Summer is nearly upon us and restaurants can soon re-open both indoors and out, so life is about to become considerably more fun. With that in mind, who wouldn’t want to eat in a room with a view? Somewhere for that romantic dinner or family reunion that comes with a real sense of time and place – and to remind us of the splendours we have on our own doorsteps.
So here is a list of restaurants in the Michelin Guide UK & Ireland offering memorable vistas and outlooks.
Porthminster Beach Café, St Ives
This charming 1930s beach house sits on Porthminster beach, with terrific views towards the harbour and across the bay to Godrevy Lighthouse. It’s little wonder the area has always been a magnet to a host of artists – the light is extraordinary. And when looking out over azure seas, is there anything better than fresh seafood?
City Social, City of London
The views from this large, stylish restaurant on the 24th floor of Tower 42 include all the landmark buildings of recent years – from The Shard and the Walkie-Talkie to The Gherkin – and remind us what a dynamic and ever-changing city London is. For the best seat in the house ask for table 10. The European-inspired dishes are robust, generously sized and refined.
Galvin at Windows, Mayfair, London
The views from the 28th floor of the Hilton hotel are spectacular – and the best part is that you can’t see the Hilton itself. The enormity of Hyde Park is revealed in all its glory, with The Serpentine glinting tantalisingly in the distance. There are plenty of window tables to go around, it’s a great lunchtime spot and the classically based dishes deliver plenty of flair and flavour.
The Samling, Ambleside
This contemporary slate and glass extension is in contrast to the Georgian house to which it is attached. The elevated position and floor-to-ceiling windows make the most of the far-reaching views over Lake Windermere to The Old Man of Coniston – the sunsets should inspire the Wordsworth in all of us. The ambitious modern cooking showcases ingredients from the kitchen garden.
Sindhu at The Compleat Angler Hotel, Marlow
There are few things more relaxing than a tranquil spot on the banks of the River Thames – you’ll probably end up hunting down that copy of ‘Three Men in a Boat’ when you get home. The views through the leaded windows compete for your attention with the delicious southern Indian dishes created by Atul Kochhar.
Shell Bay, Studland
Reaching this waterside gem may involve a trip on a chain ferry, but the views will be worth the effort. Every table looks out over the serene waters of Poole Harbour and Brownsea Island – sunsets are simply spectacular. The menu delivers a mix of modern and classic seafood dishes; sit on the terrace on a warm summer evening and you’ll think you’re in the Med.
The views out over the golden sands of Coppet Hall Beach are impressive all year round, with the delightful terrace making the most of this terrific location. The cooking delivers understated, finely crafted dishes with a Pembrokeshire bias, while the relaxed and friendly service enhances the experience still further.
The Pierhouse, Port Appin
The location on the shores of Loch Linnhe is hard to beat, with enthralling views out to the islands of Lismore and Mull. The seafood includes oysters from Loch Creran, mussels and langoustines from Loch Linnhe and lobster and crab from the adjacent pier.
Republic of Ireland
Owenmore, Ballynahinch Castle Hotel, Ballynahinch
Within a 17C country house in the heart of the Connemara National Park sits this elegant restaurant looking over the Ballynahinch River and a 700 acre estate. The room boasts a terrific collection of Irish art but if you have a window table it’s hard to avert your gaze from outside when you might spot a fisherman landing a salmon.
Harry’s Shack, Portstewart
The remote beach location is superb, sunsets are legendary and the views over Portstewart Strand live long in the memory. As the name suggests, it’s a simple spot – the classroom chairs might be functional but they do the job. Some of the ingredients used in the fresh tasting dishes are from their own organic farm.
This year, the Michelin Guide is published in a digital format only, both on our website (UK and Republic of Ireland) and via the iOS app.