Eating & Drinking inThe Midlands

This is a region that stretches like a belt across the belly of Britain. Strained? Maybe – but in a good way, because the eating to be enjoyed from Shropshire in the west to thrillingly diverse Birmingham and its surroundings, through Northamptonshire, Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and over to Lincolnshire in the east, is superb.

Trace the route to find Top 50 restaurants such as Adam’s in Birmingham and the boundary-pushing Restaurant Sat Bains in Nottingham, joined on the elite list this year by Alchemilla (also in Nottingham) and Winteringham Fields near Scunthorpe. Don’t miss the 2020 Best New Entry The Woodsman in Stratford-upon-Avon, whose menu diligently celebrates the wild and the wood-fired – think slow-cooked roe deer shoulder or salad of roast wood pigeon with almonds and apricot. It joins Paul Foster’s restaurant, Salt, to further build the Warwickshire town’s food credentials.

One of the year’s highest-scoring new entries is Pensons on the Netherwood Estate on the rural Herefordshire-Worcestershire border. There, acclaimed chef Lee Westcott has brought characteristic precision and unswerving understanding of flavour to ingredients many of which – as the kitchen garden becomes established – will be grown on site.

Birmingham, meanwhile, continues to buzz. Vivacious cooking at Indian restaurant, Opheem, caught the eye (and tastebuds) of Guide inspectors this year, as did the spanking-fresh flavours of the sea at Adam Stokes’ (he of Adam’s, see above) Oyster Club. These new entries join such established luminaries as Harborne Kitchen, Carters of Moseley, Simpsons and Purnell’s to remind us – were it necessary – of just how brightly the food scene nurtured by the country’s second city shines.

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Derbyshire * Herefordshire * Leicestershire * Lincolnshire * Northamptonshire * Nottinghamshire * Rutland * Shropshire * Staffordshire * Warwickshire * West Midlands * Worcestershire

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