Trust the chef: top tasting menu experiences in the UK

By Josie Hough - 7 MIN READ

Available in: 日本語

The tasting menu is here to stay. With a rise in experience-led dining – because we want to have our cake and eat it too – trusting the chef explicitly to take you on a foodie journey is the ultimate way to eat out 🧑‍🍳

We don’t mean *experiences* like the robot restaurant in Tokyo, lunch under the sea in the Maldives or dinner in a former illegal TV broadcasting platform in Amsterdam. Although don’t get us wrong, those are also great fun for an unforgettable meal out and are definitely on our Try Outs list.

We’re talking restaurants with tasting menus where the whole concept revolves around what you’re eating, and you truly experience your food as the chef intends it. Kind of like listening to a whole album all the way through, right? 🎶

The UK is home to numerous world-class and world-famous chefs. So you’re going to want to trust them. Keep reading to find TWISPER’s recommendations for some of the top tasting menu experiences around the country and bookmark them to visit when it’s safe!

Take a trip down memory lane with Tom Aikens

First up is a tasting menu that takes us on a journey through the childhood of acclaimed chef and new TWISPER Ambassador Tom Aikens. The youngest British chef ever to have been awarded two Michelin stars, Tom’s latest venture in London should definitely be on your foodie bucket list.

Raised in Norfolk in a family of food and wine lovers, Tom grew up with a great respect for fresh and local produce and a passion for the delights of food. At Muse, his intimate 25-cover restaurant in a converted Belgravia mews house, seasonality and sustainability are championed through ingredients, kitchen tools and design. Everything, including the interiors, has been carefully curated to ensure a magical dining experience.

But the food is the real showstopper. Inspired by people, places and moments from Tom’s life, the tasting menu (meat or vegetarian; seven or ten courses, depending how hungry you are) take diners on a sensory journey.

The dishes don’t have names per se. Instead, they evoke memories from the chef’s childhood and career. Join him in “Conquering the Beech tree” with langoustine, pork fat and burnt apple and head “Into the forest” for quail, cep and lichen. This culinary exploration of Great Britain is one you don’t want to miss.

Attend the dinner party of your life at P Franco

A former Chinese cash and carry store may be the last place you’d think to go for a tasting menu, but here we are. A small, laid-back wine shop and bar in Clapton, P Franco feels more like one of your cool friends’ living rooms rather than a restaurant.

Grab a stool around the communal table, order an excellent bottle of natural wine and prepare yourself for an intimate tasting menu experience. Whatever you happen to be served from the ever-changing selection of dishes – seasonal, of course – is sure to impress.

Experience omakase at Endo at the Rotunda

The Japanese concept of “omakase” literally means “trust the chef”. But it takes tasting menus so much further than what we’ve come to know. Omakase is an interactive experience where a sushi chef prepares innovative creations in front of you with the best fish and seasonal ingredients.

If this sounds like it’s up your street, book yourself a table at Endo at the Rotunda. You’ll find yourself in a 16-seat sushi concept restaurant on the 8th floor of the Television Centre in west London, or more romantically, “where the sea meets the sky”.

Up in the clouds, third-generation sushi master Endo will take you on an immersive culinary adventure through his 18-course omakase menu. Each piece provides a unique insight into ancient sushi traditions while hinting at Endo’s personality too (to give you an idea of his showmanship, the sushi master toured Japan in a punk band for several years before dedicating his life to food).

A fusion of incredible technical talent, artistic presentation and sustainably caught fish make this an unforgettable sushi experience. Rock on 🤘

Travel back in time at Dinner by Heston Blumenthal

British celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal is renowned for creating unique recipes, pairing unusual ingredients and giving multi-sensory experiences through his dishes. So when we say you’ll take a trip to the past at Dinner, we really mean it.

Take a seat in the London restaurant and you’ll be taken as far back as the 1st century. Let’s explain. Each dish has been created out of Heston’s interest in historic gastronomy. Working through 14th century cookbooks with expert food historians, the tasting menus bring new (or old?) meaning to “modern dining”.

