One of the largest cities in the UK and the economic capital of Yorkshire, Leeds is a lively place with a vibrant history, and it certainly isn’t short of fantastic places to get lunch. If you’re thinking of taking a trip to Leeds, you certainly won’t have trouble finding something delicious to eat. This northern city has everything to offer when it comes to tasty lunches, offering a diverse range of cuisines from all across the world, a variety of price tags and a array of different vibes. Whether you’re looking for some Mexican or Asian street food, a fancy sit-down meal, a healthy bowl of goodness, a grab and go bite, or a cheap and cheerful option – you will be spoilt for choice when it comes to places for lunch in Leeds. So, what are you waiting for? Go ahead and take a look at our list of the best places for lunch in Leeds 2021.
The Best Lunch Spots in Leeds:
Little Bao Boy
Little Bao Boy is an independent Asian street food company that serves up soft and fluffy bao buns bursting with an array of delicious Asian-fusion fillings. Choose from the Braised Beef Bao; the KFB, with buttermilk-marinated chicken thigh; or East Meets West, with pulled-pork slow-cooked in Chinese five spice. It’s also good news for the veggies, who have the choice of the Tofu Bao; the Pankp Aubergine Bao; the Sputnik Cauliflower Boa; or the Prawn Bao with vegan prawns. Whichever option you go for, you can enjoy two buns for just £7 between 11am and 2pm every single day of the week, making it the ideal cheap place for lunch in Leeds.
Little Bao Boy, North Brewing Co. Tap Room, 3 Sovereign Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 4BA.
Rola Wala is an Indian street food spot, serving flavour-filled Indian dishes with an epic twist and made from scratch, using only the finest quality, fresh ingredients. Their naan rolls are a must-try – you can fill yours with Chicken Tikka, Beef Vindaloo, Meatball Rogan Josh, Red Channa Dal, Keralan Chickpea or Sweet Potato Saag. Next, add your choice of fresh veggies and sauces before it’s all wrapped up into a delicious spice-filled parcel. If you’d prefer something a little lighter, you can opt for any of the filling options in a rice bowl, cauliflower bowl or salad bowl. So, if you’re looking for something a little different, Rola Wala is the best place in Leeds for lunch.
The go-to place for lunch in Leeds when it comes to vibrant, punchy Mexican food and tequila-cocktails, you are guaranteed a good time at Neon Cactus. Inspired by the traditional canteen and old town street vendors of Mexico, this trendy lunch spot is situated on the up-and-coming Call Lane in the heart of the city centre. They are true masters of authentic Mexican cuisine, including the usual delights – think tacos, burritos and nachos. All the food arrives piping hot, freshly cooked and incredibly well-flavoured. There really is no better place to get lunch in Leeds if you’re a fan of Mexican flavours.
Tucked away from the hustle and bustle of Leeds city centre, Olive & Rye is an independent cafe located in the suave Queens Arcade, serving up inventive dishes made with locally-sourced ingredients. It is no wonder this quaint little cafe has quickly become one of the most popular indie lunch spots in Leeds. However, Olive & Rye doesn’t just do lunch – they also serve up a superb brunch and a mouth-watering selection of sweet treats. For lunch though, the menu has something for everyone; whether you want a meaty meal, a veggie or vegan plate, or something sweet. Choose from a selection of top-notch sandwich fillings, including buttermilk fried chicken with smoked bacon and herb mayo; mojo pork with Swiss cheese and red onion chutney; battered cod with tartare sauce; minute steak with onion rings and blue cheese; or falafel with roasted red peppers and hummus. Opt to have any of these tasty fillings on ciabatta, focaccia or sourdough bread. If you don’t fancy a sandwich, the lunch menu has plenty of alternatives. The salads include classics like caesar, carrot or falafel. Or, you can go all out with a full board – choose from the fish board, the Mediterranean board or the Yorkshire board.
Located just a 10-minute walk from the centre of Leeds, the Chow Down outdoor space has truly come into its own during the Covid-19 era. It provides an eclectic mix of ever-changing street-food vendors, new-on-the-scene DJs, cocktails and craft beer. The lineup of predominantly northern lunch options includes Sri Lankan delights from Archchi’s; Malaysian specialities from Nasi Lemak, Mexican flavours from Torito Taco; meaty burgers from Little Red Eats; and Middle Eastern dishes from MorMor, amongst many more. This is the best place in Leeds for lunch if you’re looking for plenty of options, good tunes and a fun time in the sun.
Simpatico is the go-to place for lunch in Leeds if you’re fancying a big ol’ slice of pizza. Serving up proper Roman-style pizzas, with perfectly crisp crusts, fluffy tops and an array of delicious toppings. They don’t have a menu per se – they actually have an ever-changing selection of pizza options. Alongside the classics like Margherita and pepperoni, you’ll find a display of unconventional creations. Choose from pizzas with a twist – The Full English comprises Yorkshire bacon, sausage, tomato, mushroom and scrambled egg; The Yorkshire Pudding pizza consists of Yorkshire pud, roast potatoes, roast carrots, carrot puree, horseradish, gravy and roast beef; and The Buttermilk Chicken comes with smoked bacon and Chimmi Churri. Don’t worry if you’re not a meat-eater – this Leeds lunch spot also caters for veggies with their courgette pizza, served on a hummus base with courgette flowers, blush tomatoes, olives artichokes and courgette ribbons; or opt for the New Potato & Cauliflower pizza, comprising new potatoes, Romanesco cauliflower and Yorkshire Pecorino.
Simpatico, 16 Queens Arcade, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6LF.
A lunch haven for commuters to Leeds, Laynes Espresso is situated just a stones throw away from Leeds train station. Serving up the best coffees available to the UK market, a splendid array of teas and tasty lunch menu, this cafe is the best place for lunch in Leeds if you’re a lover of great coffee and eating breakfast food for lunch. Choose from savoury specialities like the classic, vegetarian or vegan full English breakfast, kale and spring onion bubble and squeak, grilled cheese sandwich and black pudding hash. Or, for those who have a sweet tooth, choose from their selection of sweet treats, including buckwheat pancakes, chocolate chip bread and butter pudding, cinnamon donut, almond croissant and warm salt caramel brownie.
Laynes Espresso, 16 New Station Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5DL.
Sheaf Street Cafeteria represents the combined efforts of the people behind both Laynes Espresso and Duke Studios, and the result is this cool, laid-back cafe, full of character with bare brick walls and industrial-style decor. Sheaf Street is one of the best places for lunch in Leeds for casual dishes and a chilled out bar vibe. Located just south of the river, this trendy Leeds lunch spot focuses on quality food and drink any time of day. Choose from lunchtime delights, including classics like the sausage roll (including a vegan version), grilled cheese and bacon sandwich. Or, if you’re fancying something a little different for lunch, why not opt for the Reuben sandwich – a grilled sandwich filled with pastrami, emmental, sauerkraut, gherkins and Russian dressing. Or, for the non-meat eaters, tuck into the falafel and hummus wrap – homemade falafel, hummus, spinach and pickled red onions in a soft tortilla wrap.
Sheaf Street Cafeteria, 3 Sheaf Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS10 1HD.
Wolfox is an ultra-modern cafe that oozes cool vibes. Located on Wellington Street, this Leeds lunch venue is a light and airy space with giant windows, bare brickwork, plush yellow armchairs and plants dotted about the place. As well as serving up top-notch lunch dishes, Wolfox are also speciality coffee roasters, so you can enjoy a cup of organic blend coffee alongside your food. On the menu, you can find so many delicious lunch options. Choose from their healthy bowls, including the Acai Bowl, Mermaid Bowl or Tropical Bowl. Alternatively, opt for one of their brunch options, such as avocado mash, wild mushrooms on toast, pulled pork with poached egg, brioche French toast, sweetcorn fritter or poke bowl. This hip cafe is certainly one of the coolest places to have lunch in Leeds.
Set within The Gallery at 164, you get the best of both worlds when having lunch at this part-cafe, part-gallery in Leeds. They serve up a selection of unusual sandwich options that are packed with flavour and are hearty in size. They largely combine Italian and Middle Eastern flavours to create exciting tastes that you can’t get anywhere else. Their extensive sandwich menu comprises classics like the Chicken Pesto, the traditional Pork Sausage and the Smoked Streaky Bacon. Or, opt for something a little more adventurous with the Chilli Chicken sandwich, the Pastrami & Emmental or the Chicken Chorizo. This Leeds lunch spot even caters for vegetarians with options like the Brie & Onion Chutney sandwich, the Halloumi & Pesto Mayo, the Coronation Tempeh or the Vegan Chilli Chicken. Cafe 164 is definitely one of the best lunch places in Leeds for well-filled sandwiches on freshly-baked bread.
Cafe 164, Munro House, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS9 8AG.
York is known for its old, characterful pubs and restaurants that are steeped in history. With original wood panelling, slightly higgledy-piggledy structures, atmospheric low lighting and old world-style decor, York is the city to go to for feeling like you’ve just stepped back in time hundreds of years. However, that’s not all the pubs in this historic city have to offer – they can also be relied on to serve up a whopping Sunday lunch.
You really can’t beet a good Sunday roast – whether you fancy succulent chicken, melt-in-the-mouth pork, tender lamb or roast beef with Yorkshire puddings and all the trimmings. There is nothing quite like sitting down with the whole family over a delicious Sunday dinner. To that end, we have put together a list of the best Sunday lunches in York in 2021. So, what are you waiting for? Go ahead and discover the best places to go for a Sunday roast in York.
Subtly nestled down North Street, within York’s historic walls, this hidden gem of a pub will lure you in with their slightly left-field decor and outlook. Tucked away from the popular tourist sites of York, this rustic pub offers a cosy and welcoming atmosphere within fashionable surroundings. For a Sunday lunch in York, the Whippet Inn tempts you to try their sumptuous Sunday roast menu which comprises only the very best of fresh, fine Yorkshire fare. This restaurant/pub is a great option if you want a posh Sunday dinner in York with all the trimmings.
Specialising in steak, the Whippet Inn sure does known how to cook up a mean roast. With a set menu, you can opt for 2 courses for just £19.50 or 3 courses for £23.50. For starters, I would recommend the crispy fried whitebait with sweet chilli mayo and charred lime or the grilled black pudding with soft poached egg, Bois Bourdin sauce and watercress. Moving onto the main attraction when it comes to a Sunday roast, you can choose from a selection of roast peppered rump of British beef or brandy butter poached chicken breast, both served with garlic and herb roast potatoes, honey and fennel roast carrots, sautéed spring cabbage with lemon and garlic, lightly spiced cauliflower and cheese gratin and balsamic roast onions. For your Sunday dinner desert, you have the delicious choice of classic sticky toffee pudding, iced dark chocolate parfait or strawberry cheesecake pavlova. To compliment your York Sunday lunch, the Whippet Inn provides an extensive wine list, with an array of changing vintages displayed on their blackboard. So, go ahead and take a look at their Sunday lunch menu.
One of York’s best independent restaurants, The Rattle Owl is housed within a beautiful 17th-century building on one of the city’s most historic streets – Micklegate. This elegant casual dining spot takes advantage of the region’s abundance of fresh produce to create one of York’s best Sunday lunches. The team at The Rattle Owl offer an unfussy menu that doesn’t overcomplicate the classic roast dinner.
Choose from their sweet but simple Sunday lunch set menu – opt for 2 courses for £28 or, if you’re really hungry, go for the full 3 courses for £34. Pick a light but delicious starter, such as their broccoli veloute, ham hock ballotine or cured trout. Then, choose a hearty main, with a choice between honey roast duck served with apricot chutney, roast potatoes and Yorkshire pudding; mutton rump with confit neck and mint fritter, roast potatoes and Yorkshire pudding; and roasted cauliflower for the veggies with Yorkshire pudding, cauliflower puree, roast potatoes, Summerfield’s cheese fritter and cheese sauce for the veggies. Finish off your incredible York roast dinner with a peanut butter parfait, York Cocoa House chocolate delice or a cheese board. View their Sunday dinner menu to see the full range of what they have to offer.
Guy Fawkes Inn
25 High Petergate
The 1-AA-Rosette-awarded Guy Fawkes Inn is undoubtedly one of the best places in York to get Sunday lunch. Step inside and immediately be welcomed by the by-gone atmosphere of wooden floors and rooms lit by candle and gas. Feast in the Elizabethan-style pub where the menu has a nostalgic touch with items that will take you back in time.
The chefs at the Guy Fawkes Inn add different dishes to the Sunday lunch menu every week to keep the options new and fresh. You can sample delights that seem as though they are from a completely different time period – think while roasted quail, prime 35 day aged steaks, garlic and thyme chicken breast and mushroom wellington. You can start off your Sunday lunch in York with homemade soup of the day, Thai fishcakes, a warm salad of seasonal vegetables or the chef’s homemade black pudding scotch egg. For your main course, choose from staple dishes, including roast beef fed and reared in the Yorkshire Dales; Nidderdale roast chicken breast; loin of Yorkshire reared pork or a vegetable nut roast for the non-meat eaters. If you’re opting for a desert as well, then you will be spoilt for choice with classics like sticky toffee pudding (along with a vegan version), jam roly poly, coconut and mango panna cotta or a selection of British cheeses. Take a look at their Sunday roast menu to see what you fancy.
Roots is the best place to go for a modern take on the Sunday roast in York. While the roast beef, the Yorkshire pudding and roast potatoes might be the highlight of most people’s plate, Roots put a contemporary twist on the traditional Sunday dinner that can’t be beaten. The Roots York Sunday lunch menu is a tasting menu experience, like the rest of their menus, that adapts throughout the year to reflect the changing times of year – whether that be The Preserving Season, The Hunger Gap or The Time of Abundance.
