Celebrate autumn and dine on the best seasonal produce around the UK at these 10 top hotel restaurants…
It’s harvest time and many fruits and vegetables are at their peak, including apples, beetroots, pears, pumpkins, squashes, damsons, turnips and many more. British lamb is delicious right now, and it’s also game season, with tender venison, partridge and meaty wood pigeon all appearing on menus. Autumn is a wonderful season, for chefs and diners alike…
Lakes Restaurant – 2 AA Rosettes for culinary excellence
There’s a harvest of regional produce on the autumn menu at Stoke by Nayland’s Lakes Restaurant. Executive head chef Alan Paton uses locally-sourced ingredients throughout the menu – berries from Stoke’s own farm, Norfolk duck eggs and quail, locally-grown veg and East Anglian lamb and chicken. Even the ice creams and sorbets on the dessert menu are made to the restaurant’s recipes by a nearby Suffolk ice-cream maker.
The Restaurant – culinary events include wine dinners
Nestled in the Brecon Beacons, and overlooking the River Usk, Gliffaes makes the most of its idyllic locale when it comes to dinner. In autumn that means foraged blackberries and damsons, plus apples, quince and chestnuts from the hotel trees (and those of its neighbours). Gliffaes tries to use only local suppliers and sustainable produce – all its fish, for example, is approved by the Marine Stewardship Council.
The Dining Room – 2 AA Rosettes for culinary excellence
The autumn menu at Lindeth Howe, which overlooks Lake Windermere, reads like a roll call of the Lake District’s best meat and fish. There’s a risotto of Cumbrian shrimps or Cartmel Valley wood pigeon to start. Current mains include beef from the Cumbrian fells and Kentmere Valley lamb rump served with cauliflower. Finish things off with a dessert that uses two classic autumn ingredients: Lindeth’s spiced pumpkin sorbet with chestnuts.
Harry’s Restaurant – AA Rosette for fine food
The Chase Hotel uses local ingredients on the menus at Harry’s Restaurant wherever possible, making the most of Herefordshire’s array of produce. The menu is particularly strong on local cheeses – the soufflé, for example is made with Hereford Hop, a local cow’s milk cheese coated with hops. It’s served with creamed oyster mushrooms and a tarragon sauce.
Gilroy’s Dining Room – 2 AA Rosettes & Taste Durham Local Produce Champion
The Morrit’s head chef, Lee Stainthorpe, changes his menus frequently to include what’s good and in season. Highlights of the hotel’s autumn menus include crispy pork shoulder with apple ketchup, a butternut squash veloute with pickled shumeji mushrooms, and seared venison loin with blackberries. The kitchen team are also busy at this time of year, making apple, pear, plum and damson jams with fruit from Barbara and Peter’s (The Morrit’s owners) nearby farm.
White Hart Restaurant – 2 AA Rosettes for culinary excellence
The White Hart at Dartington works with local and sustainable suppliers wherever possible, making the most of Devon and the West Country’s bounty of seasonal produce. Currently on the menu is whey-fed pork from Dartmouth, served with charred cauliflower and pork scratchings. The catch of the day comes from nearby Brixham or Plymouth and there are always seasonal mixed vegetables as a side.
Chantrey’s Restaurant – AA Rosette for fine food
The Imperial’s executive chef Arwel Jones takes pride in using seasonal Welsh produce. You’ll find Welsh lamb, beef and seafood like Conwy crab on the menu, as well as Welsh cheeses like Hen Sir (a Welsh Cheddar), Perl Las (a blue) and Teifi (similar to Gouda and hailing from West Wales). Its mini fish and chips are made with beer from Llandudno’s Orme Brewery, and the blackberry and apple torte on the autumn menu is made with apples from a nearby orchard. You can even wash them down with a glass of Welsh wine.
Salisbury Seafood & Steak House – AA Rosette for fine food
The Salisbury Seafood & Steak House at Milford Hall sources the 28-day-aged beef for its popular steaks from nearby Style Farm in Wiltshire. Also on the menu this autumn is a tian of braised local lamb, a New Forest pork steak and – for something completely different – a superfood salad packed with pumpkin seeds and roasted beetroot.
The Salon – 2 AA Rosettes for culinary excellence
Get into the autumn spirit with dinner at Hintlesham Hall. The hotel’s current table d’hôte menus give a real flavour of the season, with highlights including a wild mushroom tart, pork belly with toasted apples and braised endive, and East Anglia’s famed Gressingham duck served with a tangy butternut squash and tarragon chutney. The dessert menu is crammed with autumn fruits – think apple and blackberry crumble with vanilla crème brulee, pear and cranberry pavlova, or a board of East Anglian cheeses.
Pentland Restaurant – honey collected from the hotel’s beehives
The Pentland at Dalmahoy showcases Scottish ingredients at their seasonal best. Executive head chef Robert Newman’s imaginative dishes currently include traditional haggis from Campbell’s with a turnip and smoked paprika croquette, crispy kale and whisky jus. Also on the menu right now are wild duck, Scottish beef blade and calf’s liver, and sustainably-sourced cod, paired with a squid-ink risotto.
If you’re looking for inspiration for a gourmet getaway, look no further than these 10 fine dining restaurants, whose autumn menus all major in seasonal, local and sustainable produce.