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Great British Dishes with a Luxury Makeover
Familiarity, in this case, breeds contentment. We revisit the great traditional British dishes that have undergone a luxury makeover at top restaurants, and are still as popular today.
Prices shown where available – some restaurants have yet to publish menus prior to reopening. Please check prior to booking if seasonal dishes available on day of visit. Luxury Restaurant Club offers apply at most locations – click links for details.
Fillet steak with its juices ensconced in pastry is one of England’s more decadent dishes. Try some of the best Beef Wellington at: Savoy Grill – Fillet of Beef Wellington, red wine jus (for two), £96; The Grill at The Dorchester; Simpson’s in The Strand; Rosewood, The Holborn Dining Room; The Goring – Red Horn Beef Wellington, braised rib stuffed onion and confit mushroom (for two), £84; Cliveden Dining Room – Longhorn fillet of Beef Wellington, roasted Roscoff onion, frisée salad (for two), £80.
The traditional Sunday roast has been a major influence on British culture. Try some of the best traditional Sunday roasts at: Simpson’s in the Strand; The Chesterfield; The Game Bird at The Stafford Sunday roast two-courses, £40; Restaurant Coworth Park – Sunday roast three-courses, £55; The Spread Eagle in Midhurst – Sunday roast, £18; Corinthia, The Northall – Sunday roast, two-courses £39, or three-courses £45.
Fish & Chips
The emblematic British meal, try some of the best fish & chips at: The Game Bird at The Stafford – Beer-battered haddock, marrowfat peas, triple cooked chips, tartare sauce, £22; Coworth Park, The Barn – Beer-battered haddock, chunky chips and minted peas, £22; Michael Caines, The Harbourside Refuge – Fish & chips, £15; GBR at Dukes – Beer battered haddock, minted peas, tartare sauce, £9; Chamberlain’s of London; Bentley’s Oyster Bar & Grill – Traditional fish & chips, tartare sauce, mushy peas, £21.50.
Dover sole is one of the most delicious and more expensive fish dishes available. Try some of the best Dover sole at: Wiltons – Dover sole grilled, meunière or goujons, £55; The Goring – Dover sole, crisp potato, tartare garnishes and seaweed (grilled or meunière), £54; Cliveden Dining Room – South coast Dover sole (grilled or meunière), £55; Scott’s Mayfair – Dover sole (grilled or meunière) 16oz £45, or 22oz £58; The Oyster & Fish House – Dover sole, £28; 34 Mayfair – Dover sole, grilled on or off the bone, £42.
Toad in the Hole
Originally a vulgar name for the cheaper meat used in Yorkshire pudding; or moreover a way of stretching meat out in dishes for poorer households, but ultimately updated to a favourite dish – with premium meats. Try delicious Toad in the Hole at: Dormy House, The Potting Shed – Toad in the Hole, an occasional dish on the menu, two courses, £19.50; The Fox Inn, Corscombe, Bar menu – Toad in the Hole with onion gravy, £8.50.
Asparagus is rich in health benefits, including weight loss and improved nutrition, whilst delicious cooked to perfection. Try at: The Fox Inn, Corscombe – Wye Valley Asparagus steamed with Hollandaise, £14.50; 45 Jermyn St – Portwood Farm Asparagus with Hollandaise, £16; The Oyster & Fish House – Steamed new season Wye Valley asparagus with Hollandaise sauce, £12.75; York & Albany – Asparagus. smoked emulsion, soy pumpkin seeds, £11; The Wild Rabbit, Bottoms Up Bar & Grill – Evesham asparagus, organic spelt, baby gem, wild garlic, cured egg yolk, £8.50.
Tender meat with two veg were the dinner basics. Enjoy succulent lamb dishes at: GBR at Dukes – Cumbrian lamb cutlets, £24.50; Wiltons – Lamb cutlets, £36; Lympstone Manor – Darts Farm loin of lamb, courgette and basil puree, ratatouille, roasted garlic, split lamb jus, part of a la carte menu at £140pp; The Connaught Grill – Kentish lamb chops, £34; Odette’s – Lamb, pea, mint, £29; Rosewood, Holborn Dining Room – Lamb rump, Cornish new potatoes, spring vegetables, £26; The Village Pub – Barnsley lamb chop, sauteed greens, bubble & squeak, tomato and olive dressing, £25.
British crab is in season from April to late autumn. Try at: Charlie’s at Brown’s – Classic, dressed Devon crab, £18; Scott’s Mayfair – Dressed crab, £21; Michael Caines, The Harbourside Refuge – Cornish crab, prawns and avocado salad, £11.95; Luton Hoo, Wernher Restaurant – Dressed Cornish crab, part of three-course a la carte, £45; The Wolseley – Dressed Dorset crab, £18.75; Bentley’s Oyster Bar & Grill – Cornish dressed crab, mayonnaise, £26.50.