Award-winning chef, Tommy Banks, and his team source their seasonal produce from the family farm in Oldstead. The Sunday Feast menu comprises a weekly assortment of dishes that take the humble Sunday roast to whole new heights. A little pricier than some other Sunday lunch options in York, the tasting menu costs £50 per person – however, the exciting flavours and unique combinations might just make it worth the higher cost. When we visited, our sample Sunday dinner menu consisted of 5 courses – first, we started with a selection of sour bread, seed crackers, chive butter, Hafod cheddar and Oldstead onion; next we sampled the smoked salmon served with fennel and buttermilk; then for the main event we were treated to sourdough-glazed chicken which consisted of a buttermilk chicken thigh, caramelised cauliflower puree, Hasselback potatoes, glazed kimchi, cauliflower cheese, Yorkshire pudding and a selection of Oldstead vegetables. Finally, not forgetting desert, we finished off with an Oldstead artichoke sticky toffee pudding and black trumpet madeleine. Take a look at the Roots sample Sunday lunch menu and be taken on a culinary trip to absolute food pleasure.
Solita Bar & Grill
75 Low Petergate
Another modern take on the usual British Sunday roast dinner is served up by Solita Bar & Grill, headed up by Yorkshire’s award-winning Shoot the Bull group. Located just a stones throw away from the historic Shambles market and in the shadow of the iconic York Minster, this is by far one of the best places for a Sunday lunch in York. While this bar and grill is best known for its sumptuous wagyu burger creations, wings, steaks, cocktails and more, it is also a fab place to go for a Sunday lunch with a twist.
Showcasing some of the region’s finest ingredients, Solita’s Sunday lunch menu wouldn’t be complete without a feature of the very best wagyu beef, sourced from Warrendale Wagyu on the outskirts of the city. Here, you can enjoy a take on the traditional Sunday roast or, if you’re feeling really adventurous, you could even give their epic Sunday Roast burger a try at just £14. The Sunday Roast burger consists of a 4 Oz wagyu beed patty, roast wagyu topside, carrots, parsnips, horseradish mayo and cheese – of course, all topped off with a mini Yorkshire pud and a pig in a blanket. This York Sunday lunch spot even caters for the veggies with their mouthwatering nut roasts, served with all the trimmings, including Yorkshire pudding, and lathered in rich gravy.
One of the best places for a Sunday roast for someone who really loves their meat. Quietly situated in a corner of the beautiful St. Helen’s Square, Tomahawk Steakhouse is a fabulous restaurant wit a huge menu, including some incredible options for a meaty Sunday lunch in York. The restaurant itself is massive – much larger than I expected, with 6-seater booths so you can get the whole family around one table. Although this Sunday dinner spot is a little more modern than some of the other places on this list, in true York style, it is housed within an old building, kitted out with bare wooden beams, brick walls and low lighting.
The Sunday lunch menu consists of roast beef “wagyu” topside, garlic herb marinated chicken breast or belly pork served with crispy crackling. All these cuts of meat are served alongside pork and herb stuffing, beef dripping roast potatoes, cauliflower cheese, Yorkshire pudding, braised red cabbage, seasonal vegetables and a rich 24hr red wine gravy. Not satisfied with this pile of food? If so, you can add some extras – creamy mash, cauliflower cheese croquettes, cheese and bacon potato dauphinoise, bacon and cream peas, broccoli tossed in spicy chimichurri or even an extra Yorkshire pud. If you can’t choose between the three meat options on the menu, then why not go all out and order their ‘Sunday Sharing Board’, consisting of a selection of all three meats, served with all the usual trimmings for just £16.95 per person. See all that they have to offer on their complete Sunday roast menu.
Enjoy AA Rosette award-winning food and excellent, friendly service in one of the best places for Sunday lunch in York – The Judge’s Lodging. Housed in a listed Georgian restaurant, with both indoor and outdoor dining space, this is the ideal venue for a family Sunday roast. For snug, relaxed eating, the cellar bar offers an escape from the bustling streets of York. With vaulted ceilings and grand mahogany details, this venue has an exclusive atmosphere flowing through it. Alternatively, you could take a seat in the spacious outdoor courtyard and watch the world go by as you tuck into your traditional Sunday dinner.
As well as the setting, the Sunday lunch menu adds to the impressiveness of this stylish restaurant. With an extensive menu, this is a great place to go for Sunday lunch if you have a wide range of taste to cater for in your group. For starters, you can choose from plates including Yorkshire pudding and gravy; seasonal soup with homemade bread roll; duck liver parfait with beetroot, date chutney and toasted brioche; goat’s cheese crottin with summer salad and charred caramelised onion; or ham hock terrine with green salad. Onto the mains – you have the extensive choice of roast beef, roast pork, roast chicken breast or butternut squash for the veggies. All these Sunday lunch options are served alongside a Yorkshire pudding, roast potatoes, seasonal vegetables, cauliflower cheese and gravy. Alternatively, if you’re not in the mood for a classic Sunday dinner, The Judge’s Lodging also offers other meal options on a Sunday, including pub classics like beer battered fish with chips and minted crushed peas; classic beef burger; chestnut mushroom, pearl onion and leek pie; chicken burger; or chickpea and bean burger. So, when I say there is plenty to choose from, I mean it! Finally, moving onto deserts – that is, if you have enough room left. Why not sample their homemade sticky toffee pudding, rich chocolate brownie, refreshing lemon posset or their selection of local and regional cheeses? Explore their entire Sunday lunch menu now.
Get away from the hustle and bustle of York city centre and relax in the chilled ambience of this trendy Sunday lunch spot. A concept like no other in York, you can feast on all your usual Sunday roast delights in this secret garden. While The Botanist might be better known for it’s adventurous cocktails than it’s plates of delicious food – they really do know how to do a good Sunday lunch.
The menu is huge, so you will be spoilt for choice, and the options certainly aren’t boring. The Botanist have taken your everyday Sunday dinner items and given them a whole new lease of life. Choose from an extensive array of Sunday lunch meats, including roast sirloin of beef; roast chicken, pot roast lamb shoulder, slow roast honey glazed pork belly and celeriac, mushroom and pearl barley wellington. All these mains are served with maple glazed carrots, roast potatoes and minted greens with almonds and gravy – you can even add an additional Yorkshire pudding for just £1. If you’re not totally satisfied with the trimmings that come with the set Sunday dinners, then you can choose from a selection of sides, such as Shorrock’s Lancashire cauliflower cheese, creamed cabbage, pork, sage and onion stuffing balls and pigs in blankets. Make sure you save enough room for pudding though as their collection of deserts are to die for – strawberry and rhubarb crumble, Nutella croissant bread and butter pudding, cookie dough, lemon tart or dark chocolate and peanut butter pot. All of these delicious Sunday lunch options can be enjoyed alongside bottomless drinks for an extra £15 per person. Go ahead and check out their full Sunday dinner menu.
Looking for the best cocktail bars in York? Then you have come to just the right place! We have put together a list of the 15 best York cocktail bars that you must visit. Whether you’re a fan of the classics or like to try something different every time – there is a cocktail bar in York to suit every taste.
While the historic city of York isn’t exactly notorious for its nightlife, it is packed full of brilliant cocktail bars that won’t leave you feeling disappointed. Being a quintessentially English cathedral city, York is much better known for its rustic pubs than its fashionable cocktail bars. However, you don’t have to look too hard to find skilled mixologists shaking up delicious concoctions in bustling bars all across the city centre. So, what are you waiting for? Dive in and discover the 15 best cocktail bars in York in 2021.
The 12 Best Places to Have Cocktails in York 2021:
Recently opened in York, this plush cocktail bar is located in the historical Terry’s of York building on St. Helen’s Square. Breathing a new lease of life into this magnificent property, Impossible is complete with a ground floor tea room, a brasserie serving Bavarian-inspired dishes and, of course, an opulent first-floor cocktail bar.
The intricately crafted central island bar is the perfect spot for concocting up some truly tantalising beverages. Within theatrical surroundings, this York cocktail bar serves up incredible drinks, including the Terry’s Orange Martini and the Mad Quacker – topped with a rubber duck. The bar area makes for the ideal place to sit back and sip some cocktails, complete with velvet booths, original wood panelling, a striking dome glass ceiling, antique gold details and a horse-shoe stage for entertainment.
Another new and very swish cocktail bar in York is the Sora Sky Bar, located in the Malmaison hotel. The Sky Bar is definitely one of the best cocktail bars in York with a view – situated on the seventh floor of the brand new hotel, you can sip cocktails against the backdrop of the city’s impressive skyline. Step inside and be welcomed by the sharp interiors, including monochrome decor, statement lighting, massive windows and stand-out accent fabrics.
While the hotel is impressive, it is the sky bar you have really come for. Take the golden lift up seven floors to the slick cocktail bar and take in the views looking across to York Minster. The menu doesn’t disappoint either, continuing with the bar’s Asian theme. Some of this bar’s signature cocktails include the Cherry Blossom Negroni, the Sesame Old Fashioned, the Coconut Espresso Martini and the Peach and Lychee Spritz, along with many more.
By far one of most beloved and best cocktail bars in York, Evil Eye offers something a little different to the usual suave and sophisticated cocktail bars of the city. Hidden behind their specialist gin shop lies this cocktail heaven where you will certainly be spoilt for choice. In fact, Evil Eye has a world record for the number of gins it stocks (over 1000). If that’s not reason alone to head down to this York cocktail bar, then surely the exciting menu will be.
The menu comprises a whole list of the best classics along with some very interesting Evil Eye creations. The drinks menu adds to all the fun of this trendy bar with some very unique (and slightly strange) cocktails, including the Apple Pie cocktail, the Black Cat, the Kick in the Head, the Peanut Butter & Jam and many more. Amongst the classics are Espresso Martinis, Cosmopolitans, Margaritas, Pina Coladas, White Russians to name just a few. All cocktails are creatively made using fresh ingredients, prepared by skilled and friendly staff. Enjoy your cocktail and get tipsy in the graffiti-splashed downstairs bar or in the Roman-style loungers upstairs. Described as ‘rough and ready’, the Evil Eye cocktail bar in York is the ideal spot to unwind and escape the bustling cobbled streets of the city centre.
Although better known for its delicious tapas, Sotano York also offers a fantastic selection of beautifully created cocktails – from novel creations to old favourites. During the day, it is more than easy to totally miss this bar – hidden behind a chunky metal door, Sotano is an intimate underground bar lit by candles. Long dining room-style tables beg visitors to socialise with strangers while on-tap brews flow from steel pipes and cocktails are shaken by smart bar tenders. Open brickwork, timber cladding and low lanterns give this artistic space a soft industrial feel and a relaxing ambience.
Sotanos really is a specialist bar, serving top-notch craft beers and lovingly crafted cocktails all night long. Of their new creations, why not try a Dirty Negroni, an Ancho Sour or an M.I.A? Alternatively, you might prefer to stick to what you know – opt for an old classic like a Queen Bee, a Viva la Vida or an Amaru. Whatever you choose, you won’t be disappointed in this chill but stylish York cocktail bar.
Fancy Hanks is a relatively new bar and kitchen-style restaurant on Goodramgate. This York restaurant and cocktail bar draws inspiration from two brothers’ travels through the 11 states of America’s deep South. The venue itself is immediately noticeable when you step inside, with welcoming soul-soothing music and a distinctive style created by female graffiti artist, Hazard. With its ultra laid-back feel, this is the perfect spot for chillin’ with a cocktail or two. They even have a cute outside space for summer evening cocktail sipping.
Bringing flavours all the way from the southern states of America, all the way to York, this cocktail bar has a cocktail on the menu representing all 11 states. They have the Pretty as a Peach for Georgia, the Charleston Fizz for South Carolina, the My My Apple Pie for Arkansas, The President for Virginia and all the rest to perfectly suit any taste. What really justifies Fancy Hanks being on the list of the best cocktail bars in York is that you can collect a cocktail stamp from every state and receive a free bottle of prosecco!
You cannot miss this beautiful, grand building down the infamous Fossgate, and the inside is arguably even more impressive. Taking residence within the huge space of York’s first purpose-built cinema – The Electric Theatre, the plush red furniture and low lighting is all very in keeping with the building’s roots. Cosy Club has lovingly restored this old building into a vintage-style cocktail bar, retaining their trademark cosy spaces within. The sleek bar stretches along the right hand side of the space and is lined with high stool seats, along with a more relaxed collection of 1930s sofas and chairs in the windows.
Whether you’re looking for a quick bite to eat or just drinks with friends, this classy cocktail bar has a delicious selection of drinks to choose from. Try their Rhubarb & Elderflower Spritz, the Cosy Mimosa, Butter Toffee Old Fashioned, Vanilla Espresso Martini or Summer Sangria. This York cocktail bar even caters for the drivers of the group with an excellent array of mocktails, such as Cooling Lemonade and the Virgin Mary. So, go ahead and take your pick off the menu of one of the best cocktail bars in York.
Previously Sutlers, the Fossgate Tap is located at the very top of the street in an extensively redeveloped building in a fantastical quirky Edwardian style. The space boasts trendy shabby chic touches throughout, including the Edison bulb cage lights over the bar, tables repurposed from old machinery and, of course not forgetting the bowler hat lights. The ground floor is home to two levels – the first of which contains the loos, and the second of which hosts an impressively well-stocked bar. There is window seating by the bar, reaching all the way along to the small room at the top – so, although it’s always pretty busy, you can always find a little nook to settle into in this York cocktail bar.
Take a look at the menu and you will find a selection of cocktail classics with a twist. Be tempted by the Pinkstar Martini, the Blood Orange Negroni, the Cucumber Elderflower Collins or the Rum Old Fashioned. You can even book a gin masterclass to learn how to concoct your very own beverages.
Experience an array of unique cocktails at new cocktail bar, The Printer’s Apprentice. Located in Coffee Yard, just off Stonegate, this York bar used to be York’s oldest coffee shop which closed in 2018. Set across three floors, this cocktail bar even has a basement which is home to a snug and the original coffee roasting ovens. The ground floor is home to seating with a bar and stairs up to an open plan kitchen and dining area. The decor has clearly been thought about, with glass-topped tables showcasing original printer’s blocks and coffee beans, as well as wall art such as the red and black Printer’s Devil. This speaks to the fact that printer’s apprentices were referred to as ‘devils’ given that their skin was inevitably stained black from the ink they used in printing.
