‘Tis the season for feasting, and we foodies can’t wait to hunker down and plump up for winter. Thankfully, we know of some exquisite restaurants-with-rooms where you can indulge in 3-course banquets and slug as much wine as you please before rolling off to bed. Feast your eyes on these…
Tudor Farmhouse, Gloucestershire
This stunning rural retreat is the ideal setting for a gastronomic getaway. It’s surrounded by acres of rolling grounds where hens, ducks and horses roam free, and produce from its extensive kitchen gardens are the inspiration behind the cuisine. There’s a 20-mile menu featuring all-local ingredients, as well as lunch and dinner tasting menus showcasing the finest seasonal produce – perhaps game terrine or roasted Cotswold pigeon in winter.
Dinners: £35-45 per person for 3 courses without drinks Rooms: From £110 per night
Special offer: Christmas Package (24-27 Dec 2018) including festive meals, a visit to Clearwell Caves, a guided walk and more
Star & Garter, Cornwall
This waterfront pub has featured in the Waitrose Good Food Guide for the past 2 years running, and for good reason. They serve delicious Mediterranean-inspired fare, and run boozy bottomless brunches on Saturdays, blues-and-barbecue nights on Mondays, and legendary roasts on Sundays. Our reviewer went as far as to say it was the best roast she’d ever had; the proof is in the (Yorkshire) pudding!
Dinners: £28-35 per person for 3 courses Rooms: From £110 per night
Exclusive special offer: Free bottle of house wine with dinner (valid until 16 Dec 2018)
Mistley Thorn, Essex
Seafood is the star of the show at this historic British inn, where fresh fish is sourced each day from the nearby River Stour Estuary. Californian owner Sherri Singleton is a true gourmand – she runs her own cookery workshops at the hotel, and brings heaps of character to her buzzy restaurant. There’s a special local’s menu available at lunchtime Mon-Sat as well as evenings Sun-Mon, when you can get 3 courses for £17.95 – bargain! Be sure to arrive early for Prosecco and oysters in the bar, too.
Dinners: Three courses for £17.95 at selected times; £25 per person if prebooked; on Saturdays it is included in rate Rooms: From £105 per night
Special offer: Stay on Sunday or Monday to make the most of a special local’s menu half board rate (valid until 30 Dec 2018)
i-escape extra: Complimentary jar of homemade marmalade and a parcel of cantucci
The Ollerod, Dorset
Chris Staines, a former Michelin-starred chef, has recently stepped up to take the reins at The Ollerod, and his restaurant is fast becoming a hit among Dorset locals and visitors alike. The elegant dining room is set within a cosy country cottage, with oak beams, fireplaces and lovely Georgian features, and the food champions all things local. Expect some surprising Asian flavours added to the mix, like pickled Thai shallots and kimchi with flame-grilled mackerel. Wash it all down with an English wine from the Furleigh Estate just down the road.
Dinners: From £30 per person
Rooms: From £105 per night
i-escape extra: complimentary tea in the lounge
You know you’re onto a winner when you’re awarded a Michelin star 8 months after opening. 21212 is a classy but quirky restaurant-with-rooms in central Edinburgh. What’s the vibe? The clue is in the name… You’re offered a choice of 2 starters, 1 soup, 2 mains, 1 cheese plate and 2 desserts. Owner and head chef Paul Kitching designs every dish from scratch each week, starting by sketching out his visions on a Sunday morning. Watch in awe as his creations come to life in the restaurant’s open kitchen. Meals are extraordinary value – visit at lunchtime Wed-Fri and you can get a 2-course meal for the sensational price of £28.
Dinners: From £70 for 3 courses, from £78 for 4 courses, from £85 for 5 courses Rooms: From £115 per night
Special offers: Stay Saturday and add Sunday for £50; Stay Sunday and Monday for £180; Friday night DB&B £370 for 2 people (all offers valid until 21 Dec)
Monachyle Mhor, Perthshire
Sibling trio Tom, Dick and Melanie combine their farming background with their passion for food at this gastro retreat in the Scottish Highlands. The kitchen is headed up by Tom, who sources game from the farm, fresh fish from Scrabster (the Orkney scallops and oysters are divine) and veggies from the garden. The result is award-winning cuisine that runs with the seasons and is 100% local – even the water comes from the farm! Come in autumn for mushroom foraging, and don’t miss a visit to the siblings’ tearoom in nearby Balquhidder.
Dinners: £65 per person Rooms: From £195 per night
The Drawing Room, Powys
Husband-and-wife team Melanie and Colin head up this tiny Welsh hideaway – he’s the head chef, she’s the maitre-cum-assistant chef. The dining experience is highly sophisticated: begin with fireside aperitifs, perhaps parmesan crisps with a goats’ cheese mousse and a glass of Cava, then move to the formal dining room. Here you’ll be presented with 3 choices for each course (they change daily) and 75 choices of wine! Ask your hosts to arrange visits to some of the local food producers while you’re here, too – perhaps Caws Cenarth organic cheese farm or the water mill where they get the flour for their bread.
Dinners: £40 per person for 3 courses Rooms: From £135 per night
Exclusive special offer: 2 nights for the price of 1 (valid until 22 Dec 2018)
i-escape extra: Afternoon tea with Bara Brith (Welsh fruit cake) served on arrival
Red Lion and Troutbeck, Wiltshire
The Red Lion is the restaurant, the Troutbeck is the guesthouse, and together they form one of country’s best gourmet boltholes – there’s a Michelin star to prove it. Chef owners Guy and Brittany have worked in some of the country’s leading restaurants, so you know you’re in for a treat. Expect modern creations, like Cornish brill with leek fondue and Scottish girolle, alongside classic pub grub, and lots of homemade extras – the butter is hand-churned by Guy’s father, the brown sauce is created from scratch. It’s true fine-dining without the stuffiness.
Dinners: From £35 per person for 3 courses; prix fixe (wed & thu): £28 per person for 3 courses Rooms: From £160 per night
Special offer: 2 nights for the price of 1 (valid wed-fri on selected dates between Jan and May 2019)
The Pig at Combe, Devon
Bring the outside in at The Pig’s Garden Restaurant, where the emphasis is on botanical cuisine. Produce from the kitchen garden drives the daily menu, and edible flowers add colour to each plate. Most ingredients come from the hotel’s own orchards and Victorian greenhouses, and everything else is sourced from within a 25-mile radius. Breakfasts are just as creative, with delights such as poached pear with ginger and orange honey on offer. Allow time to wander through the 3 gardens: the vegetable garden, the infusion garden and the herb garden – where there are 7 different types of mint alone.
Dinners: From £29 per person for 3 courses Rooms: From £145 per night
i-escape extra: 3 mini homemade infusions from the bar
Langford Fivehead, Somerset
This 15th-century manor serves intimate feasts with all the trimmings. Owner Olly has a background in AA-rosetted restaurants and draws on this expertise to create a true culinary experience. Begin in the drawing room with aperitifs and amuse-bouche – we gorged on light-as-air bacon tartlets – then move to the intimate dining room for the prix-fixe menu: a choice of 4 starters, 4 mains and 4 desserts – all seasonal. Conclude your meal in the snug with coffee and petits fours.
Dinners: £36 per person for 3 courses Rooms: From £185 per night
Exclusive special offer: 15% off all rooms (valid until Mar 2019)