If you asked any of the i-escape team about the highlights of their latest trip, we bet all of them would mention food at least once: perhaps a decadent breakfast spread or a dessert they could’ve eaten 10 times over. If you also plan breaks around great meals, you’ll love this hand-picked list of our favourite UK foodie escapes.
Owners Brittany and Guy have been deservedly awarded a Michelin star for their Wiltshire pub, combining hard work and years of experience in top restaurants to build up its culinary reputation. We loved the superb food and unstuffy atmosphere. And, the cherry on top, there are 5 enormous, contemporary bedrooms in the accompanying guesthouse, where you can retire after your meal.
Highlights: We loved the light-as-a-feather goujons of Cornish lemon sole, the chicken with polenta and roasting juices, and an indulgent Valrohna chocolate mousse with fleur de sel.
Well-placed for exploring all London’s highlights, this classy design hotel has a chic Belgravia address and a sleek modern Basque restaurant from the team behind San Sebastian’s acclaimed Arzak. Rooms are smart, with classic Italian design and tall windows, and there’s enough marble in the gorgeous bathrooms to sink the QE2.
Highlights: Ametsa with Arzak Instruction arrived in 2013 under the guidance of world-renowned chefs Elena and Juan Mari Arzak. We haven’t been lucky enough to sample their “new Basque cuisine”, but with 3 Michelin stars under their belt at their original San Sebastian restaurant, we expect it to be pretty special.
The delicious and refined modern British food (which has been awarded 2 AA rosettes) isn’t the only draw at this pampering hotel in pretty North Yorkshire: the 33 rooms are filled with treats like fancy TVs and underfloor heating, and the sleek glass-fronted spa has the nod of approval from Tatler. What’s more, the vibe is so relaxed that nobody would bat an eyelid if you nodded off on one of the comfy sofas.
Highlights: Our pudding of Yorkshire rhubarb and ginger cream had us scraping the varnish off the plate. The cheese trolley and its 30-odd varieties was another star turn.
We found it incredibly hard to leave this gourmet bolthole at the gateway to the stunning Scottish highlands. Run by siblings Tom, Dick and Melanie, it’s a truly special place. Tom the chef is also a farmer and is always searching for the very best ingredients, be it locally shot pigeon and venison, or vegetables grown in the hotel’s own plot. The 14 modern rooms are full of clever design surprises like modern artworks or deer antlers in the bathroom; a couple also have their own steam rooms for post-walk winding down.
Highlights: The Orkney scallops (hand-dived, of course) are unmissable, and the farm’s lamb, pork and beef are superb.
Founded by one of the best-known Masters of Wine, Gerard Basset, and his wife Nina, Hotel TerraVina is a stylish 11-room hideaway in the beautiful New Forest. An army of staff ensure you’re very well looked after, and all the little touches are in place: reading glasses in the lounges, wellies by the door, Nespresso machines and fresh milk in the rooms. The quality of the food and wine is that usually found in the chaos of the city, but instead you’re in a quiet hamlet where ponies roam freely along quiet lanes.
Highlights: The lengthy wine list is helpfully split into categories such as “steely and mineral” and “smooth and nutty” for whites, and “lively and fruity” and “intense and powerful” for reds. A vast range is available by the glass, and the sommeliers give honest non-upselling advice on which will best accompany your chosen dishes.