It will be difficult to choose from their sensational selection of cocktails – will it be the Lemon Drop, with fresh lemon, limoncello vodka and a meringue foam; or the Violet Moon, with Boe Violet Gin, Violet Liqueur and fresh lemon under a flavoured bubble; or maybe The Bohemian, with Bakewell Gin, elderflower liqueur and fresh grapefruit under a white chocolate foam.
Situated in the stunning St. Helen’s Square, this grand York cocktail bar is the perfect place for cocktails no matter what the occasion – whether it’s drinks with friends or a special occasion. With 1960s-themed cocktails set within a luxe ballroom-like space, you’ll never want to leave. The clean and tasteful decor is very in keeping with the classic Ivy look so it is recognisable wherever you go. This cocktail bar in York offers a relaxed but refined night on the town.
The Ivy cocktail bar combines an eclectic modern British menu with old school slick service. Menus are seasonal, combining the best in-season ingredients, and the drinks are no different. This season, you can try their ‘Bee Inspired’ collection of cocktails, a range of unusual but delicious drinks that celebrate ‘the best that British flora and fauna has to offer’. This selection consists of four limited edition cocktails, including the Ramsbury Apricot Fizz, the Bumblebee Garden, the Queen Bee’s Delight and the Mr. Blue Sky. Alternatively, you can opt for one of the more well-known cocktails with a twist – think Blood Orange Margarita, Salted Caramal Espresso Martini, Maple Spice Manhattan, Yuzu Negroni, Smoky Ginger Martini and many more.
An independent family run business, Dyl’s is one of the best cocktail bars in York, set within an intimate, cosy but casual setting. Located inside the old Motor House on Skeldergate Bridge, this cocktail bar in York was formerly a toll booth that granted travellers access to the city. The small, rustic interior is perfect for snuggling up with a cocktail during the chillier months, while the large outdoor area, on the banks of the River Ouse is ideal for chilling on a summer evening. Climb the spiral staircase up to the hexagonal tower room where you can take a seat, sip a cocktail and look over the river views.
While Dyl’s is largely known as a spot for craft beers, it also does excellent cocktails that definitely give the pints a run for their money. With a huge selection to choose from, you will certainly be spoilt for choice. Perhaps you want a classic like the Aperol Spritz, the Espresso Martini or the Pimms. If you’re feeling a little more adventurous, why not try one of Dyl’s special creations? You could opt for the Yorkshire Rose, a delicious mix of Finders fruits of the forest gin, rose lemonade and Prosecco; or the Dyl’s Garden, a concoction of Finders triple distilled vodka, fresh mint, fresh lime, elderflower and apple presse.
There’s lots to enjoy at Fossgate Social, including the bustling atmosphere, the cosy interiors and the superior cocktails. Inside this York cocktail bar, neon-lit walls are adorned with work by local artists, while rough wood and open brickwork add to it’s charm. Small but perfectly snug, this hip cocktail bar boasts a wonderfully friendly and social environment. The focus on ‘social’ really does come through with the enthusiastic staff and eclectic mix of art shows, live music and other events. Adding to the inside space, Fossgate Social has a little walled garden hidden behind the building, adorned with fairy lights.
While this bar definitely appeals to craft ale enthusiasts, it certainly has space for plenty of cocktail-drinkers too. This independent York bar is the perfect place to transition from day to night with it’s fantastic selection of craft beers on tap and it’s extensive cocktail menu, with both classic and brand new creations on offer. Claimed to have the best espresso martini in the city, so this is definitely not one that you want to miss.
Just steps away from the Shambles Market, Bobo Lobo is an incredibly stylish Latin-themed cocktail bar with a vibrant atmosphere and live DJs almost every night of the week. Fairly small and intimate but with both an indoor and outdoor space, this cocktail bar screams fun. The ideal spot for fresh and funky cocktails in a stylish and atmospheric environment.
Definitely the place to go for fancy cocktails, this York bar maintains that it serves the very best mojito in the entire city – having tried almost all of them, I can confirm that this is very good. Choose from a selection of house favourites, including Bobo’s Famous Zombie, a version of the classic tiki drink; the Witchdoctor, with dark rum, cognac, vanilla, watermelon syrups and pineapple; or the Banana Republic, the ‘adult’s version of a banana milkshake’. Not feeling too adventurous? Not to worry – you can opt for one of their ‘straight up classics’, including a raspberry martini, French martini, Porn Star martini or Cosmopolitan. This York cocktail bar even has a section dedicated to pineapple cocktails, such as Bobo’s famous pina colada, Club Tropicana and Copocabana Beach. So, get your hula skirt and your flower necklace on and get ready for a tiki-themed cocktail night.
You can’t get much more quintessentially British than afternoon tea. The brainchild of the seventh Duchess of Bedford, in 1840, today England is renowned for this elegantly rich tradition and London has some of the best afternoon tea experiences for locals and visitors alike to enjoy. Crustless finger sandwiches, clotted-cream and jam-topped scones, a diversity of cakes, pastries and endless cups of tea – there is an incredible selection of afternoon teas in London to choose from.
However, while The Ritz or Claridge’s or The Savoy might be on the top of everyone’s must-try afternoon teas in London, there is an abundance of fabulous budget afternoon tea options that are just as impressive and just as tasty. We have put together a list of the 20 best affordable afternoon teas in London 2021 that undoubtedly do Britain justice. So, read on to discover where to go for London afternoon tea on a budget.
Idyllically situated in London’s Covent Garden, Cinnamon Bazaar invites you to enjoy an Indian-inspired afternoon tea at an affordable price. Created by head chef Vivek Singh, along with Great British Bake Off star Tamal Ray, this London afternoon tea comprises a colourful spread of both savoury and sweet treats to savour.
Perfectly blending the punchy flavours of Indian street food with eastern-flavoured patisserie, this affordable afternoon tea in London will certainly have your taste buds tingling. Savoury bites include Masala fish finger sandwich, Kadhai chicken spring roll, Vivek’s signature Papdi Chaat and even vegetarian alternatives such as Bombay sandwich and Kadhai Spiced Paneer Roll. Meanwhile, the sweet treats include saffron macaron, Shrikhand cheesecake and coriander pistachio cake. Enjoy your budget afternoon tea alongside Indian spiced teas or go all out and add a glass of Prosecco for for £4.50.
47-48 St John’s Square, Clerkenwell London, EC1V 4JJ
The Modern Pantry at Clerkenwell offers a delicious but affordable afternoon tea menu at just £22.50 or £27.50 for a glass of bubbles on the side. Putting a trendy and modern twist on the traditional afternoon tea, the light and airy interior of these London restaurants contradicts the usual old-fashioned, stuffy atmosphere often associated with afternoon tea. Created by chef Anna Hansen, this imaginative London afternoon tea menu superbly compliments the relaxed and friendly atmosphere that has already become a favourite among the hip Clerkenwell food scene.
Well and truly considered one of the best affordable afternoon teas in London, visitors can dine on savoury delights including a feta, corn, mint and chilli filo tartlet, a chorizo scotched quail egg and a roast courgette, pea and pecorino fritter served with roast tomato curried yoghurt and pickled mustard seeds. While scones are a staple of a traditionally British afternoon tea, The Modern Pantry live up to their name by taking things one step further by adding flavours of cheddar, chive, garlic, basil and black pepper to their scones. If you’re one for the sweet treats then you won’t be disappointed with vanilla and raspberry Battenburg cake, a mojito and gooseberry lamington and a peach marshmallow.
Located on peaceful Seymour Street, it is easy to forget that bustling Oxford Street is just a stone’s throw away. The Zetter Townhouse is the ideal spot to escape the crowds and sit down to enjoy a relaxing and affordable afternoon tea in London. Stepping into this Georgian townhouse feels like being transported back in time to the 1890s – think mahogany wood and busy decor, with every space filled with a pattern or texture. This budget afternoon tea is based on two characters: wicked Uncle Seymour and great Aunt Wilhelmina, which makes it even more entertaining.
What makes this one of the best budget afternoon teas in London is its unique theme, divided into Uncle Seymour and Aunt Wilhelmina. This means that, while both teas have the same sweet treats, you can choose which savoury options you prefer the sound of. Uncle Syemour’s tea is meatier with a Lincolnshire pork pie with piccalilli and a haggis sausage roll, while Aunt Wilhelmina’s tea is a little more delicate, comprising of sloe gin glazed ham finger sandwiches and Chapel & Swan smoked salmon on herb crème fraîche. For afters, you can enjoy a selection of winter punch jelly, macaroons, chocolate cakes and of course, scones.
As one of the best affordable afternoon teas in London, the Ivy Chelsea Garden is packed every day of the week, so it’s a good idea to try to book as early as possible, especially for a weekend. Yet, this London afternoon tea spot is truly worthy of its popularity for the beautiful venue alone. Situated behind the restaurant is a stunning terrace decorated with floral installations and trees, along with botanical-themed artwork and vintage posters on pastel coloured walls. For afternoon tea, you can also sit in the conservatory amongst the palms, ferns and all-year-round hanging plants.
As for the menu at The Ivy, you’ll find freshly baked fruit scones served with Dorset clotted cream and strawberry jam; a truffled chicken brioche roll; a marinated dill and cucumber finger sandwich on basil bread and smoked salmon on beetroot bread with cream cheese and chives. Moving onto the second tier, you’ll find a colourful selection of cakes, including a lemon and raspberry doughnut with pink lemonade; a vanilla meringue butterfly; a chocolate caramel flower pot and a pistachio nasturtium crème brûlée. All this is then perfectly tied together with a choice of teas, infusions or coffees.
For a proper traditional afternoon tea experience, you’d be hard pushed to beat The Orangery at Kensington Palace. We thought afternoon tea in London was almost as British as you could get, but afternoon tea in London in a Royal Palace – that could be taking it too far? Kensington Palace is the only royal palace in London where you can sit down and enjoy a traditional afternoon tea. Built for Queen Anne in 1704, The Orangery is an elegant, airy garden pavilion. One upon a time, this is where the monarch grew her citrus trees and hosted lavish parties. Today, this mesmerising building and its peaceful setting create a true sense of occasion for visitors coming to try their afternoon tea.
This London afternoon tea features classic dishes, including orange zest and currant scones with clotted cream and jam which commemorate Queen Anne, as well as Coronation chicken and egg mayonnaise-filled sandwiches. To make this afternoon tea even more regal, you are served the afternoon tea on the Royal Palace tea set, made from fine bone china and finished in 22 carat gold. Sit back and relax in the elegant Orangery with its towering windows and sparkling white exterior, overlooking the neatly pruned palace gardens. At just £27.50, this budget afternoon tea is certainly fit for a queen.
Renowned for its speciality macarons, millefeuilles and tartes, Ladurée isn’t usually the first restaurant that comes to mind when you think afternoon tea in London. For more than 100 years, the prestigious Ladurée has gone hand in hand with pastry innovation, famous for creating delicious treats using the finest flavours and the best quality ingredients. However, the patisserie’s piece de resistance is definitely their signature L’heure du Thé (Afternoon Tea).
Laduree is set in a Parisian-style cafe and patisserie in the trendy Covent Garden, paying homage to the family’s roots at their Paris 16 rue Royale bakery in 1862. This Parisian tea room is home to two stunning areas, both elegantly decorated with pastel shades, velvet furnishings and antique paintings on the walls. When it comes to the food, the master chef patissiers do not disappoint. Start proceedings with a selection of classic finger sandwiches, presented on a traditional silver-tiered stand. Next, move onto the mouth-watering mini artisan viennoiseries and pastries of your choosing. Finally, not to be missed are Ladurée’s famed macarons – select your sweet treats from a vast array of exciting flavours and colours. This is the best affordable afternoon tea in London for anyone who enjoys the aesthetic just as much as the taste of their delectable treats.
The Tea Terrace, one of the best budget places for afternoon tea in London, is located on the top floor of the Oxford Street House of Fraser department store. This is the best affordable afternoon tea for anyone who wants to feel like Cinderella. This heart-warmingly quirky cafe aims to revive the old English tradition of afternoon tea. Here, you can enjoy a unique princess-themed afternoon tea in an authentic tea room. You will be made to feel like a true princess, with vintage-style crockery and powder blue and baby pink decor.
At The Tea Terrace, there isn’t just one afternoon tea menu – here, you can choose from four different types of afternoon tea. For a lighter option, you can opt for the traditional cream tea which comprises the classic clotted-cream and jam-topped scones with tea or coffee. Or, if you’re really hungry, you can choose from the Indulgence Afternoon Tea, the Celebration Afternoon Tea or the Traditional Afternoon Tea. All four of these options are served on a Royal Albert fine bone china 3-tier cake stand. The bottom tier is reserved for sandwiches of which you can choose from six different fillings. Beware, this tea room really is unlike any other, serving their egg mayo sandwiches on green coloured bread and the cheese and pickle on pink. The middle tier is kept for their delicious buttery scones which can be topped with clotted cream and a selection of preserves. Saving the best till last, on the top tier you will find a whole range of delicious cakes.
Although the Crusting Pipe is best known as a wine bar with outdoor seating, there is more to this London restaurant than just wine and al fresco dining. This trendy Covent Garden venue also serves up traditional afternoon tea, as well as options with a few modern twists. Situated in the heart of the Covent Garden Market, this is the ideal spot to relax in the covered courtyard or escape inside to one of the dining room’s cosy corners, away from the hubbub of some of London’s busiest streets. Customers seated in the outdoor terrace might even be lucky enough to enjoy an impromptu performance from a local musician or actor – just the thing to top off an afternoon tea in London.
Visiting the Crusting Pipe for afternoon tea, you can indulge in a selection of freshly cut finger sandwiches and savouries, fresh out of the oven scones and pastries and your choice of Clipper teas. Make your afternoon tea stop a special occasion with a glass of champagne or opt for something a little different with a British cheese selection and some vintage port.
