Between a pandemic and a pregnancy, my days of galavanting around and exploring great places to eat out has been put on hold. One the one hand it’s been really positive because it’s allowed me to really focus on my passion for home cooking and realise some big dreams (um hello cookbook!) but the urge to go exploring once more is now calling to me.
So here’s my list for 2022: a delicious mix of casual dining, rustic havens and wow factor restaurants.
Chicken George – Hitchin
This fried chicken restaurant has been taking Hitchin and the surrounding area by storm. The food looks absolutely insane with the juiciest, biggest pieces of fried chicken served in all kinds of exciting ways. Pretty sure that Chicken George is the kind of place where you walk in ravenous and leave with the top of your trousers undone.
The Pig – Canterbury
I have been obsessing over The Pig hotels and restaurants for a very long time now. They’re my idea of heaven: historic buildings and cosy bedrooms and rustic food… somebody get me there! Their menus are full of wholesome and seasonal ingredients, enjoyed in beautiful, quaint surroundings.
There’s Pig hotels and restaurants all over the Southern half of the country so check out your nearest one.
Kerridge’s Bar and Grill – London
Tom Kerridge is my favourite chef and I adore absolutely everything that he’s about. I have had two unforgettable meals at The Hand and Flowers and also had such a fun time celebrating my husband’s birthday at The Coach… so needless to say I am keen to tick off more of his restaurants.
Kerridge’s Bar and Grill is located in Corinthia and is Tom’s first London restaurant. Serving great British food in a luxury dining setting with a grand and masculine vibe, this is the perfect place to enjoy meat and potatoes!
I imagine this restaurant will be harder to get into than the others on my list. Some people like to leave their dining out plans open until the last minute… and I am not one of those people. I like to know that I am definitely going to eat at the exact date and time that I want to. So I am an advance booker! Websites like Square Meal make it incredibly easy to find all the information you could need for great restaurants in your area (for immediate dining and building up a list) so you can make an informed decision on where to enjoy your next meal.
Fingers crossed the waiting list isn’t as insane as it can be for the Hand and Flowers..!
The Cambridge Chop House – Cambridge
My husband and I have fallen head over heels in love with Cambridge recently. It’s so near to us and we’ve been finding any excuse we can to hop over and spend the day there. The Cambridge Chop House catches my attention every time that we walk past and I really need to scratch that itch soon.
It has a lovely glass front that looks out onto the Kings College Chapel and is also perfect for people watching! The menu showcases great British classics with steaks, chops, enormous looking pies and gourmet sausages. Absolutely my idea of heaven.
Kazoku – Bedford
I can’t write this list and not shout out a local independent restaurant. My home town Bedford has been severely lacking in Japanese cuisine but finally that void is being filled with the opening of Kazoku. It looks to be a small and humble restaurant which for me is the perfect setting to enjoy some of my favourite Japanese dishes. If the sushi is good I can see this place becoming a real weekend addiction for me.