Unusual UK places to dine
Eating out does not have to mean finding a traditional restaurant, pub or café. Across the UK, eateries are springing up in all kinds of locations. These non-traditional places throw up some challenges but also have many advantages that can create a unique dining experience.
A wood merchants
Timberyard in Edinburgh is housed in an industrial space that was once a wood merchants. It is owned by the Radford family, who runs the restaurant on ecological principles with food provided by foragers, local producers and their own vegetable patch in the courtyard garden.
The Marram Grass Café in Anglesey is housed in what appears to be a shed on a campsite. This basic setting provides a contrast to the sophisticated cuisine. The menu is a direct result of the seasonal nature of campsites – quiet winters leave chefs Liam and Ellis Barrie plenty of time to experiment.
In a working Victorian boathouse in Oxford, you can find Cherwell Boathouse. Make a day of it by first hiring a punt before coming back to enjoy your meal. Fine food and wines can be enjoyed on an idyllic terrace overlooking the river.
You will feel that you have stepped back in time when you arrive at John’s House in Mountsorrel, Leicestershire. Park among the old farm machinery before entering the seventeenth-century cottage. The rustic setting is contrasted with a sophisticated menu and wine list.
The Goods Shed in Canterbury has what chef Rafael Lopez refers to as “the shortest supply chain possible – about 10 yards!” The market floor is always stocked with a variety of foods, which the restaurant can cook on request for patrons during non-busy periods.
A working prison is not where most people would choose to dine, but The Clink prison restaurants can help prisoners transform their lives and gain qualifications for their release. Seasonal produce is used in all four restaurants, but no alcohol is allowed.