Head to the extraordinarily opulent Wolesley for one of the best affordable afternoon teas in London. This grand European-style all-day eatery offers great value afternoon tea in expensive surroundings. Step through the velvet curtain at the door to find groups of formally-dressed people being served tea from silver pots in the grande-dame dining room.
The afternoon tea menu us just as exciting as the decor at The Wolesley – classic finger sandwiches include smoked salmon and smoked chicken. There is also a rather eclectic vegetarian selection too – no need to settle for the usual egg and cree or cheese and pickle here. Instead, you can choose from avocado, cucumber with mint and celery with cream cheese. All these delicious sandwich fillings come served on a variety of breads, including sundried tomato, seeded or traditional white. Next come the scones, perfectly proportioned with fruit running throughout, kept under a cloche to keep warm before being topped with lashings of clotted cream and strawberry jam. Finally, finish off your charming London afternoon tea with the fabulous selection of pastries and cakes – think pistachio friand, baked cheesecake and salted-caramel eclair.
Enter Balthazar, a New York-style, Covent Garden restaurant that serves up one of London’s best budget afternoon teas. Step into the Gatsbyesque venue,with art deco lighting, vintage mirrors, maroon leather furniture and shimmering floor tiles. Join the hustle and bustle of the many smartly-dressed diners enjoying their lunch. This lively atmosphere, along with the suave decor, make Balthazar one of the best spots for afternoon tea in London.
So, what makes this budget afternoon tea any different to all the others? The answer, New York! Aside from the brassy sound of Frank Sinatra filling the room, the afternoon tea at Blathazar is totally New York-themed from top to bottom. Instead of your usual glass of champagne to accompany your afternoon tea, you can, instead, select a whiskey cocktail (the Yankie) to keep with the theme. Meanwhile, the scones also have a New York twist, being extra sweet, drowned in buttermilk and vanilla cream. But it is the cakes that truly take you to the big apple – try the Cookies ‘n’ Cream tart: a red, white and blue doughnut-shaped treat of white chocolate cookies, coconut mousse and lemon curd. On the menu is also the Liberty: an indulgent peanut butter and jelly eclair.
The Bloomsbury Hotel 16-22 Great Russell Street WC1B 3NN
The Dalloway Terrace at the Bloomsbury Hotel offers an affordable afternoon tea that changes with the seasons. Every couple of months, The Dalloway Terrace gets a full revamp to fit in with the changing seasons, switching from a warming cosiness in winter to an elegant and airy spot in spring. This summer, the secret garden has been inspired by the Amalfi Coast, with monochrome-striped awning, towering green foliage and glowing yellow lemons covering the walls. It is the perfect London afternoon tea spot to transport you all the way to a colourful Italian retreat beside the sea.
Meanwhile, the menu follows the same theme, taking inspiration from Amalfi’s most famous export: the lemon. Finely sliced finger sandwiches are filled with lemon-marinated cucumber, smoked salmon and creme fraiche. Freshly baked scones come in the form of Tahitian vanilla or classic currant and are slathered with Devonshire clotted cream and raspberry jam. At the top of the tea stand, you will find a fantastic selection of delicately decorated sweats: bittersweet white chocolate and blood orange profiteroles; gin and tonic trifle and tart lemon velvet parfait.
At Dean Street Townhouse, you will find a hungry crowd lunching alfresco as they seek sanctuary from the hubbub of trendy Soho. The decor of this London afternoon tea spot is rather similar to the afternoon tea itself: traditional but subtly stylish. Step inside and you will feel like you’ve been transported back to a bygone era. Offering an affordable menu, set in a lavish setting, The Dean Street Townhouse is certainly one of the best places to have afternoon tea in London. The exclusively decorated lounge area provides the perfect atmosphere to sit and nibble on scones and sip tea throughout the late afternoon. Other savoury options also include Welsh rarebit, scoth egg, sausage roll and fish fingers.
Aside from the impressive decor, the afternoon tea menu also manages to uphold the quintessentially British feel. As per tradition, the bottom tier of the cake stand holds delicately placed crustless finger sandwiches. Find classics like ham and egg and cress, as well as some more adventurous options like smoked salmon. Move onto the middle tier, where you will find four fruit scones, tasted, warm and ready to melt in your mouth. Yet, perhaps the prime tier of the cake stand is right at the top, occupied by a mouth-watering selection of mini cakes and sensationally sweet pastries. Choose from classics like the strawberry tart, the Battenberg or the chocolate eclair and enjoy something a little different with he custard tart and a raspberry-filled creme brulee.
Perhaps you’ve heard of the Bluebird restaurant as one of the many stages of the popular reality TV show, Made in Chelsea. Bluebird Chelsea brings a real slice of refinement to London with one of the very best affordable afternoon teas. The setting of this London afternoon tea spot really is impressive, located in a Grade II listed Art Deco garage that was transformed into a restaurants in the 1990s by Sir Terence Conran. Inside the fairly industrial garage-gone-restaurant, you will find overgrown greenery and an alfresco courtyard that once housed petrol pumps.
The restaurant and bar serves up a stunning three-tiered cake stand complete with a selection of sandwiches, scones and cakes. The sandwich choices include Scottish smoked salmon with cream cheese, coronation chicken, the timeless cucumber and egg and cress, alongside a delicious slice of leek and mushroom quiche. The next tier holds an array of warm plain and raisin scones served with clotted cream and homemade strawberry jam. The final tier, and probably the one you’ve all been waiting for, comprises a whole host of sweet delights – from chocolate and raspberry macaroons and strawberry tartlets to carrot cake topped with citrus cream frosting and a light and airy Victoria sponge. Wash this all down the a wide range of teas or a glass of British sparkling wine.
The Floral Hall Borough Market Stoney Street SE1 1TL
Located right in the heart of Borough Market, Roast is hard to beat when it comes to trendy and affordable afternoon teas in London. With an elevated setting, within the Floral Hall, this light-flooded space overlooks the infamous Stoney Street and the stalls of the market below, creating a refreshing atmosphere. As you enter the venue, you will surely be greeted by animated chatter from the hungry crowd. Nibble on cakes and sandwiches as you sip a cup of tea and enjoy the sunshine that streams through the windows.
As the cake stand appears laden with an impressive array of sandwiches, cakes and scones, you will notice that Roast’s afternoon tea menu doesn’t stray too far from the traditional but manages to put their own twist on things. Think roast beef, smoked salmon, coronation chicken, cucumber and cream cheese and tomato sandwiches to start. Next, move onto the tier of delicious cakes – the Victoria sponge steals the show, with plenty of cream and a true tang from the fresh raspberries. Follow up your sponge with a delectable slice of sticky date pudding, alongside a lemon-posset shot with a biscuit topping, carrot cake with candied carrot swirls and a selection of scones. The best thing about this London afternoon tea spot is the generous portion sizes – the top tier cakes are the size of any regular coffee shop slice. Finally, with so many teas to choose from, you could be there for a while – whether you want the standard Earl Grey, Assam and mint or a more exotic Pai Mu Tan, Roast has it all.
Situated on Park Lane, Lanes of London is an affordable afternoon tea spot that is steeped in history and provides stunning views onto Hyde Park and Marble Arch. The setting is chic and contemporary but maintains some classic features, including the archetraving in the ceilings, which give it a truly homely feel. This London restaurant offer a Botanical afternoon tea which comprises floral cocktails, an array of scrumptious sandwiches and sweet treats inspired by English gardens.
Using only British produce, Lanes of London’s afternoon tea features a range of unique sandwich options, such as fennel-cured salmon, beetroot crema and pineapple sage or egg with oak leaf and Chervil mayonnaise. Meanwhile, the sweet tier includes a boozy elderflower, gin and lime marshmallow; jasmine, apricot and nasturtium cones; a blackcurrant and hibiscus tea mousse served in a chocolate cup; and a rose, rhubarb and chocolate soil pot. No afternoon tea would be complete without scones – and Lanes of London certainly don’t disappoint with their classic and earl grey and raisin options, both served with lashings of clotted cream and orange and kafir lime jam.
With travel abroad looking highly unlikely this summer following the spread of COVID-19, many of us have resorted to planning a staycation in the UK with our families. Thankfully, the UK is packed full of stunning places to stay where even the littlest of guests are welcomed with open arms. When it comes to baby-friendly UK destinations to visit you will be spoilt for choice. Regardless of a certain pandemic, a UK break is a great option for a family-friendly getaway. There are no airports, no long flights and no baggage allowance. A staycation with the kids also provides the perfect blend of reassuring familiarity and well-needed relaxation, so you can enjoy a stress-free trip away with the whole family.
Having a baby shouldn’t mean that you can’t travel anymore, you just have to pick the right places. While newborns tend to be super easy to travel with – usually sleeping most of the trip – as your kids start to reach the 10 month mark, they can start to become a little more difficult. When they eventually hit the toddler years, you will soon realise that any trip away becomes much more about them than it does you. That is why it is so important to find the right kind of places to visit with a baby or toddler, to make it as enjoyable for everyone as possible – not only the kids but you too!
To help you decide where to travel with your baby or toddler, we have concocted a list of the best baby and toddler-friendly places to visit and stay in the UK in 2021. This list comprises the 10 best destinations for a staycation with kids. It includes something for everyone – whether you want an outdoorsy adventure, a relaxing weekend or a fun-filled city break. Will it be the sandy beaches of Cornwall, the stunning countryside of the Lake District, the rolling hills of Yorkshire, or the quaint villages of the Cotswolds. As well as the best places to visit with kids, we have included the best family-friendly places to stay and the best child-friendly things to do while you’re there.
The 10 Best Places to Stay in the UK with a Baby or Toddler:
The Lake District
The Lake District is by far one of the best places to visit with a baby or toddler. Brimming with amazing adventures for all ages, this is a great UK destination for a trip away with little bubbas, tiny tots or terrible toddlers. You will be utterly blown away by the otherworldly beauty of the Lake District, with so much to see and discover. Although 10-mile hikes might not be on the agenda for this family-friendly getaway, there are still endless ways to enjoy and make the most of this special part of the UK with kids. The Lake District is the place to ignite your child’s enthusiasm for adventure. So, what are you waiting for? Grab those welly boots, pack some snacks and turn your little ones into true explorers with this baby- and child-friendly place to visit.
For those with young families, Cornwall is definitely one of the best destinations in the UK to visit. Whether you’re after golden beaches, ideal for sandcastle-building, quaint harbour towns to explore or fun-filled family days out, Cornwall has something for even the tiniest of travellers. One thing that makes Cornwall such a great place to visit with a baby or toddler is that there are so many tourist hotspots. While this does usually mean crowds, it also means plenty of playgrounds, baby-friendly cafes and restaurants, a whole range of baby-changing facilities, and loads of family attractions to keep you and your little ones busy.
The Cotswolds is another great UK destination for those travelling with a baby or toddler because you can do whatever suits you. The Cotswolds is a beautiful and peaceful place to just sit back and relax if you have a newborn who is happy sleeping, but if you have a toddler that won’t stand still then there are plenty of activities to keep them busy. From waterparks and petting farms to cream teas and cakes in elegant cafes – you can get the best of both worlds with a family-friendly trip to the Cotswolds with your little ones.
Well-known for its quintessentially English market towns and villages crafted from smooth stone, the Cotswolds covers almost 800 square miles and stretches through five different counties, including Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Warwickshire, Wiltshire and Worcestershire. Each area is as distinct as the next and each has something different and unique to offer. Discover some of the country’s greatest palaces, castles and country houses; marvel at some of the UK’s most astonishing landscapes and meander through some of the quaintest little towns and villages you have ever seen – with or without a pram. The Cotswolds thrives on tourism which means that there are endless options to make your family holiday great. For this reason, the Cotswolds is by far one of the best baby- and toddler-friendly places to visit in the UK.
Devon is the ideal holiday choice for any parents travelling with a water baby. Home to some of the best beaches in the UK, most of which are conveniently both toddler- and baby-friendly which means you can spend endless care-free hours in the sun and sea. But don’t worry, you don’t have to rely on the sun coming out for you to have a fun-filled family holiday with your kids. Even if the weather doesn’t show up during your stay, you won’t be stuck for ways to entertain the little ones. Devon has plenty of indoor attractions that all ages will enjoy on those rainy days.
Devon makes for a fantastic place to visit with a baby or toddler because it is such a diverse country. With two beautiful coastlines and two incredible National Parks to explore, this family-friendly UK destination is famous for its coastal resorts, award-winning beaches and dramatic cliff-side landscapes.
Another one for beach-loving families! Dorset is a super popular choice for all families throughout the year, with over 95 miles worth of coastline to enjoy. Well-known for its fossil hunters, Dorset is the ideal place to keep your kids interested. Even if your little ones are still too young for dinosaurs and fossils, you’ll still be able to find plenty to see and do. Dig holes and build sandcastles on the beach or get up close and personal with the range of animals at the local farms. It is the ideal UK destination for babies and toddlers alike to discover something new.
It’s not difficult to keep the kids entertained when you’re staying in a place like Dorset, with its fair share of brilliant family attractions tucked away amongst the stunning country scenery. Why not visit over 230 rescued and endangered apes and monkeys at Monkey World or stroll through 1000 acres of parkland and forest, with trails, tree-top walkways and high wire adventures at Moors Valley Country Park? Whatever suits you and your kids, there is something for everyone in Dorset, one of the best baby- and toddler-friendly places to visit in the UK.
The journey to the Isle of Wight is all part of the fun, and your kids will love it. At just 40 minutes long, the ferry journey across the Solent isn’t too long for babies or toddlers and will keep them mesmerised for the duration. And let’s be honest – a boat is so much cooler than a car! Once you arrive, you will be greeted by a stunning island with golden beaches and plenty of family attractions to enjoy.
Despite being small, covering less than 150 square miles in total – about a quarter of the size of London – the Isle of Wight manages to host a surprising amount of family-friendly things to do. Between discovering the beaches, finding dinosaurs, visiting historic castles and palaces, petting animals at the zoos and animal centres, getting adrenaline thrills are the amusement parks and taking in the magnificent scenery, there is something about the Isle of Wight that encourages you to take a deep breath and slow right down. Life just seems to operate at a much slower and more relaxed pace as soon as you step off the ferry. This means that, not only will the kids have plenty of fun adventuring, but the parents can actually get some well-deserved relaxing in. So, don’t miss out on this fantastic place to visit with a baby or toddler.
