The Best Foodie Destinations In The UK & Ireland

By Ellie Smith

1 month ago

Culinary hotspots to have on your radar


On the hunt for a staycation that’s centred around food? Here are eight of the best foodie destinations in the UK and Ireland, from the Scottish harbour town of North Berwick to the picture-perfect village of St Mawes in Cornwall. Home to an abundance of great restaurants, pubs, food markets and farm shops, these towns and villages are renowned for their gastronomic offering, so you certainly won’t go hungry.

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Sushi at The Blue Pelican

Deal, Kent

The picture-perfect town is closer to France than London, and hints of its influence are dotted throughout: Le Pinardier is a bar specialising in French wine, while No Name Shop sells French cheese, bread and pastries. That’s not the only cuisine on offer though: one of the buzziest new hotspots is The Blue Pelican, a Japanese restaurant housed inside a townhouse on the seafront.

Pump Street Bakery

Orford, Suffolk

The home of Pump Street Bakery, no trip here is complete without a pastry at the pretty pink premises. There’s also seafood aplenty: lunch at the family-run Butley Orford Oysterage is a must. A highlight is the restaurant at The Crown and Castle, showcasing the best of Suffolk produce, with a view of Orford castle to boot.

North Berwick, East Lothian

Queue for the famous bostock (brioche covered in frangipane) at Bostock Bakery, and pop into Drift for brunch with a view. Family-run Osteria pairs Italian classics with Scottish flavours, while at The Lawn, former Masterchef contestant Chris Niven cooks up an impressive seasonal menu.

1 York Place, Bristol

Bristol

One of the UK’s most beloved foodie destinations, Bristol brims with charming neighbourhood joints: from the recently opened 1 York Place in Clifton Village to Redland hotspot Wilsons, the city’s only restaurant with a Michelin Green Star. City stalwart St Nicholas Market, meanwhile, is a treasure trove of great street food (think pies, falafels and dumplings).

Clitheroe, Lancashire

Local produce sits at the heart of the Ribble Valley’s friendly town of Clitheroe, where a market has run thrice-weekly since the 12th century. Cowmans Famous Sausage Shop, meanwhile, has been around for over 120 years, selling over 70 different sausage flavours. One of the newer openings is Holmes Mill, home to Bowland Brewery and its enormous Beer Hall. And for a classic country pub lunch, book a table at The Parkers Arms in Newton-in-Bowland, known for its lamb pies, with meat sourced from Burholme Farm just down the road. 

The Hidden Hut

St Mawes, Cornwall

Forget the Med and head to Cornwall’s riviera, St Mawes, an idyllic fishing village on the edge of the Roseland Peninsula. Soak up the glittering sea views over lunch on the terrace of The Reef Knot, the new restaurant at The Idle Rocks hotel, enjoy fish and chips and a pint at harbourside pub The Rising Sun, and pick up some Cornish treats at Fudge & More. It’s also well worth crossing the water for an excursion to beloved beach shack The Hidden Hut where Simon Stallard hosts open-air wood-fired feast nights during the summer.

County Cork, Ireland

Ireland’s most exciting foodie destination right now? Cork. At the heart of the city sits its buzzing food market, described by Rick Stein as ‘the best covered market in the UK and Ireland’, where historic stalls sit alongside newcomers serving everything from fresh local turbot to Irish soda bread. Elsewhere, book a tour of Rebel City Distillery, the home of Maharani Gin and dine at buzzy restaurant The Glass Curtain. Check out the burgeoning foodie village of Kinsale, too: grab coffee at The Post House and lunch-to-go from The Pie Guys.

Near Chipping Norton, Cotswolds

You’ll find some of the country’s best pubs in the Cotswolds. One of the newer openings is Daylesford’s latest pub-with-rooms, The Bell at Charlbury, a foodie spot that cooks with organic produce from its sister farm. Over in the town centre there’s award winning bistro Whistlers – and, of course, you can’t leave without a visit to Jeremy Clarkson’s Diddly Squat Farm Shop, where you can buy a bottle of famous Bee Juice Rum.