If the thought of stuffy flights and endless security queues is dampening your European travel aspirations this Easter, fear not. Rather than lamenting your lack of Parisian breakfasts or canal-side Espressos, why not take advantage of the best of Britain and plan a weekend getaway in one of the UK’s favourite foodie destinations. Our cities are fast developing their own distinctive culinary charms and are fusing the traditional with the unexpected, and there’s never been a better time to indulge in some good ol’ British grub.
Like many big university towns on our list, the foodie scene in Bristol has grown in part around its large student population and is dynamic, unpretentious and fiercely independent. Huge amounts of funding have gone into developing the restaurant landscape in the city and has resulted in it being crowned one of ‘The Best Culinary Destinations in the World’ by the Food Trekking Awards. With good coffee, incredible Chinese cuisine and some of the freshest seafood in the country, Bristol’s foodie scene has a quirkiness and vibrancy that even London struggles to match.
See our top picks in Bristol
Once the land of haggis, neeps, and tatties, Scottland now enjoys a thriving foodie culture, the beating heart of which lies in Edinburgh. The restaurant scene is fuelled by Scotlands abundance of high-quality local produce and has evolved from a Michelin star-studded hotspot to a far more accessible - yet still high quality - culinary scene. Stray away from the Royal Mile and head to the neighborhood of Leith, the setting of Irvine Welsh’s iconic Trainspotting and home to some of the very best eateries in the city.
Our top picks in Edinburgh
Seaside towns in the UK have long suffered a bad rep fuelled by tacky resorts, grey skies, and soggy chips. However, Brighton has slowly but surely established itself as not just one of England’s loveliest towns, but a certified foodie paradise. The town also has a reputation as a veggie/vegan mecca, and a wander through its famous lanes will unveil a cluster of meat-free delights that will dazzle both vegans and nonvegans alike.
See our top picks in Brighton
Along medieval walls and down quaint cobbled streets lies York’s charming maze of cafes and eateries, modern in vibe but still retaining the traditional Yorkshire identity that makes this city the perfect choice for a weekend break. Although sometimes described as having the dreaded ‘hipster’ flare, the restaurant scene here is a fusion between the old and the new, the local and the exotic, and can always be relied upon to produce a world-class pie and chips.
See our top picks in York
Another major university town on our list, Cambridge is overflowing with gastropubs, street food markets and enough Michelin starred eateries to ensure you never have to eat like a student. After afternoons spent punting down the Cam or wandering the college greens, head down Cambridge’s cobbled streets and discover cozy pubs serving traditional and impeccably cooked English food and locally brewed beer worthy of a 1st class honours.
See our top picks in Cambridge
The emerald isle is blessed with its own natural larder of world-class produce, and no city takes advantage of this quite as expertly as Dublin. With local meat, seafood and cheese all in abundance, the city, and the surrounding countryside, are the perfect settings for a foodie getaway. Dublin bay is a good place to enjoy an array of local seafood, and of course, no trip to Dublin is complete without a tour of the Guinness brewery or a healthy dose of Irish whiskey by a fireside.
See our top picks in Dublin