Yorkshire is the place that has it all – endless miles of stunning beaches, the Yorkshire Dales National Park, family-friendly cities like York and Leeds. You can get back to nature in the moorland, explore its deep history in the many museums, jump on theme park rides and get lost in mazes. Yorkshire is impressively beautiful in its own rugged kind of way. The country comprises of a number of National Parks as well as two areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (Nidderdale and the Howardian Hills), and three Heritage Coast areas, including Spurn Point, Flamborough Head and the coastal North York Moors.
Yorkshire is one of the UK’s largest counties, as well as being the greenest and one of the most historically rich. Once home to the Brigantes, the Romans, the Vikings and the Normans, Yorkshire really is the best place to visit for a family of history buffs. It’s gigantic size means that there is something here for everyone – not just those interested in he historical events of the country. Whatever kind of family holiday or weekend break you fancy having, you can have it in Yorkshire.
The Peak District is almost slap bang in the middle of England and is the UK’s oldest National Park. With rolling peaks, picturesque towns and endless cycling routes, the Peak District is perfect for a long weekend away with the whole family. Despite being rather hilly and displaying some slightly dramatic cliff faces, the Peak District is a surprisingly family-friendly place to visit with loads of fun to be had.
Get your hiking boots on and pack a picnic in your rucksack for a family walk in the Peaks. Yet, while the Peak District National Park is renowned for great hikes and cycle routes, there are so many other things to do for babies and toddlers – explore underground caverns, go wild swimming in the lakes, canoe down streams, ride old trams, meet farm animals and hold tight on rides at some thrilling theme parks. The list really is endless! What makes the Peak District one of the best places to visit and stay in with a baby or toddler is that it is so easy to get around and most the kid-friendly activities are located within a short distance of each other. Most family attractions are situated in he area of Matlock so make sure to stay near here for the the best options for children and adults alike.
Wales is easily one of the best places to visit and stay with a baby or toddler. With incredible mountain scenery and masses of ancient culture and heritage, Wales is a must-visit for an outdoor-loving family. Although a trip to Wales is not for everyone – if you’re family desires the buzz of a city, fancy resorts or Michelin-star restaurants around every corner, then Wales isn’t likely to be the destination for you. However, if you and your kids crave the great outdoors, simple hospitality and time away from the crowds of tourists, then Wales is definitely one of the best UK destinations for you and your family.
Three main regions in Wales stand out for the best baby- and toddler-friendly places to visit. These include Pembrokeshire, Snowdonia and the Brecon Beacons. Although you will find sensational scenery and charming little villages dotted throughout the entire nation, these areas are particularly suited to young children, with plenty of family-friendly activities to get stuck into.
Ideal for kids of all ages, the Scottish Highlands is a natural playground that is just waiting to be explored. Home to majestic mountains, mysterious lochs and a rich history and culture, this is the perfect place to get lost as a family. If you’re an outdoorsy family, then this is definitely one of the best places for you to visit with a baby or toddler. Make memories you’ll never forget as you watch the dolphins frolicking off the Moray Coast, marvel as the awe-inspiring seascape of the North Highlands or discover the beautiful islands and stretches of coastline.
Packed to the brim with family-friendly attractions and activities to suit every age, there are plenty of things to do no matter what the weather. The Scottish Highlands is a huge area which can make it a bit tricky to cover the whole place in the time that you’re there. However, each place on its own has something special to offer and has plenty of things to keep you and your little ones busy for an entire week or more.
Whichever of the above UK family trips you choose, holidaying with a baby or toddler is a truly special experience. Despite there being a whole lot more to think about, there is a whole lot more fun to be had too. Here are our top tips to make sure you’re baby- or toddler-friendly getaway is as stress-free and relaxed as possible.
Consider the journey to your destination. It is important to make the car journey as easy as possible because most kids don’t enjoy being stuck in the car for long periods of time. If travelling with a baby, it is a good idea to work your journey around their nap times. Alternatively, if you’re travelling with a toddler, it might be best to travel at night so that they can sleep for the majority of the journey.
Look for accommodation that is geared towards families as they often provide some necessities that make your trip so much easier. For example, many family-friendly hotels and resorts usually supply larger items like cots, high chairs and stair-gates which save you bringing your own, leaving more room in the care for your own essentials.
Make sure you bring some home comforts along for the ride. For instance, you could pack your baby or toddler’s favourite cuddly toys, blankets or games. It’s also a good idea to pack a few of the nighttime comforts like a nightlights or pillow. Little things like this can make a huge difference to helping your little ones settle into their new environment.
Ensure you make some time for yourself and your partner. Whether it’s a hot tub at the hotel after the baby goes to bed or a local chef cooking you dinner. You need to treat yourself to make sure you feel like you’ve have a proper break.
When looking for accommodation, I would advise looking for a room that is fairly spacious. When you travel with children, especially babies, you can often end up spending a lot of time in the room.
Set in one of the UK’s most picturesque counties, St Ives is a quaint little fishing harbour and seaside town. With a beautiful landscape that lends itself to the production of incredible, fresh food, it’s not hard to find a great place to eat in St Ives. With the sea right at their doorstep, it is only natural that this Cornwall town would have a plethora of excellent seafood restaurants for you to sample. However, fish and crustaceans isn’t all St Ives has to offer. St Ives has some of the best restaurants to try in Cornwall – from burger bars and trendy cafes to homely pubs, seafood restaurants, Asian cuisine and even some great vegan options. Whatever you’re looking to feast on, St Ives has everything you could ever want. So, without further ado, here’s our guide to the best restaurants in St Ives 2021.
Porthminster Cafe is a pared back, whitewashed restaurant that benefits from stunning coastal views of the sandy beaches and effervescent seas that surround St Ives. This acclaimed beachside restaurant is by far one of St Ive’s best places to eat, serving up one of the most memorable dining experiences across the whole of Cornwall. Michael Smith is the head chef and was one largely pioneered the introduction of foraged produce into menus in the area.
Unsurprisingly, seafood is the main attraction at Porthminster Cafe where you can tuck into some of the best fresh catches that the Cornish waters have to offer. Over 25 years, this St Ives restaurant has curated quite the reputation for their ability to seamlessly combine flavours from both Asia and the Mediterranean, with the freshest fish, garden-grown produce and locally foraged ingredients. Think Cornish crab linguine, monkfish curry and whole grilled lobster, all paired delicately with in-season vegetables, herbs and salad taken fresh from their own garden. This award-winning foodie heaven is well deserving of a place on this list of the best restaurants in St Ives and has become an essential for visitors keen to experience Cornwall’s increasingly vibrant food scene.
Appropriately set on Fish Street in the old fishing quarters, The Mermaid is definitely one of the best restaurants in St Ives, especially when it comes to seafood (as you might have guessed). Rather fittingly, the restaurant has adopted a nautical theme when it comes to decor, with fishing nets hanging from the ceilings and pictures of old fishing boats adorning the walls.
It is almost impossible to choose from the extensive menu of seafood options – impressive fish platters, steamy seafood pots, succulent scallops, fragrant tiger prawn curries and even the good old favourite of fish and chips. With the beautiful Cornish sea right on its doorstep, all of the seafood served is fresh and caught locally. Family run and with a truly traditional feel, The Mermaid is a real favourite with the locals and is certainly one of the best restaurants in St Ives.
The best restaurant in St Ives for incredible Thai food while watching the boats float by. If you fancy a change from the St Ive’s speciality of seafood, why not give Thai a try? Perfectly positioned on the harbour front in the very heart of the town, this restaurant is the ideal spot to get in on the action.
Choose from a huge menu boasting an array of delicious Thai dishes – enjoy Thai tapas to share, fragrant curries, noodle soups and colourful stir fries while gazing out through their huge windows at the astonishing landscape in front of you. If you manage to get there early enough, you might event be lucky and grab one of the window seats, giving you an elevated view of the entire harbour and all of the passers by.
The best restaurant in St Ives for award-winning local gin and deliciously fresh seafood. The Silco Searoom is idyllically situated on The Wharf, the traditionally cobbled street that overlooks the harbour of St Ives. This gastro-bar is certainly the best in town, having won multiple top awards for its locally sourced seafood, craft beers, and of course their speciality G&T’s.
This harbour restaurant serves up a selection of the best Cornish-influenced tapas – think crab gratin, mussels, calamari, mackerel fillet and much more, alongside Padron peppers and crusty bread with olives. Sit back and enjoy a glass of refreshing gin with a side of seafood tapas as you watch the world go by. Superbly furnished in a luxe gentlemen’s club style, with leather chairs, mahogany wood and a sombre colour palette, it is the perfect place to enjoy a cocktail or three.
For those looking for another alternative to seafood, Blas Burgerworks is definitely one of the best restaurants in St Ives. It is the ideal spot to refuel after a long day surfing the waves or sunbathing on the beach. Hidden just off The Warren in St Ives, this restaurant is situated just a few steps from the sea. This Cornish burger joint has set a whole new precedent for burger bars with every single ingredient being locally sourced – right down to the dips and relishes.
More important is the fact that the burgers are incredible, with juicy Cornish beef patties on fresh burger buns, topped with all kinds of delights. There is even a substantial vegan and vegetarian selection, with a range of scrumptious handmade burgers for you to choose from, including the mushroom burger, the beetroot burger and the Huevos Rancheros burger with corn salsa, guac, egg and chilli sauce. Don’t go overboard though – you’ll want to save room for one of their amazing deserts to finish off. This St Ives restaurant is 100% committed to sustainability, minimising their impact on the environment wherever they can.
Stepping into the notorious Rum and Crab Shack is akin to walking onto a boat, with nautical memorabilia decking out the entire room, port holes and bay windows looking out onto the sea, and a bar well-stocked with rum. The Rum and Crab Shack is one of the best restaurants in St Ives and is certainly one of the most Cornish. Sit back and listen to some live music while taking in the stunning view of the beautiful St Ives harbour and Godrevy lighthouse.
But, it’s not only the view that is spectacular; the food served here is utterly delicious. You can choose from favourites like Cornish crab, gumbo and lobster mac and cheese. The rum menu is almost as extensive as that of the food, making this a great place for a tipple at the bar or in a cosy nook.
The Sloop Inn is not only a local icon, it is also one of the best restaurants in St Ives, dating all the way back to 1312 and thought to be one of the oldest pubs in the UK. Popular amongst the residents of St Ives, this restaurant has benches spilling out onto the harbour edge. Staying true to its roots, you shouldn’t expect any fancy decor like in some of the other gastro pub-style spots in the town, but deliciously simple pub grub is always served with a smile.
As you would expect, this St Ives pub serves up hearty meals that remind you of home. Head to the Captain’s Table for yummy dishes like homemade fishcakes and Cornish mussels marinière. Or, visit the Sloop pub restaurant for a more casual dining experience, where a Sunday roast is not to be missed.
If it’s panoramic views you’re looking for, then you won’t be disappointed by a trip to the The Loft, one of the best restaurants in St Ives. Set in the trendy artist’s quarter of the town, you can take a seat on the beautiful terrace and enjoy a refreshing glass of wine while staring at a view over the harbour and rooftops. A former sail loft, the building has been restored to its original glory, comprising of a long dining room with a white-washed, beamed loft ceiling, an exposed brick wall and large windows. To complete the rustic feel of this St Ives restaurant, the glass topped tables are simply laid with white upholstered and wooden chairs set on stripped wood floorboards.
The Loft places a great emphasis on creating delicious dishes from locally sourced ingredients – much like all the other restaurants in St Ives. Peruse the extensive menu and choose from mains like Cornish mussels, pan fried cod, lemon sole, fish chowder and twice cooked pork belly. While seafood is clearly the speciality, carnivorous and vegetarian diners are also catered for. Finish off with one of their decadent deserts, including the dark chocolate and peanut butter fondant, homemade sticky toffee pudding and boiled orange cake. The menu changes seasonally so you know you’re always getting the freshest of ingredients, and you can’t go wrong with their Sunday roast dinner.
For cool, laidback vibes head to the Hub. Situated in the heart of the town, this St Ives restaurant is a well-established feature of the harbour front and an essential stop off for fab coffee, amazing cakes, juicy burgers and even a cocktail on an evening – all alongside a beautiful view of course.
They have a modern menu of delicious burgers made from 21 dry-aged beef served on Baker Tom buns. All tastes are catered for – for the carnivores, you can choose from classic cheese, a Cornish blue cheese topped patty, the bacon double cheese, a range of chicken-based burgers or The Big Kahuna, comprising of a double 4oz patty, BBQ pulled pork, Swiss smoky BBQ sauce, lettuce and an onion ring. Veggies can select from a range of meatless options – choose from a THIS isn’t chicken patty with smoked cheese, smoky BBQ sauce, pickles and lettuce; a beyond meat patty with smoked cheese, ketchup, mustard, onion, pickles and lettuce; or a THIS isn’t buttermilk chicken patty with garlic mayo and lettuce. To complete your impressive burger meal, sift through the huge array of fry options, including sweet potato fries, Mother Clucker fries, chilli cheese fries, buffalo fries or Zero Clucks Given fries. Pair this feast with a craft beer, a glass of wine or a refreshing cocktail.
For a taste of something a little different from St Ive’s usual seaside fayre, make sure to take a trip to The Mex, an independently run Mexican restaurant located just 5 minutes walk from the harbour. On entering this St Ives restaurant, you’ll be welcomed by a cosy yet colourful interior, with a menu packed full of authentic Mexican dishes and plenty of Tequila behind the bar. The restaurant is rather small, which although adds to the authenticity and the intimacy of the venue, it does mean that it fills up very quickly so make sure to book ahead to avoid disappointment.
