London is the UK’s gastronomical capital and the city is home to the finest international cuisine and poshest places to eat in the country. The restaurants of Michelin-starred celebrity TV chefs and luxury hotels offer menus with eye-watering price tags and a wine list to match. Afternoon tea at The Ritz is a world famous English tradition and visitors can enjoy a luxurious light meal in one of the country’s most exclusive, and expensive five-star hotels, or how about combining a little game of spot the celebrity and rub shoulders with the stars at exclusive A-lister eatery The Ivy. London dominates the reviews and awards when it comes to exclusive places to eat, but contrary to popular belief, we don't all live in London town. We have hand-picked a selection of posh places to eat from across the UK.
Heston Blumenthal's The Fat Duck
Three Michelin stars means that Heston Blumenthal’s The Fat Duck restaurant in Bray is regarded as one of the very best places to eat in the UK. The TV chef’s unique approach to creating food combined with science makes for interesting reading on the menu. A special Tasting Menu is available; the team of chefs create bizarre dishes including mock turtle soup, snail porridge and sound of the sea, and involve the customers during the process to make dining at The Fat Duck a uniquely personal and quirky experience. If you’re a fan of ice cream and think it couldn’t be made exciting, think again. Heston Blumenthal serves his ice cream creations shrouded within a cloud of dry ice.
Alain Ducass at The Dorchester Hotel
The Dorchester Hotel in London is the ultimate place for posh nosh and it’s no wonder it’s so popular with the wealthy and well-to-do when there’s a world class chef at the helm. Fine dining doesn’t come more highly recommended that a prestigious recommendation from the American Academy of Hospitality Sciences; The Dorchester’s Alain Ducass was awarded the accolade of Finest Chef in the World in 2003 for his unrivalled French cuisine and innovative approach to modern fine dining.
The Ritz Hotel
Visitors to London can experience the English tradition of taking afternoon tea at The Ritz, but make sure you check the prices before you go or you’ll be in for quite a shock. Dainty sandwiches, cakes and sweet treats are beautifully presented with a choice of 17 leaf teas in the famous five-star hotel restaurant, and the exclusive nature of the venue makes this one of the poshest places for a mid-afternoon meal with prices to match. The Ritz is a exceptional place for a special celebration or treat, but a bit off limits to mere mortals on a daily basis.
The Ivy and Club at The Ivy
The Ivy is a favourite haunt of A-list celebrities; in fact it’s probably more well-known for its showbiz clientele than for what’s on the menu. The rich and famous regularly find themselves snapped by the press leaving the swanky establishment and it's famous members-only Club at the Ivy upstairs. The Ivy has some of the country’s most talented and sought after chefs in the kitchen, but compared to many of its exclusive rivals, this celebrity eatery is far more reasonably priced.
Mandarin Oriental Hotel
Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Hyde Park, London is home to the highly exclusive restaurant, Dinner by Heston Blumenthal. The restaurant, run by head chef Ashley Palmer-Watts was ranked 9th in the San Pellegrino World's 50 Best Restaurant Awards, 2012 and won the BMW Square Meal Award for Best New Restaurant in 2011. Dinner offers a private, secluded dining area for a group of up to 10 people for an extra special dining experience with personal service in luxurious surroundings.
Andrew Fairlie at Gleneagles Hotel
The finest dining experience to be found north of the border is in the golfing capital of Scotland, Gleneagles. The venue is chef Andrew Fairlie's high class restaurant in the Highlands and it is the only Scottish establishment to be awarded two prestigious Michelin stars in 2012, offering excellent cooking that is well worth a detour, according to the Michelin guide. Gleneagles is home to the 2014 Ryder Cup; Dignitaries, royalty and celebrities from all over the world flock to the exclusive Gleneagles Hotel for world class golfing competitions and the famous specialist menus at Andrew Fairlie's restaurant.
The Potted Hen, Belfast
The Potted Hen scooped the 2011 Best Restaurant in Northern Ireland at the National Restaurant Awards in London. The Hen is located in the heart of Belfast's fashionable Cathedral Quarter, an area which has undergone huge regeneration over the last few years. But don't take our word for it, Joris Minnie of The Belfast Telegraph writes: “With flawless food and classy interior, this new restaurant in the Cathedral Quarter is a smart choice for discerning Belfast diners.”
The Crown, Wye Valley
The Crown is one of only a few restaurants in Wales to have been... crowned with a Michelin star. The elegant restaurant is located in the Wye Valley and the head chief is the highly sought after James Sommerin. He is famous for using seasonal, local produce and was featured in the BBC‘s Great British Menu series.