Experience how our ancestors would have eaten as you taste “Rice and Flesh” (1390), the daunting sounding “Meat Fruit” (1500) and Tipsy Cake (1810). Vegetarians are welcome – who knew they had vegan-favorite “Roast Cauliflower” in the 14th century? Buckle up, this is quite the ride.

Get a taste of Devon at Lympstone Manor

Overlooking the estuary in Exmouth in a historic stately home, Lympstone Manor is a luxury hotel, restaurant and vineyard. Created by award-winning British chef Michael Caines, the manor is a realization of his dream for contemporary country house hospitality.

Michael’s passion for the outstanding food of Southwest England comes to bloom in the restaurant, where the tasting menus transform seasonal, regional ingredients into exquisite dishes.

Stick close to home with incredible scallops, sea bream, crab, oysters and more on the Estuary menu. Or mix up your seafood with local venison and quail on the Signature tasting menu. You’ll be blown away, whatever you pick. Side note: we can’t wait for their sparkling wine to be ready to taste in a few years’ time 🥂

Embrace your childhood at The White Rabbit

Tasting menus may not immediately spring to mind when you think of childhood foods, but The White Rabbit makes it work. Located around a 20-minute train journey from Manchester in the charming market town of Todmorden, the restaurant is the 5-year-old brainchild of husband-and-wife team David and Robyn Glenhill.

As you could probably piece together, its name is inspired by Alice in Wonderland. The childhood literature theme continues within: the cozy restaurant is filled with quirky trinkets and illustrations of Lewis Carroll’s characters.
Changing monthly, the five- and eight-course tasting menus manage to bring childlike fun to ever so grown-up dishes. It goes without saying that the wine pairings are equally excellent for a uniquely British dining experience.

Explore the Lake District at Forest Side Cumbria

Even die-hard city slickers will fall in love with the countryside after indulging in Forest Side’s spectacular tasting menu. Located in a Victorian mansion in Grasmere, this beautifully restored hotel-restaurant perfectly reflects its home in the Lake District from its interior design to the food itself.

With fresh produce foraged from Forest Side’s own kitchen garden and nearby woods, everything cooked here is seasonal and regional. It’s also really, really pretty. Think edible flowers, vibrant colors and perfect plating. There’s a four-course menu but you’re really going to want all eight courses. Drooling just thinking about it.

Indulge in Manchester’s finest at The Creameries

If you find yourself anywhere near the thriving suburb of Chorlton, do not hesitate to book in at The Creameries. Fine dining expert chef and owner Mary-Ellen McTague is a true champion of Manchester and its surrounding area. Using only the best available local produce, she creates exciting dishes drawing inspiration from historic regional recipes.

The Creameries team also works tirelessly to be a sustainable restaurant with a goal to be zero-waste. Oh and it’s a natural wine bar too. Can we move in?!

The split pea chips with mushroom ketchup come highly recommended, but honestly everything you’re served will be a true delight.

Journey through Scotland’s culinary landscape at Fhior

Last but by no means least (seriously, there are so many other amazing tasting menus across the country that we want to feast on), is Fhior. The Edinburgh restaurant lives up to its name – an adaptation of the Gaelic word for “true” – by creating a dining experience truly faithful to Scotland, to its flavorful and seasonal ingredients and to the chefs’ artistic expression.

The finest carefully sourced Scottish ingredients – including produce from its own kitchen garden – are used to create progressive dishes with a deep connection to the country’s culinary heritage.

Lunch or dinner, four courses or ten, this gastronomic experience is a must-do to pay homage to the gastronomic culture of the Scottish capital.

Treat your tastebuds with more incredible foodie recommendations

Inspired to put your trust in one of these mouth-watering tasting menus? Or perhaps your favorite hasn’t been included? Believe us – there were so many more to choose from.

Download TWISPER, the social app with only positive and personal recommendations, to share and discover more amazing places to eat, sleep and drink around the world.

Follow award-winning chef Tom Aikens on the app to find his expert restaurant recommendations and all his favorite hotels and bars too.

By Josie Hough

Josie is a content creator at TWISPER. She loves traveling and writing about her experiences. Check out her top recommendations for places to eat, sleep and drink around the world on TWISPER!

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