Serving a range of Mexican themed food and drink, this is the ideal spot for a fun, laidback evening meal or lunch. Aside from the usual Mexican favourites such as fajitas, burritos, nachos, chimichanga and quesadillas, on the menu you will also find BBQ chicken, Jalapeno poppers and brie parcels.
The perfect place to enjoy a relaxing meal any time of the day – whether you’re just off the beach looking for a delicious lunch or looking for somewhere to enjoy a romantic evening meal – Caffe Pasta is ideal for both occasions. This little slice of Italy on the Cornish coast serves up all the Italian favourites along with an impressive wine list. Known for its great service and friendly staff, there is a lovely atmosphere, set amongst divine decor.
A pizza- and pasta-lovers paradise, this St Ives Italian restaurant serves all the best loved favourites along with a selection of more unique dishes. Choose from classics like carbonara, beef ragu, or margarita pizza. Alternatively, opt for something a little different with a plate of butternut squash tagliatelle, crab linguine or crispy Chinese duck pizza. Pair your pizza or pasta with a glass of gin, wine or one of their house cocktails. Finally, finish off your meal with a traditional Italian tiramisu, a vanilla creme brûlée or a creamy latte macchiato.
The place to go for delicious breakfasts or melt in your mouth Cornish cream teas. One of the best restaurants in St Ives, this popular spot is situated near the St Ives Museum, a part of the authentic culture of this beautiful town. This St Ives restaurant is recommended for its pleasant staff, fabulous service and, of course, their irresistibly delicious food.
Known for offering incredible British cuisine, the menu consists of favourites like tasty crab meat, crab salads, Cornish smoked fish chowder, classic jacket potatoes and a choice of all the usual sandwiches and paninis. Or, visit for breakfast and try out the Full Cornish Breakfast, scrambled egg on toast with smoked salmon, field mushrooms on toast or your usual bacon sarnie. If you have a sweet tooth, the Beachcomber cafe has you covered with their selection of treats – think cheesecake, carrot cake, caramel slices, lemon meringue pie, apple pie, chocolate fudge cake and more.
Once the wedding day is over, the cake has been cut, the drinks have stopped pouring and the guests have all gone home, there’s only one thing left for the newlyweds to do. You guessed it! The honeymoon. For many newly married couples, their honeymoon is a fabulous occasion to enjoy time together, secluded from everyone else and all the stresses of everyday life.
However, many couples who pledge to explore the world together are not excited by the prospect of visiting a cliche honeymoon destination, like Hawaii or the Maldives or the Seychelles. Some couples have a flair for the unusual; they want to experience something unique for their honeymoon, rather than the usual white sandy beaches and rose-petal covered hotel beds. We’ve comprised a list of incredible yet unusual honeymoon destinations for couples who enjoy something a little different.
You’ll be spoilt for choice with this list of the best unique honeymoon destinations. From rain forests and deserts to igloos, hobbits and giraffes, this list of unusual honeymoon holiday ideas includes all the places you will never have thought to visit with your significant other. So, go ahead and check out this collection of the best unusual honeymoon destinations to find a holiday that suits yours and your new husband or wife’s needs.
The Top 10 Unusual Honeymoon Destinations 2021:
Kakslauttanen Igloo West Village, Finland
This unique holiday resort in Finland’s Cusci, Kakslauttanen has expanded from humble beginnings to now having two separate villages consisting of cosy log cabin chalets, glass and snow igloos and restaurants. For a truly unusual honeymoon experience, this is one of the best places to see the Northern Lights.
The West Village started out as a Santa Claus resort but today comprises a marvellous celebration hall, a magical Santa Claus house, a brand new restaurant and fun activities like gold panning, snowmobile expeditions, quad-bike safaris and reindeer and husky sled rides. For a more relaxing honeymoon, spa and massage services are available at the resort, which is also home to the world’s largest smoke sauna, accommodating up to 100 bathers at one time. Despite being on the more expensive end of honeymoon ideas, Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort is among the top luxury and unique honeymoon destinations of the world.
Giraffe Manor, Kenya
The next unusual honeymoon destination on the list is Giraffe Manor in Nairobi. Home to endangered Rothschild giraffes, this sanctuary come hotel is one of the most romantic yet unusual honeymoon holiday ideas for wildlife lovers. Revel in getting up close and personal with these beautiful animals while basking in the comforts of a gorgeous 1930s manor house hotel.
Set in 140 acres of indigenous forest, the manor house and grounds are astonishing. First built in 1932 for Sir David Duncan, the house retains both the design and feel of its former days. Throughout the day, you can relax while watching the butterflies float through the trees. In the evening, lay back in the grand lounge in front of the ornate fireplace while getting lost in a book or a game of chess. You can even help yourself to the impressive selection of spirits, wines and beers that are hiding away in the cabinet.
Giraffe Manor may not have the sparkling pools or kitted-out gyms that most honeymoon couples expect when visiting Nairobi, but the giraffes are far more interesting. Wake from bed to find them grazing outside your window, then savour breakfast as giraffes swoop their heads into the dining room. The hotel’s rooms vary in size, from suites to smaller twin rooms, but each one if furnished to top quality and in keeping with the 1930s design. Think marble fireplaces, rich mahogany desks and vintage accessories. What more could you want from an unusual honeymoon destination?
Null Stern Hotel, Switzerland
Nestled deep in rocky tundra of the Swiss Alps, the Null Stern Hotel in Appenzellerland offers a truly romantic open-air stay, completely eliminating walls and a roof altogether. If minimalism is what you’re looking for in a unique honeymoon destination, then this unusual hotel will bring you to the end of your search, with just a queen-size bed with linens, a pair of nightstands and a lamp. The hotel’s name translates to ‘Zero Stars’ in German – according to the hotel’s co-founder, Daniel Charbonnier, “[they] got rid of the walls, and the only thing left is you and your experience.”
But, this open-air, minimalist hotel doesn’t forfeit all luxury, so you can still enjoy a touch of class and sophistication thanks to the on-site butler. Living in a cabin not far from the hotel, the butler ensures timely meals, including breakfast in bed – just like any ordinary hotel. Yet, this honeymoon experience is anything but ordinary – enjoy your room service with panoramic views of the mountains and the stars at night.
India’s undiscovered gem – the lush hills of Meghalaya certainly make for an unusual honeymoon destination. Located in the far, far north-east of India, the state of Meghalaya is one of the Seven Sisters – the seven states of India, sandwiched between Bangladesh, Bhutan and Burma. This is a truly intriguing corner of India, and one which is visited by very few tourists. While you will have difficulty finding an all-inclusive honeymoon package tour there, you won’t have a shortage of incredible things to see and do during your stay.
Much of this unique honeymoon destination is covered in lush green forests, abundant with orchids and all kinds of other colourful plants and flowers. Jaw-droppingly beautiful waterfalls are a common feature of the state, many situated along the outskirts of the capital, Shillong, or around Cherrapunjee. Venture further into the wet tropical forests of Meghalaya’s Khasi Hills to find the twisted, moss-covered roots of the Indian rubber tree which form mesmerising ‘living bridges’. The constant high levels of rainfall causes the waterways to swell, leading to the decay of your usual wooden bridges, causing locals to be stranded. As an ingenious method of solving this problem, the indigenous Khasi people have creating a solution by directing the roots of rubber trees so that they entwine and grow into sturdy bridges. Some of these twisted webs are nearly 200 years old and up to 30m in length.
Hobbiton, New Zealand
Hobbiton is the best unusual honeymoon destination for anyone who is a fan of The Lord of the Rings. Hobbiton is the actual movie set used in The Hobbit movie and is THE place to experience the real Middle Earth. Construction of the site began in March 1999 and filming for the movie commenced in December of the same year. The set was then rebuilt in 2011 for The Hobbit films (An Unexpected Journey, The Desolation of Smaug and There and Back Again). Today, the set has become a permanent attraction, complete with the iconic hobbit holes, flourishing gardens, double-arched bridge, Mill, the famous Party Tree and even The Green Dragon Inn.
Matamata, which is home to the movie set, is a small agricultural town in the centre of the Waikato region, snugly situated at the base of the Kaimai mountain ranges. Owned by the Alexanders, who moved to the 1250 acre property in 1978, still farm it as a traditional New Zealand sheep and beef farm. You can take a private tour across the whole of Hobbiton or you can experience a truly magical Evening Banquet Tour that takes you through the Shire at dusk and is finished off with a delicious dinner that shouldn’t be missed. So, go ahead and add Hobbiton to your list of unique honeymoon destinations.
Located on the fascinating Sumba island, surrounded by luscious greenery as far as the eye can see, this sustainable retreat offers a unique bonding experience for you and your loved one. This island resort seamlessly blends rugged luxury with a sense of wild living. It is a true haven for the adventurer, the culturalist, the eco-lover or even the yogie, with an endless selection of experiences and activities to try. Go surfing in the dazzling blue Indian ocean, go trekking amidst the waterfalls, teach local children English or try your hand at traditional Ikat weaving. No matter what you and your brand new other half enjoy, you are sure to find something at this unusual honeymoon destination.
As well as the unique options for activities, this island retreat is also home to 28 individually designed villas with private pools. After a long day of fun-filled experiences, you can sink into the crisp white bed linens of the huge signature canopy beds and marvel at the sweeping panoramic views of the Indian ocean. On an evening, visit one of the many restaurants at the resort, with each menu being crafted to recall local flavours and combine a range of tastes, using fresh produce from their on-site organic garden.
Although not the first place that comes to mind when you hear honeymoon, Havana takes romance to whole new heights. Offering an old Hollywood movie feel, with vintage cars, country music and coloured buildings, Havana is certainly one of the most unique places for a honeymoon. Perhaps it is the undeniable salsa energy that bounces about the place and emanates through the locals. This is the ideal unusual honeymoon destination for couples who are open-minded and ready to embrace anything.
One thing is for sure, Havana is the coolest honeymoon destination on this list. With a surprisingly impressive art culture that will surely one day challenge the cultural elites of Paris and New York; cool cafes and bohemian bars that experiment with new cocktails and modern takes on classic Cuban cuisine; and an exhaustive history, with museums stuffed with intricate treasures. You can visit Havana’s Old Town, one of the historical highlights of Latin America, where the city first took root in 1519. It is a true architectural masterpiece where beautifully preserved squares and pristine palaces sit alongside a gritty community that is still recovering from the economic chaos of the 1990s.
While Switzerland is a popular honeymoon destination, very few people consider Zermatt, which is one of the most unique honeymoon places in the world. Zermatt is the perfect unusual honeymoon destination for any couple that would opt for a snow-capped mountain over a sandy beach. Despite being a little chillier than many honeymoon holidays, this destination doesn’t skimp on the romance, managing to create a thrillingly romantic getaway with aspects like skiing and hot chocolate date on the slopes.
Usually, when people think of Zermatt, the first thing that comes to mind is The Matterhorn. This impressive mountain is a Swiss icon that dramatically looms over the village of Zermatt, first drawing visitors here in the 1860s. The village itself maintains a very traditional community feel, being car-free and packed with old-fashioned wooden chalets and narrow alleyways. If you visit during the winter months, you can enjoy a spot of skiing or snowboarding. But don’t worry if you want to get away during the warmer months when it is the ideal time for hiking, with an endless list of excellent hiking trails.
Scottish Highlands, Scotland
Full of legends, myths and mysteries, the Scottish Highlands is definitely worth considering as a unique honeymoon destination, especially now staycations are becoming increasingly popular. If you’re a couple that enjoys an adventure, then you won’t regret a romantic escape in the North of Scotland. Think mind-blowing landscapes, delicious food and a friendly welcoming. The natural landscape is just begging to be explored, while the region’s tumultuous history has left some of the most astonishing castles in the world.
There is plenty to see and do in this vast Scottish wilderness – whether you’re visiting for adventure, intrigue or relaxation. Looking to explore the dramatic mountains, see the depths of the lochs, soak up the impressive stretches of coastline or stroll through the historic towns and villages – the Scottish Highlands really does have it all. You can witness dolphins playing off the Moray Coast, walk in the shadow of Britain’s highest peak, Ben Nevis, or chill out in a quaint cottage in the stylish town of Spey Valley. This will be a truly unforgettable honeymoon experience.
Nosy Be, Madagascar
Nosy Be is the place to go for a secluded honeymoon full of Madagascar’s trademark beaches. Located just 5 miles off the coast of the main island, Nosy Be is a volcanic island spanning over 120 square miles. Think white sandy beaches along with luxury restaurants and big resorts. Essentially, it is the quintessential tropical island paradise. Although it does come with the standard fairly expensive cost of a luxury island retreat, it is the best beach in the country and makes for an incredible honeymoon getaway.
Nosy Be isn’t just a beach though – there are plenty of fun activities and experiences to get involved in. It is a paradise for water-based activities, with a sunny climate all year round. Diving is the most popular, along with swimming, snorkelling, sailing and fishing. You can easily find an operator willing to take you to the surrounding islands with their stunning beaches and great diving opportunities. Even when you’ve has enough of the ocean, you can head to the unexplored hinterland, including the fabulous Parc National Lokobe with its ylang-yland and vanilla plantations, crater lakes and gushing waterfalls. Despite being the most expensive destination in the whole of Madagascar, the island of Nosy Be appeals to those who like its lack of major development and laid-back, mora mora (slowly, slowly) lifestyle, perfect for a unique honeymoon getaway with your loved one.
Stealing the limelight as it rolls across the Penine’s southermost hills is the stunning Peak District National Park. Comprising glorious hillsides dotted with ancient stone villages, stately homes and rocky escarpments, the Peak District is one of the most overlooked UK weekend getaway destinations.
To give this beautiful British National Park some credit, we have put together a comprehensive guide to a weekend in the Peak District. So, what are you waiting for? Delve in to find out what are the best things to see and do in the Peak district.
Why is the Peak District So Popular?
Out of the 13 National Parks in England and Wales, the Peak District was the very first to be established in 1951. As a result, the park has been shaped and moulded by the people and nature that it is home to, over thousands of years. This British National Park has so much to offer and it is clear why it is so popular, quickly becoming more and more popular as people choose staycations over holidays abroad.