The humble Scotch egg gets a luxury makeover at these locations: Dormy House, The Potting Shed; The Swan at Southrop – Matt’s scotch egg, mixed salad, £7.50; The Miller of Mansfield – Homemade quail scotch egg, rapeseed oil tartare sauce, £5.50; GBR at Dukes – Haggis Scotch egg, Bramley apple and whisky sauce, £8; The Half Moon at Kirdford – Scotch egg, brown sauce, £7.
From its origins it was a way of using up the leftover of roast meats. Here’s where to try some of the best shepherd’s pies: The Ivy – Shepherd’s pie, £18.50; The Connaught Grill – Shepherd’s pie, £28; The Swan at Southrop – Shepherd’s pie, £19.50; The Ivy Chelsea Garden – Shepherd’s pie, £14.50.
From a former staple food to the glamorous revival of a plain, simple old favourite, try rice pudding at: The Fox Inn, Corscombe – Buttermilk pudding with Eva’s rhubarb, £7.50; The Corinthia, Northall – Rice pudding, cinnamon and apple compôte, £12; Bentley’s Oyster Bar & Grill – Rice pudding brûlée.
The Full English
Internationally recognised, the full English breakfast is our favourite fry-up. Enjoy some of the best full English breakfasts at: Luton Hoo – Full English, £21; Chewton Glen – Full English breakfast in The Dining Room, £29.50; The Goring – Full English breakfast, £32; Rosewood, Holborn Dining Room – Holborn traditional English, £18; The Game Bird at The Stafford – Full English, £19; The Berkeley, The Collins Room – Full English, £24.
Strawberries & Cream
Nothing tastes more quintessentially British in the summer than strawberries. Try at: Adam Handling Chelsea – Strawberries, ricotta, tarragon and summer herbs, £15; York & Albany – Fresh English strawberries, clotted cream ice cream, walnut biscotti, £7.50; Bob Bob Ricard – Strawberries and cream soufflé, £9; Cowley Manor – Chase pink peppercorn gin macerated strawberries, lemon drizzle, mascarpone, £6.
Bread & Butter Pudding
Formerly created as a frugal dish, now a rich favourite. Try the best bread and butter puddings at: Rosewood, Holborn Dining Room – Bread and Butter pudding, £9; Charlie’s at Brown’s – Spiced bread and butter pudding with berries, £9; The Connaught Grill – Bread and butter pudding, £15; Rules – Bread and butter pudding, £8.25; The Painswick – Bread and butter pudding, vanilla ice cream, two-courses £25; The Oxford Arms, Kirtlington – Bread and butter pudding with cream, two-courses, £25.
Trifle originated from the similar dish, the fool, and became more widely known from 1585 onwards. Try great British trifles at: Cliveden, The Astor Grill – Summer Berry Trifle, £9; Rosewood, Holborn Dining Room – English rhubarb trifle, £9; The Woodspeen – Rhubarb fool, rhubarb jam and ginger cake, yogurt ice cream, £10; The Lowry – Strawberry and rose trifle, Turkish delight, £7.50; The Swan at Lavenham – Strawberry trifle, elderflower, £8.
In the 17th century treacle was used as a medicine – an antidote to poisons – what a great excuse to order one. Enjoy the best Treacle Tarts at: The Swan at Southrop – Warm treacle tart, Chantilly cream, £7.50; The Wellington Arms – Helen’s treacle tart with proper custard, clotted, pouring or ice cream, £7.50; Rhinefield House, The Conservatory – Warm treacle tart, clotted cream, £9; Lyle’s – Treacle tart, milk ice cream, £9.
Apple crumble originated in Britain during World War II as a less extravagant version of the apple pie. Enjoy apple crumble and apple pies at: The Game Bird at The Stafford – Spiced apple crumble, on the Sunday menu two-courses £40, three-courses £45; The Fox Inn, Corscombe – Grandma’s apple pie with vanilla ice cream or custard, £7.50; Wiltons – Apple crumble and vanilla custard, £12; Hawksmoor – Bramley apple pie, brandy custard, £8.50; The Ivy – Baked Bramley apple pie with Devonshire clotted cream, £8.50.
Traditionalism at its finest with: Belmond British Pullman – Champagne Afternoon Tea journey on the train, £350 pp; Cadogan’s by Adam Handling – Afternoon Tea, £55; Lanesborough, Peggy Porschen Afternoon Tea, £53; Cliveden – Classic Red Velvet Afternoon Tea, £40; Brown’s Hotel – Traditional afternoon tea, £55; The Dorchester, The Promenade – Traditional afternoon tea, £70.