Long-haul or quick dash, white Christ­mas or win­ter sun – find out where to go right now

Whet your ap­petite for Bri­tish stays that match bu­colic lo­ca­tions with thrilling gas­tron­omy

Lonely Planet (UK) - - Contents -

BALLINTAGGART Perthshire

What­ever fren­zied ac­tiv­ity is go­ing on in the kitchen, when it comes to serv­ing time at Ballintaggart the im­pres­sion is of ef­fort­less plucked-from-the-field spon­tane­ity. The stern beauty of the High­lands looms to the north, yet the views here over the Tay Val­ley are gen­tly ru­ral. Opt for the longer Tastes of High­land Perthshire menu, and your din­ner might be book­ended with a dukkah spice-crusted egg (laid by a won­der­fully fluffy Silkie hen), and a for­aged dam­son jam dough­nut with Blair­gowrie berries. Overnighters can choose from two rooms in a con­verted farm build­ing by the restau­rant or two oth­ers in a nearby cot­tage – ex­pect unch­intzy in­te­ri­ors with sun­burst mir­rors and Roberts ra­dios. Three-course din­ner £45, tast­ing menu £65; rooms from £120; ballintaggart.com

ECKINGTON MANOR Worces­ter­shire

Guests at Eckington Manor, on the edge of the Cotswolds, lodge be­neath wooden beams in the cus­tard-yel­low, wonkily half-tim­bered manor house, or in a hand­some red-brick con­ver­sion; din­ers head across the court­yard to a modern barn-like space with plenty of tall win­dows. The restau­rant kitchen is run by a hus­band-and-wife team, half of whom claimed vic­tory in Masterchef: the Pro­fes­sion­als 2015. Their mainly Bri­tish and Euro­pean cook­ing es­pouses a farm-to-fork phi­los­o­phy: Glouces­ter Old Spot pork ter­rine with ‘cy­der’ jelly; sea trout with cele­riac lin­guine; apri­cot souf­flé with toasted al­mond ice cream. Shar­ing the restau­rant’s space is a top-drawer cook­ery school. Three­course din­ner £48, tast­ing menu £75; rooms from £149; eck­ing­ton­manor.co.uk

L’ENCLUME Cumbria

The name of this de­cep­tively hum­blelook­ing spot means ‘the anvil’ in French, in a nod to its for­mer role as a smithy. Chef Si­mon Ro­gan has won two Miche­lin stars for tast­ing menus that clock in at 17 or more ‘cour­ses’ – if small bites are counted. Re­cent dishes have in­cluded goose­berry tart­let with scal­lop roe mousse, and cab­bage roll with smoked eel, pick­led dill fronds and roast cab­bage emul­sion. When matched with pre­sen­ta­tional tex­tures of stone, wood and moss, it all feels squarely in the New Nordic vein. Once your nap­kin is folded again, how­ever, you’ll re­turn to the Cum­brian fold, as the restau­rant’s 16 con­tem­po­rary-style bed­rooms are dot­ted around the com­pact and charm­ing vil­lage of Cart­mel. Tast­ing menu £155; rooms from £118; lenclume.co.uk

YNYSHIR Ceredi­gion

As the A487 quits Snow­do­nia and pre­pares for the run south along the coast of Ceredi­gion, it passes one of the coun­try’s small­est Miche­lin-starred ad­dresses. Din­ing in this part-Ge­or­gian house is al­ways in­ti­mate, with just five ta­bles in the main din­ing room, along with a kitchen ta­ble, and a bench for two over­look­ing the ac­tion. Much of the menu is a culi­nary meet­ing of Welsh and Ja­panese, in­clud­ing ‘Not French Onion Soup’, based on tofu, miso, sea purslane, dashi broth and slow-cooked onion. Af­ter en­joy­ing Welsh wagyu beef, and rhubarb and cus­tard, you can re­tire to one of eight rooms in the main house or gar­den an­nexe, each dis­tinctly styled, whether muted grey or candy-striped pink. Tast­ing menus from £75; rooms from £220; ynyshir.co.uk

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