Breathtaking views: The Peak District boasts three main landscapes: the Dark Peak, the White Peak and the South West Peak. The Dark Peak is largely comprised of a more rugged landscape, known for its gritstone plateaus and heather moorlands, making it ideal for challenging hikes and exciting outdoor experiences. Meanwhile, the White Peak is characterised by limestone dales and offers stunning scenery of meadows, pastures, dry stone walls and diverse habitats. Finally, the South West Peak is similar to the Dark Peak but is nicely disrupted by more calming areas of moorland, pastures and farmland.
Nature: The Peak District National Park is the perfect place for a nature-filled weekend getaway. With over one third of the area being protected for nature conservation, the huge range of diverse landscapes provide ideal habitats for an abundance of wild plants and animals. Given that the Peak District is so ancient, being inhabited for over 10,000 years has allowed a rich biodiversity, as well as social and cultural history to develop.
Wonderful walks: With thousands of miles of footpaths, crisscrossing amongst this otherworldly landscape, the Peak District is sure to reward you with some of the best walks in the UK. Whether you’re looking for a riverside stroll or a challenging up-hill hike – there are plenty of walking options in the Peak District to suit any mood or ability.
History and culture: The Peak District is packed to the brim with evidence of its old age and deep history. The living, working landscapes of this National Park have been influenced by the people and wildlife that lives there. The cultural heritage of the Peak District has been inspired by writers, poets and artists and can be seen today in its monuments, buildings, landscapes and settlements, as well as the local customs, traditions, music, art and literature.
Where in Britain is the Peak District?
The Peak District can be found at the southernmost end of the Pennines, in the county of Derbyshire. Spanning a whopping 555 square miles, the Peak District National Park includes parts of Cheshire, Greater Manchester, Staffordshire, West Yorkshire and South Yorkshire.
With Sheffield and Chesterfield sitting to the east of the park, getting there is quite easy. If travelling from the north or south of the country, the M6 runs alongside the western edge of the National Park, while the M1 runs along the eastern side. If you’re taking the train, both Sheffield and Chesterfield offer large hubs to arrive and transfer via bus or train to reach various towns and villages within the Peak District.
Where to Stay in the Peak District:
There are countless option for where to stay in the Peak District. Whether you’re visiting for a romantic couples weekend or planning a trip for the whole family, the Peak District has places to stay for all eventualities.
To get the true Peak District experience, I would advise staying in a cute and cosy cottage. The epitome of quaint English countryside, nothing speaks British staycation like a thatched-roof cottage with a dainty wooden front door and roses climbing the higgledy-piggledy brickwork. If you want to stay in one of the park’s thriving market towns or peaceful villages, you will find plenty of cottages to choose from. Alternatively, perhaps you want to immerse yourself in the outstanding beauty and nature of the Peak’s rolling hills. If so, you’ll find plenty of cottages dotting the landscape as well.
If you’re a true lover of the outdoors and want to brave the wilderness, then you should definitely consider camping in the Peak District. This way, you can experience the real beauty of the Peak District from the very second you wake up in the morning to the moment you zip up your tent at night. Peak District camping also provides a brilliant way to explore the surrounding countryside and make the most of the stunning scenery. Most of the campsites in the Peak District National Park have exceptional access to the area’s best walks, hikes and other outdoor adventures.
Whether you’re a keen hiker, a fair-weather walker, a culture seeker, a history buff or just like to snuggle up in the Great British countryside, there is plenty to see and do in the Peak District National Park, all year round. Here are some of the best things to do on a weekend away in the Peak District.
Towns to Visit in the Peak District:
Castleton is a gorgeous village located at the head of the Hope Valley in the very heart of the Peak District. Surrounded by rolling hillsides and overlooked by the infamous Mam Tor mountain, a weekend away to the Peak District wouldn’t be complete without a trip to the beautiful village of Castleton. There is plenty to do in this quaint little village – it is popular for its show caves, rich history, independent shops and for the many nearby walks, including Winnats Pass.
As soon as you get to the village, you can enjoy a warm drink at the friendly Three Roofs Cafe or the welcoming Rose Cottage Tea Rooms. Once your thirst has been quenched, go for a leisurely stroll along the stream that winds its way through the village and admire the elegant cottages and quirky shops.
Buxton is a magical spa town in the Peak District that has been welcoming visitors to enjoy its superb scenery 300 metres above sea level since Roman times. While you may have heard of Buxton for its natural thermal springs, there is much more to the highest market town in England. In fact this Peak District town is justifiably renowned for its Georgian and Victorian architecture, largely thanks to the 5th Duke of Devonshire’s aims to build a spa town to rival Bath in the 18th century.
The Edwardian Opera House is another architectural masterpiece and is home to the internationally-renowned Buxton Festival and a host of other festivals, theatre, music and comedy performances throughout the year. A stones throw away is the historic Old Hall Hotel, where Mary Queen of Scots was held captive in the 16th century. If you’re visiting on a weekend, make sure explore the town’s bazaars which incorporate an eclectic mix of market stalls where you can find plenty of great bargains, many homemade. Shoppers can also enjoy browsing the very best of independent retailers and High Street brands at The Springs Shopping Centre, Cavendish Arcade and The Old Court House, along with a fabulous selection of cafes, tea rooms and restaurants to grab a bite to eat and drink.
Ashford in the Water
Ashford in the Water is one of the most picturesque places in the Peak District, boasting the full extent of quaint countryside charm you would expect from a rural English village. Three bridges cross the River Wye in this idyllic Peak District village, one of those being the well-photographed medieval Sheepwash Bridge which was once used by farmers to drive their flocks into the water to have a wash. Today, you can still see the walled enclosure used to pen the sheep on the river’s grassy banks.
Take a stroll through the village to admire its lovely limestone cottages and perfectly-tended gardens. If you fancy a leisurely walk or cycle, there are plenty of good links to the quiet Monsal Trail, where you can stop at Monsal Head for spectacular views across the National Park. Or, if you want a more relaxing day, there are loads of options for eating and drinking, including restaurants, pubs, a traditional English tea room and a well-stocked village shop.
Eyam (The Plague Village)
Eyam is a village in the Peak District with a very interesting and haunting history. In the early 1660s, this Peak District village didn’t stand out from the rest of the villages that lined the trade routes from London to the rest of the country. However, in 1665 Eyam became one of the most well-known villages in the whole of England when a parcel of cloth arrived from London where the Black Death plague was already rife.
Within a matter of days, the fleas in the cloth has killed the tailor’s assistant and dozens more had been infected. The villagers’ instincts told them to flee, but the Reverand quickly determined that the only way to stop the plague spreading to neighbouring villages was for the entire village to isolate themselves. As a result, the village was completely cut off from the outside world for 14 months until the Black Death plague was eventually deemed as over. Thanks to the actions of Eyam’s 800 inhabitants, the disease never infected any other nearby community.
Bakewell is an idyllic market town in the Peak District, perhaps best known for its unique and extremely tasty pudding. Legend has it that a local cook created the town’s famous Bakewell pudding by mistake in the mid-19th century. Today, this accidental invention can be sampled across the town’s various bakeries and cafes. But, as the largest market town in the Peak District, Bakewell has many more tempting treats to offer visitors.
The town’s rustic stone buildings, medieval five-arched stone bridge and charming courtyards attract many creatives, including painters, photographers and sightseers alike. Ensure you have time to grab yourself a bargain if you’re visiting on a Monday at the lively outdoor market, where you can cherry pick the very best of the local produce or browse handmade gifts. After a long day of taking in this beautiful Peak District town, fuel up with a light snack, lunch or dinner at one of the town’s many cafes, restaurants, pubs and tea rooms. You could even sample the world-beating craft beers at Thornbridge Brewery if you’re feeling dehydrated.
The Best Walks in the Peak District:
This two hour walk is ideal for spectacular views of the Peak District landscape, taking you along the ridge of the incredible mountain pass of Winnat Pass. The walk takes you through the village of Castleton, past the Speedwell Cavern and into open fields before you head up onto the pass. Please be warned that the uphill section of the walk is rather steep and could require some serious scrambling. But, don’t worry, there is a rope in place for those who need a little helping hand.
The uphill battle is definitely worth it when you reach the top and are blessed with stunning views of the limestone pinnacles and open country on all sides. This is a fairly short walk so even if you’re not an experienced walker or hiker, you can still enjoy the quick scramble to see the superb view at the top.
The Mam Tor walking route is one of the most well-known hikes in England. Overlooking Castleton village, Mam Tor is a 517m hill, commonly known as Shivering Mountain. Despite the huge hill, this is a relatively easy hike, being just 3 miles long and only taking about two hours to complete.
This circular walking trail begins at the Mam Tor car park and follows a stone footpath up the Mam Tor and over the Great Ridge. Once you reach the top of the hill you will be rewarded with incredible panoramic views across the Peak District, from Edale Valley to the Derwent Moors. The Mam Tor walk is great for families and dogs thanks to its well-maintained pathways. It is also conveniently close to the village of Castleton which means you can refuel with an afternoon tea at one of the cafes or tea rooms.
Curbar Edge and Froggatt Edge
Another great walk in the Peak District is along Curber Edge and Froggate Edge. This 6 mile, three hour circular walking route takes you along these escarpments, through woodlands and the past the Grouse Inn Pub which makes for the perfect pit stop to refuel or have a rest. The route then continues along White Edge, where you can take a small detour to admire the splendid views as the trig point.
If you really want to challenge yourself, you can extend the walk to 8 miles by including Baslow Edge or prolong it even further by opting for the ‘9 Edges Walk’, which takes between 10 and 12 hours but incorporates 9 of the most beautiful edges in the Peak District.
The Monsal Trail is an 8 mile walk that runs along the former Midland Railway line between Chee Dale (near Buxton) and Coombs Road in the market town of Bakewell. The former Manchester, Buxton, Matlock and Midlands Junction Railway was closed in 1968 and remained unused for 12 years before being taken over by the Peak District National Park authority.
Along the walking trail are a series of long tunnels that are opened by light sensors from dawn to dusk, allowing hikers to use them safely. With smooth paths and a fairly flat terrain, this walk is ideal for all ages and abilities – its even good for families with prams. However, you should be warned that it can get very busy with cyclists on sunny weekends and during the school holidays, so it is best to visit off peak.
Other Peak District Attractions
A weekend trip to the Peak District wouldn’t be complete without visiting the infamous Chatsworth House. This awe-inspiring stately mansion and gardens is home to the Devonshires since the 1500s when it was built by the famous Bess of Hardwick and her husband Sir William Cavendish.
Visit the gardens in spring, summer or autumn to see scenes of beautiful flowers and vibrant colours. You could spend the entire day exploring the grounds, gardens and walks. You can even visit the house itself and see inside this spectacular, grand building. The estate also holds plenty of exciting events all year round, including the Chatsworth House Christmas Fair.
Take a trip to Three Shires Head and experience the mental and physical benefits of cold-water swimming. Situated on the Moors at the juncture of Staffordshire, Derbyshire and Cheshire, this spot is home to waterfalls, plunge pools and plenty of spots for having a quick dip in the River Dane. However, be aware that this wild swimming spot isn’t very easily accessible and is quite a walk away.
Yet, for somewhere a little more practical, visit another section of the river in Wincle. Although not quite deep enough for swimming in, this part of the river is ideal for having a leisurely paddle and relaxing on the riverbank with a good book.
Combining all the best bits of breakfast and lunch, brunch is the perfect way to kick off any fun-filled weekend. Late enough to have a much needed lie in, but early enough to make the most of the rest of the day, you can’t beat a glamorous London brunch with friends. However, finding the best brunch spots in London is no easy feat.
Home of the fry-up and millions of hipster youngsters craving their latte and avocado fix, London has so many delicious, trendy and instagramable brunch spots to choose from. Whether you’re after a Bloody Mary to nurse that post-night out headache, a big bowl of hearty oats to fuel the day, a healthy acai bowl or a classic eggs Benedict – we’ve rounded up the ultimate list of the best brunch spots in London. So, what are you waiting for? Start your weekend just right with our selection of the top places to get brunch in London.
First up on our list of the best London brunch spots is the heart-warming 26 Grains. Located in the stunning Covent Garden, this cosy brunch cafe is inspired by owner, Alex Hely-Hutchinson’s, time spent in the city of Copenhagen. A rustic open-fronted cafe, with rugged wooden stools and benches. 26 Grains offers a healthy brunch option, with a seasonally changing menu of fragrant and colourful porridges loaded with nutrition.
Visit this brunch spot during your London break for a range of wholesome breakfast options, serving up filling bowls of porridge, along with bircher muesli and tasty toasties for the ultimate hygge experience. Opt for the chia seed-topped oats to fuel your body for London sightseeing, or choose the muesli with fruit for a refreshing start to your day. Make sure you get there fairly early as cosy space soon fills up with health-conscious millennials.
The Little Yellow Door is the ideal London brunch spot to spend the morning after the night before. Notting Hill’s favourite neighbourhood bar and restaurant, this cosy flat-themed address is located just off the iconic Portobello Road. This unique brunch spot in London was originally opened as a bar based on the premise of a fictional group of flatmates, with mismatched furniture and colourful homewares. The aim is for visitors to feel like they are hanging out at their flat, playing board games or having house parties – a great setting for a lively brunch.
Serving up incredible cocktails and weekend bottomless brunches, you can wash down your pancakes with a top-notch Bloody Mary. Opt for their bottomless brunch for a glamorous start to your day. The menu consists of brunch classics, including poached eggs or avocado on toast, along with some more modern takes like tuna or salmon poke bowls and goats cheese and grilled vegetable toasties.
4-6 Russell Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2B 5HZ
Next on our list of top brunch spots in London is Balthazar, a snazzy French brasserie with a weekend brunch menu consisting of the usual crowd-pleasing eggs Benedict, eggs Royale and syrup-topped New York-style pancakes. Located in the trendy Covent Garden, just across from the Royal Opera House, this London brunch restaurant exudes an old timely vibe and an opulent feel.
