Charlie Cottrell finds out how to eat the world's favourite foods without leaving the UK
Financial, environmental, or just plain scared of mosquitoes, whatever your reasons for staying in the UK for your hols, you can still eat as though you're a jet-setting gourmet. Andy Washington, head of travel for Lastminute.com gave 4Food the heads-up on the most popular holiday destinations* and we found places to sample their cuisines in good old Blighty.
James Street, Marylebone
The revolution will be tasty! Head to Guerilla Burgers in central London for ace American fare including crinkly fries, milkshakes and a burger menu worth getting your buns out for, washed down with authentic, Brooklyn 'New York' lager.
Or make your own classic American meal at home with Guerilla Burger's Jerry Marks how to make a brilliant burger film.
Black Prince Road, Lambeth
Forget those silly chants; you can't get enough of Germany. Head to the London's first German gastro pub and embrace all manner of schnitzel, sausage and sauerkraut as well as far more exciting dishes like kasseler mit kraut and schweinebraten - both porky plates. True to its heritage, Zeitgeist also takes beer seriously with a stellar selection of pils and dunkels on draught.
Church Road, Great Milton
Eating at Raymond Blanc's two-Michelin starred restaurant is like being conjured to a fairy tale. Monsieur Blanc's delectable menu is largely based on produce grown in the Manoir's kitchen garden that boasts a staggeringly vast catalogue of crops including dozens of varieties of tomato. Keep the Gallic magic alive and stay the night.
Southwark Street, Borough
Brindisa is a love affair on a plate. The food is rich, simple and sumptuous, the décor is beautiful, the wines will transport you to a sunny terrace watching a Mediterranean sunset, and all this within the heart of the M25. Then head to the shop to stock up on as much Serrano ham and Manchego as your little arms can carry.
York Road, Escrick
Step inside this English country cottage and be transported to a South East Asian paradise that has won so many fans, you'd be foolhardy not to book a table. Critics rate the food as some of the most authentic outside Thailand, there's an oriental garden filled with enough tropical plants to please the most lavish lady-boy and if you really want o bliss out, there's even a Thai spa on site.
Rodley; Headingley; Chapel Allerton
Everyone loves the Olive Tree, the Good Food Guide, the locals, even the university lot bring their beer money to the table for the very reasonable student menu. When owners, George and Vasoulla Psarias, owners of The Olive Tree, aren't winning the Oliver Award for outstanding contribution to the restaurant industry, they're creating homely dishes using authentic ingredients and every cube of feta is guaranteed Greek.
Upper Duke Street
One of the oldest international restaurants in England, this legendary Liverpudlian location has been serving up hot and sour soup and dry ribs for 40 years. This is where the local Chinese community eat and it is nearly always packed. Veggies will be thrilled by the fab green menu and rest-assured folks, all the food is MSG-free.
Devonshire Square, Aldgate
"Entertaining is fundamental to Arabian people," say the folk at Kenza who promise to make you feel like one of the family, which is ace because their family is clearly very glamorous and cook a cracking spread. Drape your elegant limbs among the rose petals, antiques and embellished cushions and feast on Arabian mezzes and tagines with a pretty impressive wine list to help it all down.
St Davids Way, City Centre
Jamie's affinity for Italian food and his friend and mentor Gennaro Contaldo were the inspiration for the Jamie's Italian restaurants that are supposed to conjure up that fantastic neighbourhood feel Italian eateries excel at. Throw some of the greatest ingredients and olive oil so good you could drink it into the mix and you'll see why Jamie's always smiling. As well as Cardiff, Jamie's set up shop in Bath, Reading and Glasgow.
Little Holland is a family run restaurant on the south coast of England that packs a lot into a pancake. Wheat-free and dairy free options are available for delicate constitutions and you should also try the authentic bitterballen and frikandellen. Free desserts on Tuesdays make it even lovelier.
*These are Lastminute.com's 'top destinations' listed in order by number of bookings made.
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