The Southwest Of England Has Become The Hot New Region To Experience The Best Of British Food.
14 January 2011
External Link: lonelyplanet.com
The southwest of England has become the hot new region to experience the best of British food. Lonely Planet’s brand new edition of Devon, Cornwall and Southwest England reveals that the region has overtaken the rest of the UK with its sublime cuisine, challenging London for the culinary throne.
According to the guidebook, the southwest is producing the UK’s most innovative cuisine; locally sourced, ethically produced, organic and what’s more it is being prepared by fantastic home grown talent. The region’s celebrity chefs opened their kitchens to train some of the southwest’s rising stars and a wealth of gourmet talent can now be found in this culinary corner of Britain. The region is already blessed with a handful of Michelin stars and the authors of the guide are in little doubt that more are sure to follow.
Author Oliver Berry says “the southwest is every foodie’s dream; just caught crab accompanied with local wine in spectacular settings - what could be better? The southwest’s culinary stars have none of the pretension you can find eating out in London. If you want an insight into where British food is at right now, there’s really nowhere better than the southwest.”
The guide highlights the importance of the overall gourmet experience – from catching your own seafood to ordering direct from farmers’ fields. “Take a superb array of local, seasonal and organic produce, mix in a range of atmospheric eateries and finish with a sizable scattering of celebrity chefs. The result? A region whipping up a perfect culinary storm – and a series of very satisfied stomachs” (p16).
Whilst the guide recognises the incredible number of celebrity chefs offering the region masses of gourmet options within a few miles of each other; the local authors also reveal the region’s lesser known culinary highlights. Author Oliver Berry identifies rising stars such as Paul Ainsworth, Jude Kereama and recently double Michelin starred Nathan Outlaw as offering some of the region’s innovative and fresh cooking.
The region’s top five eateries revealed:
- GIDLEIGH PARK “The southwest’s best set in a luxurious country pile.”
- BORDEAUX QUAY “Provincial European flavours infuse meals at Bristol’s most stylish eatery.”
- SiENNA “This sleek Dorchester venue is a favourite with the foodie crowd.”
- RIVERFORD FIELD KITCHEN “A pioneering eco-eatery dishing up superb meals in a Devon farm canteen.”
- PAUL AINSWORTH AT NO 6 “The Mediterranean in the heart of Padstow.”
The guide’s authors are based in the southwest and so are well placed to offer an insight on the region’s best and worst. They heap praise on Bristol and Exeter, but on the flip side criticise Perranporth’s “untidy sprawl of concrete chalets” and Newquay’s “rampant property development.”
The guide’s new format includes full colour introductory pages featuring the best of the region. The southwest‘s top castles, top beaches and top pubs are all rated in the new edition.
What Lonely Planet says about your region
Bournemouth: “With its beaches and arcades, nightclubs and bars, Bournemouth embodies the modern British seaside. The conurbation draws them all: corporate delegates, coach tours, happy families and stag and hen parties. Sometimes the edges rub – on weekend evenings parts of town are thick with L-plated angels and blokes in frocks, blonde wigs and slingbacks,” (p90).
Weymouth: “At just over 200 years old, Weymouth is a grand dame of an English resort: think ice cream, cockles and chippies and prepare for a sandy stroll down seaside memory lane. The old girl also pulls some surprises from her faded sleeve: a revitalised historic harbour and, at the neighbouring Isle of Portland, state of-the-art sailing facilities for the 2012 Olympics,” (p111).
Exeter: “Has a youthful vibe visible in bursts of ultramodern construction and a thriving arts scene. Down by the River Exe, the atmospheric quayside is a launch pad for explorations by bike or kayak. Add a unique movie museum, the chance to go on subterranean tours and some superstylish places to stay and eat, and you have a relaxed but lively touring base,” (p123).
Torquay: “At first glance, Torquay itself is the quintessential faded English seaside resort, beloved by both the coach-tour crowd and stag- and hen-party animals. But a mild microclimate and an azure circle of bay have also drawn a smarter set and Torquay now competes with foodie-hub Dartmouth for fine eateries,” (p140).
Plymouth: “If parts of Devon are nature programs or costume dramas, Plymouth is a healthy dose of reality TV. Gritty, and certainly not always pretty, its centre has been subjected to bursts of building even the architect’s mother might question,” (p162).
Padstow: “Padstow has been transformed into one of Cornwall’s most cosmopolitan corners, with a profusion of posh boutiques and upmarket eateries rubbing shoulders with the pubs, pasty shops and lobster boats clustered around the town’s old quay. It’s an occasionally uneasy mix, but it’s hard not to be charmed by the setting,” (p194).
Newquay: “After years of touting itself as Cornwall’s party town par excellence, Newquay is currently suffering an identity crisis ... the bubble seems to have burst. Rampant property development, spiralling house prices and the town’s reputation for booze-fuelled bad behaviour have led many residents to question the direction in which Newquay’s headed,” (p199).
Penzance: “It’s faded in spots, but unlike many of its sister towns along the coast, Penzance has resisted the urge for over-gentrification and still boasts the kind of rough-edged authenticity many of Cornwall’s daintier towns lost long ago,” (p217).
Bristol: “There’s a new sense of energy in Bristol these days. Massive investment has resulted in the revitalisation of the harbourside ... throw in a bevy of top-class restaurants, a buzzing artistic sector and a crackling cultural scene, and you have a city that’s crying out for exploration,” (p38).
Bath: “For nigh-on three centuries this sophisticated, stately, ever-so-slightly snooty city has been setting trends (architectural, cultural, fashionable) for the rest of the nation to follow ... It’s not without its drawbacks, though it’s posh, pricey and the rush-hour traffic will have you weeping into your steering wheel,”
NOTES TO EDITORS
For more information contact:
Lonely Planet, Best British Food
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