News bites: What we’re reading

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Time for a tea break? Check out the food news and restaurant reviews we’re loving this month.

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London’s top 12 spots for al fresco dining in the sunshine – The Culture Trip

“The best steak I’ve eaten in London in the past year” – Grace Dent on maze Grill Park Walk

10 best London restaurants for gluten-free food – The Telegraph

Mark Sargeant to open Morden & Lea brasserie on Wardour Street – Hot Dinners

Joe’s Southern Kitchen: The star of the show was the fried chicken – We Love Food, It’s All We Eat

24 things you must eat in Birmingham – Buzzfeed UK

The Fish & Chip Shop: ‘Simple and unfussy, and yet wonderfully delicious’ – A Girl Has To Eat

Tags: Birmingham, City Guides, Dining Inspiration, Featured, London, News bites - What we're reading. Total of no comments in the discussion.

We reveal which Brits give the top tips

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British diners may have a reputation for being rather tight fisted when it comes to leaving a tip, but our recent survey revealed some interesting insights into just how generous the different regions and cities in the UK are.

– British diners, on average, tip £4.18 and 87% say they always leave a tip.

– The Scots are most likely to tip (91%), with the residents of Aberdeen stating they always leave a tip.

– If you’re looking for service with a smile, head to Wales – over 80% of Welsh diners claim their local restaurant staff are friendly (although 73% said they wouldn’t tip if service wasn’t spot on).

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

– Yorkshire was revealed as the region most likely to never leave a tip, with only 1 in 5 (20%) stating that they would leave a gratuity and 51% admitting they had asked for the service charge to be removed from a bill.

– One in eight of all diners polled admitted to having walked out of a restaurant quickly to avoid paying a tip.

You can read more about the survey in our Press Centre.

Tags: Birmingham, City Guides, Featured, General, London, Manchester. Total of no comments in the discussion.

A taste of home: Your best British meals

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Thanks to everyone who entered our St George’s Day competition and shared the stories of their best British meals. We loved reading about your favourite British restaurants and home-cooked feasts, so we’ve rounded up ten of our favourites to share with our readers. If you’re in need of some dining inspiration, read on!

Photo Credit: Hix Oyster & Fish House, Lyme Regis.

Photo Credit: Hix Oyster & Fish House, Lyme Regis.

“My best ever British meal is, sitting on a wall in Littlehampton, legs dangling over the side looking at the river slowly flowing into the sea and in one hand a beer and in the other fresh fish and chips in newspaper, oh and a pickled onion on the side, what more could you need?” (Amanda)

“A picnic at Proms in the Park. It’s impossible not to feel patriotic sitting on a tartan rug, raincoats at the ready, tucking into a feast including pork pie, sandwiches, summer fruits and a Champagne-beating English sparkling wine. Roll on summer, come rain or shine!” (Andrea)

“We had dinner at The Savoy once, and the steak I had was the most wonderful melt in your mouth piece of meat – I’ve never had anything so beautifully cooked since!” (Joanna)

“My best British meal has to be the Sunday roast cooked by my Mum who, at 80 years old, still makes the best Yorkshire pudding ever. So roast beef, roast potatoes, cabbage, carrots and a great onion gravy followed by a homemade apple pie with fresh creamy custard. Absolutely the best of British.” (Linda)

“My best British meal was at Restaurant Story, a feast of eight wonderful courses based on childhood stories. The first course was a beef dripping candle and huge wedges of brown bread – absolutely delicious.” (Victoria)

Roast

“Rare roast beef at Roast, Borough Market. Unbelievable!” (Lucy)

“Dinner on the gorgeous British Pullman; fabulous food in very special surroundings evoking the elegance of yesteryear. The freshest Scottish smoked salmon followed by tender Welsh lamb with Jersey Royal potatoes and crisp green veg, then English apple pie and cream… Simply divine!” (Lesley)

“Love so many hot Great British dinners: toad-in-the-hole, minted lamb and bacon clanger all float my boat, BUT on a beautiful spring or summer’s day NOTHING beats a really good ploughman’s.” (Mark)

“The Overnight Pork Belly from the Pint Shop in Cambridge – cooked to perfection in a fantastic setting in the heart of a beautiful city; if you haven’t been you really must visit, even if just for a drink, the beer menu and 40 types of gin will keep you busy.” (Oli)

“Best British meal ever? Has got to be Simpsons on the Strand… The roast rib of beef is the best anywhere I have eaten, the service is always impeccable and as for the fresh horseradish sauce. The only decision to be made is whether to have the potted shrimp or the smoked haddock omelette. There are very few restaurants where they will boast that the menu has not changed in many years.” (Tony)

You can read the rest of the entries on the competition page. Congratulations to Andrea who won the Godminster hamper from Borough Box!

Tags: City Guides, Dining Inspiration, Featured, London. Total of no comments in the discussion.

Get ready for London West End Restaurant Week!

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This month, we’re launching our first Restaurant Week in the UK! From 13-24th May, we will be celebrating the West End’s vibrant food scene with special offers at some of the area’s top restaurants. You can enjoy great value dining experiences at award-winning eateries, hidden gems and exciting new restaurants in Mayfair, Soho and beyond.

