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The South West of England has become the hot new region to experience the best of British food, according to guidebook experts Lonely Planet.
Lonely Planet’s brand new edition of Devon, Cornwall and Southwest England reveals that the region has overtaken the rest of the UK with its sublime cuisine, challenging London for the culinary throne. According to the guidebook, the South West is producing the UK’s most innovative cuisine; locally sourced, ethically produced, organic and what’s more it is being prepared by fantastic home grown talent. The region’s celebrity chefs opened their kitchens to train some of the southwest’s rising stars and a wealth of gourmet talent can now be found in this culinary corner of Britain. The region is already blessed with a handful of Michelin stars and the authors of the guide are in little doubt that more are sure to follow. The guide, which also features top castles, top beaches and top pubs, names the region’s top five eateries as Bordeaux Quay in Bristol, Paul Ainsworth at No 6 in Padstow, Cornwall, Gidleigh Park and Riverford Field Kitchen in Devon and Sienna in Dorchester, Dorset. The guide’s authors are based in the southwest and so are well placed to offer an insight on the region’s best and worst. They heap praise on Bristol and Exeter, but on the flip side criticise Perranporth’s “untidy sprawl of concrete chalets” and Newquay’s “rampant property development.” Author Oliver Berry says “the southwest is every foodie’s dream; just caught crab accompanied with local wine in spectacular settings – what could be better? The southwest’s culinary stars have none of the pretension you can find eating out in London. If you want an insight into where British food is at right now, there’s really nowhere better than the southwest.” The guide highlights the importance of the overall gourmet experience – from catching your own seafood to ordering direct from farmers’ fields. “Take a superb array of local, seasonal and organic produce, mix in a range of atmospheric eateries and finish with a sizable scattering of celebrity chefs. The result? A region whipping up a perfect culinary storm – and a series of very satisfied stomachs.”