Co-founded by Simon King (formerly Ramsay and The Fat Duck) and Matt Larcombe (formerly Heston), the Victorian Champions upgrade classic pub dishes with a creative twist. Enjoy a salt-chamber beef tartare with radish and chicken eggs, plus a mushroom parfait to start, followed by a traditional pub dish of fish and chips, or a wagyu buffet if you’re feeling a bit better. All washed down with a wine list and craft beer.
Victoria, High Street, Oxshott, Leatherhead KT22 0JR; 01372 238308; thevictoriaoxshott.com
Gold, Notting Hill, London
On the doorstep of Portobello Road, the small but surrounding golden terrace acts as a quiet oasis from the bustling market crowds, and its menu is even more impressive. Featuring octopus carpaccio, porchetta with black Iberico tomatoes and grilled broccoli, to name a few, it’s the perfect place to enjoy a selection of small plates over a glass of wine for lunch or dinner. Larger dishes include lamb with tomato datterini and nettle ravioli.
95-97 Portobello Road, London W11 2QB; 020 3146 0747; goldnottinghill.com
Wilds Kitchen, The Greyhound, Hampshire
For quiet riverside dining, Wilds Kitchen offers a delightful space right next to the River Test. Wilds hosts a variety of different nights for guests to unwind with friends and family, specializing in wood-fired pizza, fancy burgers, and classic fish and chips. Vegetarians can enjoy the veggie sausage, zucchini pizza, and scrambled tofu options.
31 High Street, Stockbridge SO20 6EY; 01264 810833; wildsevents.co.uk
Chishuru, Brixton, London
Taking center stage on Market Row in Brixton, Adejoké Bakare serves a mix of modern and traditional West African dishes. Dishes include ecuro with pumpkin seed pesto, Scotch bonnet sauce, and goat shoulder in peanut sauce. While outdoor seating is sure to make the most of this summer, diners should also try to catch a glimpse of Bakare’s work in the open kitchen.
Unit 9, Market Row, Coldharbor Ln, London SW9 8LB; 020 3915 1198; chishuru.com
Lochleven Seafood Café, Fort William, Scotland
A hidden gem you could drive past without realizing, Lochleven Seafood Cafe is a small restaurant and seafood shop on the west coast of Scotland. Serving delicious fresh seafood – we recommend scallops, mussels, oysters and lobsters – you can sit on the terrace and enjoy the stunning views of Lake Levin. No frills place but worth a visit.
B863, Onich, Fort William PH33 6SA; 01855 821048; lochlevenseafoodcafe.co.uk
Smokestack, Shoreditch, London
This American-style grill remains a long-term favorite to grab a bite to eat in Shoreditch. While beef buns and ox cheek croquettes remain stand-out dishes, other smoked meats such as pork belly ribs and lamb merguez are also tough competition. Also not to be underestimated: Potatoes topped with mustard greens (although we mourn the mushrooms on toast, still). Sticky toffee pudding, while not always the perfect dessert on a hot day, is worth starting an argument over whether your dinner partner refuses.
35 Slater Street, London E1 6LB; 020 3873 1733; smokestak.co.uk