The Trencherman’s Guide has introduced epicureans to the South West’s finest feasting establishments since 1992. Its 26th edition launches on April 30 – meet some new members who’ve made the grade to join this prestigious club
The Bunch of Grapes, Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire
Visit for backstreet bistro vibes
Save money on flights and get a fix of authentic French fare at this handsome bar and restaurant in Bradford-on-Avon. Taking inspiration from the backstreet bistros of southwestern France, the chefs at The Bunch of Grapes fashion classic dishes including confit duck a l‘orange and beer-can poussin over flames via their wood-fired oven. Sunday roasts are pretty spesh too – smoked slow-roasted lamb with balsamic shallots anyone?
Paschoe House, near Crediton, Devon
Visit for country chic with quirks
Explore the bar’s cocktail collection under the watchful eye of the stuffed ostrich, feast on first class food in the elegant dining room and pass the family of elks on the stairs en route to your bedroom. Owner Tabitha Amador-Christie’s taxidermy collection is all part of the charm at this decadent country house hotel. Equally delightful are head chef Samuel Brook’s exquisite dishes such as mackerel tartare with turnip and dill, and belly pork with carrot, hazelnut and raisin.
Pyne Arms, near Barnstaple, Devon
Visit for next-level pub grub
Pukka dining pubs are rarely easy to pinpoint and this particular gem is nestled in a tiny hamlet on the edge of Exmoor. Hearty and nostalgic dishes liable to induce swoons await those who make the trip. Chef patron Ellis Pannell draws on the Exmoor larder to craft crowd pleasers such as smoked ham hock terrine, salt baked celeriac and braised lamb shank. There are three recently refurbished bedrooms upstairs too if you can’t resist staying for round two at breakfast the next morning.
The Lugger, Portloe, Cornwall
Visit for classic Cornish cool
Day-trippers dropping in at The Lugger during a jolly across the Roseland Peninsula pinch themselves for not booking a room above this historic inn. More than 20 bedrooms provide a comfortable base from which to explore the rugged coastline and combine unbeatable views with little luxe extras. The fact that head chef James Brougham deals in some of the freshest seafood this side of Cornwall is an added bonus.
Chewton Glen, Hampshire
Visit for a hedonist hideaway
In a state of pure zen after a restorative afternoon in the plush spa, drift on to a delightful three course dinner in the restaurant. Much of what is served is grown in the grounds of this gorgeous country house hotel, and executive chef Luke Matthews works with estate manager, Darren Venables, to stock his menus with the seasonal kitchen garden veggies. For a real back-to-nature break, book one of the swish treehouse suites.
Sign of the Angel, Lacock, Wiltshire
Visit for a dose of historic charm
Almost 600 years of history are steeped in the oak beams, wonky corridors and sloping ceilings of Sign of the Angel in Wiltshire. In the National Trust village of Lacock, this ancient inn pays homage to its heritage with a rustic bill of seasonal delights which are best devoured fireside with a glass of something good. Go for the full 15th century experience and book a night in one of the charming bedrooms featuring unique and original architectural features.
Visit for a phenomenal fast-casual fix
You won’t find sushi on the menu at this slick Japanese joint from MasterChef finalist Andrew Kojima. Instead, clash sticks over share-style small plates such as miso roasted cod, beef tongue buns and Koj’s signature fried chicken. Start your night upstairs with Asian-inspired cocktails in the cool Kampai Bar then, as you dine, spot how many Japanese brands you can name on the eye-popping mural and watch the chefs play with fire in the open kitchen.
The Green Restaurant, Sherborne, Dorset
Visit for cross-continent cookery
European cookery collides with the quintessential British countryside in delicious style at this Dorset dining room. Russian born Sasha Matkevich draws on his experience at Michelin starred spots across the country to create slick modern dishes at The Green, which calls the picture-postcard village of Sherborne home. Eclectic combinations such as veal bitochki with mustard mash and minted yogurt play with classic flavours and textures.
Acorn Vegetarian Kitchen, Bath
Visit for plant-based revelry
While the new-wave veggie revolution has picked up pace in the past year, chef patron Richard Buckley was plating plant-based pleasure for the people of Bath before meat-free went mainstream. Forget bean burgers and goat’s cheese à la everything: local ingredients get the fine dining treatment at this modern bistro. Jerusalem artichokes are oven roasted with sunflower seed butter and garnished with pink grapefruit, while a whole cauliflower is broken down and rebuilt into a decadent dish that includes roasted florets, truffled puree, molasses-pickled stalk and sautéed leaf.
Porthminster Kitchen, St Ives
Visit for small plates and eye-popping views
Score a spot on the terrace at Porthminster Kitchen on a sunny day in St Ives and, for an hour or so, you’ll be the proud proprietor of one of the best tables in the country. With panoramic views of the busy harbour below, a glass of fizz in close range and a steady stream of grazing material, don’t be surprised if a lazy lunch of Cornish small plates escalates to evening cocktails and a full-blown three course dinner.