu here – as the restaurant’s name, 21212, initially referred to the choice of 2 starters, 1 soup, 2 main courses, 1 cheese and 2 desserts. With an updated 31313 five-course menu, and dishes that change each week, Paul Kitching’s restaurant guarantees a unique experience with every visit.
Whatever the occasion, these lavish restaurants are sure to serve up something special. Treat yourself to an evening of particularly fine dining by taking a trip to these national treasures..