Lucy Self takes a look at the country’s best destination restaurants within close proximity to train stations.
Unless you happen to have a few hundred pounds for a trip on The Orient Express, eating anything decent whilst travelling across the UK’s train networks can be pretty dire. The answer? Take a bag of snacks and plan a spectacular meal before/after you board. Here’s our pick of the best destination restaurants within skipping distance of train stations across the country.
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What to See
Kings Cross St Pancras has the distinction of being one of the only train stations in London with countless destination restaurants within a few minutes meander. There’s Gilbert Scott by Marcus Wareing, Grain Store (just behind on Granary Square) and the super-fun Shrimpy’s on Goods Way just for starters.
Our favourite is Plum + Spilt Milk which resides in the Great Northern Hotel. The British menu overseen by Gordon Ramsey alumni, Mark Sargeant is fantastic (we command you to try the Monkfish cheek & mussel curry with pilaf), but it’s the interior that gets us. Towering sash windows and 120 hand blown glass pendants are just two of the design features that make Plum + Split Milk’s dining room a must train vacation visit.
You don’t even have to leave Glasgow Central Station to eat at the newly added Alston Bar & Beef – just head downwards to the station’s catacombs. Specialising in the finest cuts of Scottish beef, this is the place to head if you step off the journey with a carnivore’s thirst for steak.
If you’re hungry for a good G&T however its bar, The Gantry, offers 55 gins (12 of which are Scottish). We think we’ve probably given you plenty enough reasons to visit AB&B, but if you need another – it sits on the old village of Grahamston (demolished in the late 1800’s to make way for the station). Nothing like enhancing a trip with a little beef, booze and tales of towns gone by…
Often mentioned with the words ‘best’ ‘hotel’ ‘Edinburgh’ – The Balmoral has long been considered the sensible choice if you’re staying in in one of the world’s most popular cities.
With five-star accommodation comes Michelin-star dining, in this case at Number One – the hotel’s widely acclaimed formal restaurant. The six-course tasting menu taking in the best Scottish produce using only the most refined French techniques is a fitting reason to nap the whole journey home. If you want the grandeur without blowing the budget, Hadrian’s brasserie might be the more casual option, but still an elegant enough experience to round off a trip in style.
We always say, “sometimes the perfect beginning/end to a journey can be found doused in vinegar and wrapped in paper.” Okay we never say that, but we still think Britain’s best fish and chip shop, Quayside of Whitby (it won the coveted National Fish and Chip Award in 2014) deserves a spot on our list.
As well as the promise of fluffy white fish encased in a crisp golden coat, they’ve teamed up with North York Moors Railway to launch the Quayside Express – So if you happen to be on the train from Whitby to Pickering on a Friday this summer, you can buy a ticket for your train and your supper *plans a trip to North Yorkshire*
A mere five-minute walk to London Victoria, Italian restaurant Tozi is a welcome pit stop in an area decidedly lacking in decent eating options (unless you happen to like nondescript chains). Looks-wise this is not your average Italian, with a slickly beautiful interior of walnut and cream punctuated with orange trees and dressers stuffed with olive oil.
Full of well-to-do workers, locals and London-based Italians the vast interior space has the constant clatter of contented clientele. We recommend ordering the utterly addictive sharing plate of crab linguine and their Buffalo ricotta ravioli with black truffles. Three pillows of stuffed pasta so good, you’ll be in danger of missing your train.