Go for the sights, stay for the exceptional bites and discover what the UK’s cities are serving up.

Back to branching out and looking beyond the capital’s culinary prowess. From Edinburgh to Bristol, there are a plethora of top-notch restaurants waiting to be discovered up and down the UK but where should you head first? We’ve put together a list of some of our favourite city destinations along with a few of their best restaurant offerings to help you decide.
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EDINBURGH

In our efforts to look beyond one capital, we’ve landed straight on another and one that boasts an array of diverse culinary experiences. From cosy cafes to chic bistros, there is something to suit every palate.
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Aizle

First up is, Aizle, which translates in Gaelic to glowing hot ember or spark and it’s certainly been one of the brightest sparks when it comes to the Edinburgh restaurant scene for some time now. This charming restaurant makes everything in-house and offers up a regularly-changing 8-course set menu. The regularity of the menu changes is dictated by what’s local and what’s in season. Past dishes have included, a beef fat doughnut filled with braised beef shoulder and a mushroom chawanmushi, which give you a strong indication as to the inventiveness of the menu.
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Noto

Noto is Aizle’s little sister. A stripped-back, minimalist affair that has a bib gourmand under its belt. So the sharing-style menu is one that likely won’t break the bank. Like Aizle, there’s also a tendency to lean towards a Japanese twist or two with its menu, featuring dishes such as Arbroath smokie croquettes, katsuobushi and braised wagyu cheek, parsnip. All of which are paired with wines from small-domain wine producers.
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Timberyard

Tucked away in a charming 19th-century warehouse, Timberyard is a 1 Michelin-starred, food lover's haven with a menu that draws heavily on foraged, pickled, preserved and smoked ingredients. Their open kitchen serves up dishes like a parfait with preserved quince & elderberry caper with their house-made pickles and preserves giving each dish a little vibrant flair. This is a must-visit when in the Scottish capital.
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YORK

York is arguably the most picturesque location on our list and was once known as the chocolate city so has food embedded in its history. Nowadays, there is still very much something for those with a sweet tooth but there is also something of a thriving restaurant scene too.
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Roots

Roots is a Michelin-starred marvel and its success is driven by head chef Will Lockwood who recently featured on Great British Menu, and is overseen by our Tommy (Black Swan in Oldstead). Tasting menus are the order of the day here with a focus, just like at the Black Swan, on exceptional produce, serving up dishes such as scallop, caramelised celeriac with smoked roe powder, fermented gooseberry & celeriac and split with dill oil.
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Fish & Forest

With dishes like turnip noodles, egg yolk, kimchi powder, stone bass and dashi, Fish & Forest packs more of a punch than your typical neighbourhood bistro. They take inspiration from the Yorkshire countryside and ensure that sustainability drives their decision-making.
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Skosh

Snacks, small plates and stylishly presented dishes. At Skosh you can watch the action unfold in the open kitchen, where they plate up playful pan-Asian fare using Yorkshire produce such as sashimi of east coast mackerel and crispy saddleback pork fritters with spiced rhubarb ketchup.
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MANCHESTER

Manchester has in the past been unfairly categorised as coming up short as a foodie destination but those even vaguely in the know are aware that it has a huge amount to offer on the food front with Mana standing right at the top of the pile.
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Mana

Mana has been making waves in the Manchester food scene since it opened in 2018. The city's only Michelin-starred restaurant serves up a modern British menu with Nordic and Japanese influences that focuses on seafood. All of which are presented in the chicest of spaces. Chef Simon Martin is at the helm and no doubt is destined for even further greatness so he’s certainly one to keep an eye on.
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Erst

Skip down the road from Mana and you’ll find Erst, a natural wine bar and seasonal small plate sensation. It’s as much about the wine here as it is about the food with a focus on bold flavours on both fronts. Head Chef Patrick Withington cites The Eagle and Moro cookbooks, both Farringdon heavyweights, as a big inspiration behind his style of cooking so you know that you are in good hands. The menu is loaded with lardo and heavily features delicious spreads and sauces.
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Adam Reid at The French

If you are looking for fine dining in Manchester then The French should be your go-to. Set against the backdrop of the lavish Midland hotel, here you’ll find a modern British tasting menu fitting of the grand setting and all overseen by Manchester-born chef and serial award winner, Adam Reid.
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NOTTINGHAM

Nottingham is home to what can only be considered one of the best restaurants in the UK in Restaurant Sat Bains but it has a few more tricks up its sleeve when it comes to eating out.
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Restaurant Sat Bains

Boasting two Michelin stars and guided by the energetic personality and exceptional ability of head chef Sat Bains, this restaurant has been at the forefront of the industry for over 2 decades now. Offering up a 7 or 10-course tasting menu with dishes that are simple in name but highly complex in nature. Here you can expect to enjoy something spectacular and it’s highly recommended that you make a room booking too as it’s likely you will need a good lie down following.
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Bar Iberico

At the other end of the scale, Bar Iberico is a casual but bustling little number that serves up succulent Spanish classics, punchy cocktails and wood-fired flatbreads. This is one for a relaxed evening out with friends and family where you can dive into as much or as little as you like safe in the knowledge that the tapas is top-notch.
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Alchemilla

You’ll find Alchemilla inside the arches of a Victorian former carriage house where head chef Alex Bond delivers a lively tasting menu that focuses on seasonal and foraged ingredients. Complete with Nyetimber garden and kitchen table for those who prefer a more intimate setting, this is another of Nottingham’s finest for innovative, out-of-the-box cooking. Think XO doughnuts and hash browns with bone marrow.
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BRISTOL

Bristol has a thriving street food scene along with a diverse restaurant offering but it’s also a city that has a particularly strong focus on environmental challenges, and this is certainly something that is reflected across its restaurant offering.
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The Ethicurian

The experience at The Ethicurian starts with a tour of their walled garden so diners can fully appreciate the produce that is about to be sampled. The menu features sections that explain where the produce originates from, for example, the garden or the orchard as they look to meticulously showcase everything they’ve worked so hard to grow. The approach here is forward-thinking and innovative with sustainability at the heart of everything they do.
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Root

A menu that gets creative on veg. With a meat-less ethos and working with small local suppliers, Root offers up veg-led sharing plates in an inventive and enticing way making sure that your mind is meat-free too. Stars of the show include BBQ marsala carrots with spiced butter and purple sprouting broccoli with miso and burnt lemon.
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Poco Tapas

Root-to-fruit and nose-to-tail menus ensure that nothing goes to waste at Poco Tapas. Beautifully presented bright and colourful dishes that consist of local and seasonal ingredients where diners rarely let anything go to waste either. Here you will feel good in more ways than one about what you are eating.
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This sample menu of city stars gives you a picture of how the approach to dining changes from place to place. There are plenty of other top spots to consider when heading for a city break or a simple change of scenery but this lot is certain to stick around for the long haul.

Monument has partnered with La Petite Conciergerie to offer Members a Restaurant Reservations service, allowing Members to redeem pre-booked restaurant bookings. This service is complimentary to Monument Members as a membership benefit.

Find the Restaurant Reservations service in the Restaurant of the Week collection within the Member Services app anytime, and explore the reservations available this week.

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