The Ultimate Foodie Road Trips
The foodie travellers among us are always thinking about their next meal. If you’re planning a foodie getaway in the UK, some of the best destinations for foodies can be found in the towns and villages in the south of England. From Michelin-starred restaurants run by celebrity chefs, to menus offering the finest locally sourced ingredients, these are the ultimate foodie road trips. Hop in your Zipcar and get ready for a taste sensation.
This quaint town on the edge of the Chiltern Hills rose to prominence as one of the best destinations for foodies thanks to Tom Kerridge’s restaurant, The Hand and Flowers. It’s the only pub in the UK with two Michelin stars, yet it retains a laidback atmosphere. There are two other Michelin-starred restaurants in Marlow, The Coach (also owned by Tom Kerridge) and Sindhu – a South Indian restaurant – making the town one of the ultimate foodie road trips from London.
Top foodie tip: Seats by the bar at The Hand and Flowers are available on a first come first served basis, where you can sample delicious cocktails and bar snacks like the signature Crispy Pig’s Head with Chorizo Mayonnaise.
When it comes to foodie road trips in the UK, cheese is pretty high on the agenda. So where better to visit than Cheddar? With a number of popular cheesemongers and delis in the town, including The Original Cheddar Cheese Co and The Cheddar Gorge Cheese Company Ltd, sample cheddar cheese in its home and take some with you when you go!
Top foodie tip: Save room for the cheese board after your mail meal at The Bath Arms, which serves contemporary and traditional dishes with flair.
For true foodies, Bray needs no introduction. A small village it may be, but Bray boasts no less than seven Michelin stars in total, with two out of five of Britain’s three-Michelin star restaurants. Sample no less than 15 utterly imaginative courses at Heston Blumenthal’s Fat Duck, delight in classic French cuisine at the legendary Roux restaurant The Waterside Inn or opt for something a little more reasonably priced at Blumenthal’s sister restaurant, The Hind’s Head.
Top foodie tip: Get your thinking caps on if you’ve managed to book a table at the Fat Duck, because guests are asked in advance about their own childhood memories so the chefs can create personalised dishes accordingly!
Seaside towns are always a hit when it comes to the freshest fish and seafood, and Deal is no exception! From high-end bistros like the Frog and Scot to the array of fish bars like The Blue Mermaid serving up delicious fish and chips, not forgetting fishmongers like Deal Shellfish Stall on the seafront – Deal is a must-visit for foodie travellers.
Top foodie tip: The Rose is regarded as one of the best restaurants in Deal. Try the Rose Royale for brunch!
Winchester is another great location for a foodie vacation, thanks to the likes of the Michelin-starred Black Rat, the indomitable Rick Stein’s seafood restaurant, and the Chesil Rectory – located in a 600-year-old grade II listed medieval house. Winchester High Street also hosts regular farmers’ markets, where you can pick up the best local and seasonal produce in Hampshire.
Top foodie tip: The menu at The Black Rat changes daily depending on what’s in season in their on-site herb garden, or what their resident forager has collected!
There’s more to Canterbury than history, as these foodie spots prove. Check out The Goods Shed – a farmers’ market, food hall and restaurant rolled into one, serving only the freshest seasonal and local produce. On your Canterbury foodie road trip, be sure to visit Fordwich, Britain’s smallest town and home to the Fordwich Arms and Kathton House – both impressive restaurants serving delicious seasonal fare.
Top foodie tip: Chef-patron at The Fordwich Arms, Daniel Smith was recently awarded Observer's Young Chef of the Year
The New Forest National Park
Aside from beautiful woodland and wild ponies, the New Forest is home to some delicious eateries too! Make sure your foodie road trip incorporates The Pig – the original restaurant famed for home-grown produce and a 25-mile menu. The Elderflower should also be on your list, featuring a quintessentially British menu with a sprinkling of French flair. Or opt for classic French elegance at Les Mirabelles.
Top foodie tip: You’re welcome to explore the kitchen garden at The Pig, and see for yourself how the home-grown produce is grown before it reaches your plate.