Great West Way Travel Magazine
The Great West Way is home to some of England's best foodie experiences
THERE'S A TANTALISING buffet of food and drink experiences along the Great West Way. Discover award-winning high-end restaurants and cosy, traditional pubs, with a galaxy of Michelin stars and plenty of local food heroes serving up everything from vegetables hand grown in the kitchen garden to just-baked homemade cakes.
7 OF THE FINEST RESTAURANTS HAND AND FLOWERS, MARLOW
The first pub to achieve two Michelin stars, a relaxed place to settle in for some proper English dishes, including a fabulous Sunday roast. Chef Tom Kerridge serves up sophisticated yet familiar dishes – think half roast chicken with oak gravy and pork belly with roasted pineapple and chorizo mayonnaise. thehandandflowers.co.uk
SINDHU RESTAURANT BY ATUL KOCHHAR, MARLOW
Overlooking the banks of the River Thames in beautiful Marlow, Sindhu restaurant by twice Michelin-starred chef Atul Kochhar offers contemporary Indian cuisine featuring vibrant flavours, subtle blends of spices and incredible aromas. Located in The Compleat Angler Hotel, a stone's throw from Marlow station. › sindhurestaurant.co.uk
CLAYTON'S KITCHEN, BATH
Clayton's Kitchen is a perennial favourite for local foodies and discerning travellers. Robert Clayton, the restaurant's Chef Patron, creates uncomplicated dishes that explore and showcase the freshest and very best ingredients. He is inspired by Mediterranean and modern French cuisine. Robert ensures that every dish is prepared, cooked and presented to perfection.
THE FAT DUCK, BRAY
A simply superlative restaurant from highly regarded English chef Heston Blumenthal. Awarded three Michelin stars for its creative menu, which takes guests on a sensory journey to the seaside and begins before you even arrive, with a phone consultation. Expect to be dazzled – and to be talking about it for years. Bookings essential, and well in advance. › thefatduck.co.uk
THE DINING ROOM, WHATLEY MANOR HOTEL & SPA, MALMESBURY
The Dining Room at Whatley Manor Hotel & Spa has recently been awarded their second Michelin star, just two years after earning their first. Executive Chef, Niall Keating, who previously worked around the world at some of the finest Michelin starred restaurants was awarded a coveted Michelin star in less than a year of joining Whatley Manor. Niall draws inspiration from many different cuisines, including Korean, Japanese and classic French. Niall's cuisine is very much ‘of the moment'. › whatleymanor.com
An impressive Grade II listed former Victorian hospital on the harbour-side, overlooking Bathurst Basin, at Casamia the menu of seasonal dishes, from Wiltshire rainbow trout to Spanish winter truffle, are regularly changing, and are presented to you at your table by the chefs themselves. Vaulted arches give this innovative restaurant a light, airy feel and the state-of-the-art open kitchen acts as the focal point. › casamiarestaurant.co.uk
KOFFMANN & MR. WHITE'S ENGLISH AND FRENCH BRASSERIE, BATH
A delightful English and French all day dining city centre brasserie created by culinary legends Pierre Koffmann and Marco Pierre White. The menu is homage to their 36 yearold friendship; a culinary combination of the chefs' personal favourites, careers and homelands. Set within Bath's historic Abbey Hotel, the restaurant boasts an idyllic and classic setting. › mpwrestaurants.co.uk
PUBS, BREWERIES AND DISTILLERY TOURS
Village pubs along the route are a great place to head for tasting British food traditions passed down generations, such as Sunday roasts and Friday fish and chips, or simply bread, cheese and pickles, known as the ‘ploughman's lunch'.
Gastropubs offer newer cuisines and often their restaurants are recognised with a Michelin star or two. And there are also plenty of homegrown tipples to try too. Beer, wine and gin are all made along the Great West Way. Take a brewery, vineyard or distillery tour or just pull up a stool at the village pub and see what's on tap.
The Three Tuns Freehouse, Great Bedwyn is Sawdays “Most Authentic Pub” 2018/19. The Michelin starred
Red Lion Freehouse, Pewsey offers private dining with a window into the kitchen to watch the team prep. Pigs, pies, pints and pillows is supplied by Helen Browning's
Royal Oak, Bishopstone, set in the middle of an organic farm. Take lunch on a Friday and sample the fish menu at award-winning The Queen's Arms, East Garston. The Swan, Bradford on Avon offers both Pub Classics or its Thai Chilli Restaurant. The Crown & Anchor, set at the foot of the North Wessex Downs has recently reopened following a three year refurbishment. Serving Royals and residents alike, be sure to pop into the Royal Windsor pub with spectacular views of Windsor Castle, specialising in handmade liquor and premium craft beers, including a house-brewed Royal Windsor Pint. You could plan your visit with a stay at The Royal Oak, Yattendon, a country inn with traditional British food, to coincide with a drinks festival, and taste their very own gin distilled on the premises in ‘Harry' their still.
There's also a'Beckett's Vineyard making english sparkling and still wines along with cider and apple juice from their vineyard near Devizes in Wiltshire. Or try The West Berkshire Brewery at Yattendon and Wadworth Brewery at Devizes, offering tours and tasting of their award-winning ales. You might also enjoy Wadworth's 'Eat, Drink, Stay' trail from their Brewery in Devizes, to their four pubs along the route - The Bear and The Black Swan in Devizes, The Crown in Tolldown, and The George Inn in Bath.
The Bombay Sapphire Distillery at Whitchurch is at the forefront of the English gin resurgence while the Newbury pub is host to Newbury's first ever gin distillery thanks to a working micro distillery and private dining room open all year for tastings.
CAFÉS, LUNCH AND AFTERNOON TEAS
While travelling the Great West Way you are never too far away from a café or farm shop for lunches, afternoon tea or a drink at the end of the day. Drive through the North Wessex Downs AONB to Cobbs Farm Shop for lunch and enjoy a glass of wine from their vineyard, Alder Ridge, Hungerford.
For those heading to Bath, stop off at the Bridge Tea Rooms in Bradford on Avon. Double winner of the UK Tea Guild's 'Top Tea Place', and one of the UK's finest spots for afternoon tea with a list of regal afternoon teas including the Queen Victoria. A Hansel and Gretel-style exterior leads onto the cosiest of dining rooms, filled with homely trinkets, hefty wooden beams and the soft chink of fine bone china.
Clayton's Kitchen in Bath serves seasonal British fine dining in a traditionally appointed 4-storey Georgian townhouse.
In Bristol visit Prince Street Social, a welcoming modern-style
British Brasserie located in the centre, or stop for lunch alongside the picturesque harbourside at Spoke & Stringer for a delicious home-made Shakshuka, or at Stokes Croft Restaurant for a quirky Pieminister Pie; everyone from Kate Moss to the Queen has tried one. The Tutti Pole, Hungerford is a tea shop and family restaurant and was originally the place where ‘Tutti Poles' were made for an historic local ceremony, still continued today.
At Whatley Manor, Nr Malmesbury traditional afternoon tea is served with a glass of Champagne Deutz. Other places for indulgent afternoon teas include The Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa and The Abbey Hotel, Bath, The Old Bell Hotel, Malmesbury, Monkey Island Estate, Bray or
The Langley, Near Windsor. Or why not take tea by the Kennet & Avon Canal, there's plenty of choice including the Aldermaston Tea Room, Canal Trust Café, Honeystreet Mill Café, The Engineman's Rest Café, The Tea Shop by the Canal and the Wharf Tea Rooms.
Or for a unique culinary experience in Devizes, book yourself a place on one of Vaughan's Kitchen Cookery School Masterclasses.