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Visit the London West End Restaurant Week page to browse and book offers at restaurants like Nobu, Hakkasan and Sketch. You can dine in style at celeb chef restaurants like Benares and Gordon Ramsay’s Heddon Street Kitchen, or get some friends together for a Soho supper at Mele e Pere or House of Ho.

Follow us on twitter for foodie tips, giveaways and more during London West End Restaurant Week. We would love to hear about your favourite West End restaurant, so please tag your recommendations and pictures with #WestEndEats so we can check them out!

Tags: City Guides, Dining Inspiration, Featured, Food Events & Festivals, London. Total of no comments in the discussion.

Welcome to the family! – New restaurants on OpenTable

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With the Bank Holiday weekend stretched out ahead of you, there’s never been a better time to check out some of the restaurants that have recently joined OpenTable!

mazegrillpw

maze Grill Park Walk – The Gordon Ramsay Group have opened maze Grill Park Walk in Chelsea. Inspired by the grill rooms of Manhattan, it specialises in rare breed steaks and made-to-order sushi and sashimi.

Foxlow (Stoke Newington) – Bringing top quality meat and cocktails to north London, the Hawksmoor team’s latest venture is already a hit with Stokey locals. Swing by for brunch at the weekends or go for dinner and try their superb steaks, smoked ribs and crispy five pepper squid.

Ottolenghi Spitalfields – With deli counters piled high with sweet treats and colourful Mediterranean salads, Ottolenghi’s new Spitalfields restaurant is a great choice for business breakfasts and leisurely lunches.

Percy & Founders – At this new all-day dining restaurant in Fitzrovia, you can pop in for breakfast, after-work cocktails, and dishes like lobster and prawn Scotch egg and chicken Wellington.

The Botanist – Situated in the recently revamped Broadgate Circle, this slick bar-restaurant is open all day serving modern British dishes, hearty breakfasts and late night drinks in the basement Soda Room.

Joe’s Southern Kitchen & Bar – For a cocktail-fuelled feast in Kentish Town, head to Joe’s for some of their legendary Southern fried chicken or a ‘prison plate’ loaded with pulled pork, slaw and BBQ beans.

Also new in London: Tonic & Remedy; Les Gourmet des Ternes; Aubaine Broadgate; Mabel’s in Covent Garden; Zinnia; Bibigo; and Champagne + Fromage and The Shrub & Shutter in Brixton.

SamphireBush

The Samphire Bush – Visiting Devon this summer? Book a table at gem in Plymouth and try super fresh seafood, from local scallops to native lobster with Champagne velouté.

Miss Kitty’s – Dine by candlelight at this not-so-hidden gem in Liverpool, where the menu includes pan-Asian favourites like Peking duck, fried cod in plum sauce, and steamed dim sum.

Haycock & Tailbar Associates – Perfect for date night, this Northampton bar-restaurant specialises in steaks, exotic meats and expertly crafted cocktails. Cook your own fillet steak on hot rocks or try something a little different – kangaroo perhaps? Or crocodile?

Walter’s – Promising food that is ‘fresh, tasty and local’, Walter’s is a great choice for a relaxed dinner with friends in Bristol. Don’t miss their popular Tuesday Steak Night – succulent dry aged steaks from £10!

HERE – Chef Jane Collins (ex-Nahm and The Belvedere) has impressed Berkhamsted locals with her weekend brunch and an eclectic a la carte menu that ranges from dry aged steaks to lobster and chips.

Need more inspiration? You can search for your local area on opentable.co.uk or ask us for tips on twitter.

Tags: City Guides, Dining Inspiration, Featured, London, New to OpenTable. Total of no comments in the discussion.

Where to eat near… The National Gallery

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Home to one of the greatest collections of paintings in the world, The National Gallery overlooks Trafalgar Square and attracts over 6 million visitors a year. If you’re planning a day of culture in the West End, make sure it’s on your itinerary and check out some of these great restaurants nearby.

NationalGallery

– Portrait Restaurant – Book a table at the National Portrait Gallery restaurant for dinner with a view.
– The Strand Dining Rooms – This all-day brasserie serves modern British classics and hearty breakfasts.
– Chop Shop – A New York-inspired restaurant on Haymarket serving steaks, chops, salads and more.
– J Sheekey Oyster Bar – Splash out on Champagne and oysters or try classics like Dover Sole and fish pie.
– Salt ‘n Pepper – A buzzy spot for curries and charcoal grilled kebabs and seafood near Leicester Square.
– The Lobby Lounge – For a special treat, enjoy traditional afternoon tea at the five-star Corinthia Hotel.
– Hawksmoor Seven Dials – London’s best steaks and cocktails are just a stroll away in Covent Garden.
– Terroirs – Share a bottle of wine, charcuterie and small plates at this popular French wine bar.
– Joe’s Southern Kitchen – Craving comfort food? Head to Joe’s for killer pulled pork and fried chicken.
– Bocca di Lupo – Try fantastic regional Italian small plates, great wine and gelato in the heart of Soho.

If you’re visiting London this summer, you can use the OpenTable app to find great restaurants when you’re on the move. Looking for something specific? Ask us on twitter!

Tags: City Guides, Dining Inspiration, Featured, London, Where to eat near.... Total of no comments in the discussion.