Balthazar brings a slice of downtown New York to the city of London, serving up a whole selection of brunch favourites. At Balthazar, there is something for everyone and delicious food, good drinks and friendly service are the order of the day. The brunch menu is available at weekends from 10am until 4pm, so you can make your brunch last as long as possible.
No list of London brunch spots would be complete without a mention of Brother Marcus. Already known for their mind-blowing brunch dishes, this Brooklyn-style brunch cafe has serves up mugs of silky-smooth coffee, fruit-loaded cereals, and eggs any way you like. Located in the iconic Spitafields Market, with vibrant, plant-filled interiors, you can tuck into a signature brunch with idyllic surroundings.
Offering an affordable, everyday brunch without sacrificing any on quality and deliciousness, you can choose from specialities like the Step Sister, comprising of sweet potato, courgette and feta fritters, avocado and kale, turmeric yoghurt and a poached egg to top it all off. Alternatively, opt for the Brother Special, with beetroot cured salmon, char-grilled tender-stem broccoli and scrambled eggs on slices of toasted sourdough.
Located just a stones throw away from Oxford Circus, this central London brunch spot is ideal for hungry weekend shoppers of enthusiastic sightseers. This New York-inspired brunch restaurant screams cosy, with long sharing tables and comfy booths and armchairs ready for you to sink into with hot a cup of coffee. Their famed brunch selection has something to offer even the pickiest of eaters.
The brunches at The Riding House are slightly more classy than the usual Soho brunch spots you might be used to. Take your pick from the huge variety available on their menu – think fully-loaded buttermilk pancakes, brioche French toast, quinoa and coconut porridge, poached eggs on English muffins granola with fresh fruit. There is literally something for everyone.
Bourne & Hollingsworth Buildings, Northampton Road, London, EC1R 0 HU
Perhaps the prettiest London brunch spot on this list is Bourne & Hollingsworth. The black-painted building exterior looks fairly austere at first, but step inside and be transported to a bright and airy wonderland of greenery and rattan furniture. The trendy, tropical-feel decor is complimented by whitewash floors and walls, along with the perfect lighting for taking instagram-worthy food pics.
Located just off Exmouth Market in Clerkenwell, this classy brunch spot is a modern all-day brasserie and bar, delivering quality food and friendly service to match. You can dine on a delicious selection of breakfast dishes or savoury brunch options, with the option of going bottomless as well. Their brunch is weekend only so make sure to go all out – start with their seasonal smoothie bowl or stacked pancakes, then move onto a full English or eggs Royale, and finish off with one of the best Bloody Marys or Bellinis in London.
Red Rooster is a London brunch spot unlike any other. Enjoy mouth-watering Harlem soul food, while being serenaded by the sweet sounds of a gospel choir every Sunday at this South American import. With an innovative combination of authentic food from Harlem, artsy surroundings, uplifting live music and a colourful collection of decor, it is impossible to leave the Red Rooster Gospel Brunch without a smile on your face and spring in your step (and a satisfied belly).
The brunch menu at Red Rooster makes for exciting reading, packed to the brim with punchy flavours and wild ingredients. Serving up classic Southern American delights, take your pick from miso-honey cornbread, chicken ‘n’ waffles, shrimp ‘n’ grits, short ribs Benedict and BBQ pork belly tacos. All this is truly topped off by the incredible vocal talent and cool track choices of the House Gospel Choir.
Serving up wonderfully unique and innovative dishes inspired by head chef Ravinder Bhogal’s heritage, Jikoni is by far one of the best brunch spots in London. The pastel pink exterior of this quaint brunch cafe is eye-catching amongst its grey, muted neighbours in Marylebone. The floral printed curtains, impressive selection of potted plants and wicker chairs further entice you in to sample their multicultural brunch menu.
Once you’ve taken in the extraordinary surroundings, take a look at the brunch menu, filled with delicious speciality dishes that you won’t find anywhere else in London. Think tamarind and maple-glazed bacon atop fenugreek waffles, spicy fish cakes topped with poached eggs and curry hollandaise sauce and sweetcorn pancakes with spicy creamed corn and a fried egg. You get the picture – this London brunch spot will have you spoilt for choice.
Gaze at the iconic London skyline as you brunch at one of the city’s most decadent restaurants. The infamous Duck & Waffle restaurant is situated on the 40th floor of the Heron Tower, launching it up there in the Instagrammable stakes – and the food is just as photogenic as the venue!
This high-rise modern brunch restaurant in London serves brunch every weekend from an ample menu inspired by European and British influences. Serving up the classics, including steak and eggs, full English breakfast and eggs Benedict, you can’t go wrong. However, for the adventurous this London brunch spot also offers more iconic dishes, such as the iconic duck and waffle. You can choose from a sweet waffle list, consisting of delights like banana brulee with hazelnut and chocolate spread, vanilla ice cream and peanut crunch. Alternatively, take a look at the savoury menu for brunch dishes like smoked salmon Royale with hen’s eggs, horseradish and chives.
There are some breakfast and brunch spots in London that totally blow your socks off, and The Wolseley is definitely one of them. This luxurious brunch restaurant is situated right next door to The Ritz and serves up modern European cuisine, including an elevated traditional British breakfast of grilled kippers with mustard butter, prunes with orange and ginger, fried haggis and duck eggs, all finished off with a rich whiskey sauce.
Each and every one of the Wolseley’s brunch dishes exceed expectations for presentation, quality and taste. Whether you’re looking for a traditional full English complete with eggs, bacon, sausage, baked beans, tomato, black pudding and mushroom; something a little fancier, a vegetarian option or a classic bowl of muesli or a bacon roll – this must-visit London brunch spot has something for you. Brunch at the Wolseley is so good that A.A. Gill even wrote a book about it – you can order the lobster and caviar omelette which is named after the author.
No list of the best brunch spots in London would be complete without Caravan, a well-loved address in the heart of Fitzrovia. The sister to the original Clerkenwell venue has been brilliantly converted on the ground floor of a Grade II listed granary building. Offering an exciting and playful menu, you can DIY any of the brunch dishes on the list to suit your tastes.
At this trendy London brunch spot, you can order fried chicken and waffles, jalapeno cornbread, a coconut, mango and banana smoothie bowl, or a chorizo, potato and cavolo nero hash, along with favoured classics like eggs (any way you please) on toast, porridge and the Caravan fry. This is definitely a brunch menu with a difference. After midday, Caravan starts to serve pizza – not quite brunch but it’s delicious all the same.
Folie is London’s brunch spot for luxurious French dishes served up in plush surroundings. The menu is short but sweet and the interiors of this brunch restaurant are just as much part of the allure. Frequented by the smart central London crowd and fitted out with trendy, chic decor, it provides the perfect setting to start your day with some good grub.
At Folie, you can expect to find a solid start to your day with the likes of smoked salmon and scrambled eggs on toast, fresh juices, silky-smooth coffees and decor to die for. Alternatively, you could opt for something a little more adventurous to start your London weekend – why not try to chickpea pancakes with black olives and herb pistou or scrambled eggs with sea urchin served in its shell? If you have a sweet tooth then you might prefer the fruit salad drizzled with tarragon syrup , the coconut milk porridge or the salted caramel-oozing French toast with a side of vanilla ice cream.
The UK has so much to offer when it comes to a fun-filled weekend away, but how does it compete on the food front? Although British food staples haven’t exactly been the biggest draw for tourists, times are changing, and the UK’s food scene is fast becoming one of the best places for foodies to visit. From the freshest seafood in Brighton and Scottish delights in Edinburgh to fine dining in London and quaint little cafes in Oxford. There are plenty of options to choose from for foodies in some of the UK’s most well-known cities.
So, you no longer need to trip all the way to Naples for incredible pizza, to Seville for some tasty tapas or to Japan for delicious sushi – now it is all right here on your front door. We’ve done our research and found that Britain has its own endless list of gastronomic hotspots that will delight the most avid of foodies. So, get ready to loosen your belt another notch as you delve into the top 10 best foodie cities in the UK 2021!
THE UK’s BEST FOODIE DESTINATIONS:
Edinburgh is the charming Scottish capital that never fails to attract countless foodie fans to its cobbled streets. Home to all kinds of traditional cuisines – most notable is its haggis, cullen skink and cranachan. While there are plenty of restaurant to try some of these Scottish delicacies, Edinburgh has also massively upped their game when it comes to other cuisines too.
Edinburgh has developed a thriving restaurant scene that stretches from cheap and cheerful all the way to Michelin starred fine dining. The choices for foodies in Edinburgh are endless, with plenty of quality independent food and drink venues to try out. While Edinburgh clearly isn’t the most central or easy to get to destination, it is obvious that die-hard foodies are willing to travel the distance to try some of this city’s mouth-watering menus. Take a look at some of Edinburgh’s best foodie hotspots below.
When you think of seaside destinations, the food that first comes to mind tends to be soggy fish and chips, sweets of pure sugar and the occasional oil-soaked doughnut. However, those days are long gone, especially in the foodie destination of Brighton. Today, Brighton has an increasingly sophisticated selection of restaurants that far outshines other British seaside towns.
Many of Brighton’s up-and-coming foodie hotspots emphasise locally sourced ingredients, with many serving the freshest seafood around. And, there’s plenty of variety too – they don’t just stop at seafood. Choose from charming Italian joints serving filling bowls of pasta, or a fragrant sushi bar that transports you to Tokyo, or a quant little cafe serving healthy bites and scrumptious baked goods. Brighton is no longer just a family day out at the seaside – it has firmly planted itself as one of the best foodie cities in the UK. Take a look at some of our top Brighton foodie spots below.
While this medieval city has always had plenty to offer history buffs, it hasn’t always been the first destination that comes to mind for food. However, a foodie revolution has been taking place in York, resulting in so much choice for anyone food-lovers. From rustic restaurants, tucked down higgledy-piggledy streets to trendy street food spots at the famous Shambles Market.
York’s food scene is now vibrant and refreshing, with many brand new restaurants thanks to a crop of young, hip chefs putting the city in the food spotlight. Despite being new and trendy, these modern foodie venues still reassuringly maintain their distinctive Yorkshire identity to provide a foodie experience like no other you will find in the UK and beyond. Find our top picks of the best foodie hotspots in York below.
Those searching for their next destination for a foodie getaway in the UK should definitely consider Oxford, one of the south east’s prettiest cities. Many of the best things to do in Oxford are centred around food and so it certainly makes one of the best foodie destinations in Britain to visit.
Whatever your culinary style or preference, there is sure to be a foodie delight for you in the city of Oxford. The city’s food scene has improved drastically over recent years, opening up to a whole host of bright and vibrant restaurants, cosy pubs and stand-out independents serving up authentic cuisine from all over the world. There are plenty of foodie venues where you can get the quintessential Oxford experience, but there are now so many amazing lesser-known gems that shouldn’t be missed. Take some inspiration from our top picks of the best foodie spots in Oxford below.
Glasgow probably isn’t the first UK city that comes to mind when thinking of the best food but those long-established tales of deep-fried Mars Bars have largely dissolved into urban legend. Today, the Scottish city is truly bursting at its culinary seams with award-winning restaurants and young chefs trying out innovative new cuisines to suit every foodie’s taste and budget.
With something for everyone, Glasgow’s best foodie hotspots are a fantastic blend of global influences. The city centre boasts some of the best national chains, while smaller independent restaurants and cafes are given the freedom to flourish in this welcoming foodie city. Meanwhile, you won’t be stuck for those special occasions, with a load of old-school fine dining options. Browse the best foodie hotspots in Glasgow below.
Bath used to be that place where, if you wanted to eat well, you would be spending a lot. Suffering from a serious lack of decent, affordable places to eat, Bath certainly wasn’t what you would call a “foodie destination”. However, the city has undergone a true foodie transformation, allowing it to be well deserving of a place on this list of the best foodie cities in the UK.
Today, Bath’s exceptional food and drink scene has given the city a reputation as a delicious destination for a foodie weekend break. Take your pick from fancy Michelin-starred restaurants, cosy gastro pubs, quaint little cafes, lively bars and welcoming artisans. Explore our selection of top foodie venues in Bath below.
As one of Britain’s largest and most thriving cities, Manchester has so much to offer any foodie. With an ever-evolving foodie scene, from its wealth of hip cafes and bars to well-established food markets and some newer award-winning restaurants, this foodie city shows no signs of slowing down when it comes to exceptional gastronomic experiences.
Thanks to the city’s multicultural population, this is perhaps the most varied UK foodie destination on the list. Every nationality of food is available on the streets of Manchester, and there are foodie venues to suit every single budget. It’s not just high-profile restaurants like 20 Stories and The Ivy that attract the attention of avid food-lovers, but Manchester has plenty of out-there options that are totally unique to this vibrant city. Take a look at the best foodie hotspots below.
No list of the best foodie cities in the UK would be complete without mentioning the big city itself, London. The London restaurant scene isn’t just one of the best in Britain – it is one of the best in the whole world. Whether you’re looking for great British foodie institutions that have been around for decades or trendy, new start-ups – London has it all.
Unsurprisingly, modern, creative and innovative chefs flock to London from all over the world. There isn’t a cuisine that you won’t be able to find here. You can’t have a foodie trip to London without sampling a classic Sunday roast or a traditional English breakfast. Yet, for those who are a little more adventurous when it comes to their grub, there are plenty of unique options to choose from – from traditional Japanese joints to authentic Spanish tapas to share. Go ahead and check out the best foodie spots in London below.
Perhaps one of the most overlooked culinary destinations is Belfast. So, if you’re travelling to Ireland this year, you should definitely put some time aside to have a meal (or three) in the foodie capital. The city’s food scene is currently having a moment – with its abundance of world-class local produce.
The city has plenty of local favourites to offer, including renowned grass-fed beef from well-known meat producer Peter Hannan, a delicious selection of cheeses like the bold Young Buck, or the freshest seafood from the clean, pure waters of Ireland. These local producers are being deservedly celebrated on menus across the city – from Michelin-starred restaurants right through to artisan cafes and casual bistros. Check out our Belfast foodie highlights below.