Eating & Drinking inSouth East

More densely populated than any other part of England, and one of the most visited regions of the United Kingdom, the South East is noted for rich, verdant countryside. The Cotswolds and Chilterns in the far northwest draw the tourists, as does the river Thames as it meanders along the northeast border, while the vast expanse of the New Forest and the famous White Cliffs overlooking the English Channel at Dover are among the UK’s most spectacular natural features.  

Its seaside towns have immense charm. As an easy weekend jaunt from London, Whitstable on the North Sea coast has long had a reputation for good food – one of our favourite Top 50 restaurants, Steve Harris’s renowned Sportsman, celebrates twenty years in 2019. But nearby Margate is offering stiff competition. Considered quite the foodie destination these days, brilliant new start-ups include the tiny seafooder Angela’s, and Bottega Caruso, known for its excellent handmade pasta. To the south, Brighton is a belter, packed with bars and restaurants, with latest openings ranging from shellfish and craft beer at The Urchin pub to contemporary ideas at Murmur or Pascere.

Moving inland, obsessive local sourcing drives the thinking behind many of the regions upmarket country pubs and restaurants, the roll call including The Blackbird in Berkshire, Sorrel in Surrey, The Small Holding in Kent, and Pulpo Negro, the region’s Best Local Restaurant award winner bringing Latin exuberance to a corner of Hampshire. There are, of course, many high-scoring institutions to choose from, but the intimate extravagance of the world-famous Fat Duck captures everyone’s imagination.

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