Eating & Drinking inSouth East

The third largest and most populated region of England, the south east is noted for some fantastic countryside, including the North and South Downs, the Chiltern Hills, and the New Forest. Its northern reaches are dissected by the river Thames, while the south coast stretches from Southampton to the White Cliffs of Dover.

On the seaside, bustling Brighton offers everything from Ben McKellar’s Gingerman pub, South Indian street food at the Curry Leaf Café, Japanese at Bincho Yakitori and some truly excellent vegetarian restaurants, among them the long-established Terre-à-Terre. On the region’s northern coast, the culinary bar has been set high in Whitstable, where Steve Harris’s pioneering Sportsman, featuring in our Top 50 list, is famed for its obsession with local sourcing and a desire to show ingredients at their dazzling best.

Inland, the countryside is populated with upmarket pubs, with the Kingham Plough in Oxfordshire, the Wellington Arms in Hampshire, the Miller of Mansfield in Goring, and the Lickfold Inn in West Sussex being classy examples of country-pub dining at its best. There’s a thriving foodie scene throughout the region, with forward-thinking restaurants such as Orwells in Shiplake and the Artichoke in Buckinghamshire considered two of the area’s outstanding dining options.

The south east can lay claim to some of the UK's highest-scoring restaurants, too, with Bray in Berkshire home to Heston Blumenthal’s world famous Fat Duck and Michel and Alain Roux’s classic French restaurant, the Waterside Inn. In addition, Oxfordshire proudly lays claim to one of the most famous country houses in the UK - Raymond Blanc’s grand old Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons.

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