Brilliant food, opulent drinks, fantastic company and stylish décor are all staples of the modern-day restaurant. There is always variation on these elements, but many restaurants revolve around this tried and tested method to ensure a brilliant experience for the customer. However, there is always room for novelty and new concepts, and this is incredibly important to keep pushing and progressing an ever-changing industry. England currently has a wealth of chefs and restaurateurs looking to push the boundaries of what is possible. To help find the establishments that are doing things differently, we have put together a list of the most unusual eateries in England to visit right now.
Dans Le Noir
If your French is up to scratch you will realise this translates as ‘in the dark’, and for this restaurant based in Farringdon, London, that is exactly what to expect. Eating your meal in total darkness, the idea revolves around heightening your senses to the food in front of you, helping you to enjoy the dish purely on taste and smell rather than your whole range of senses. The concept focuses on sensory experience, that helps the customer to really engage with the food they are eating. After the meal the staff reveal the dishes and drinks you have been served, which often catches customers by surprise.
Ballie Ballerson Shoreditch
This one is certainly for the big kids and offers a truly nostalgic experience like no other. With a huge ball pit, the Shoreditch based restaurant is a location for adults to live out their previous days as a child. With throwback cocktails and handmade pizzas being made late into the evening, whilst diving into a huge ball pit sounds like a night of sentimental fun, then there is only one place to go, Ballie Ballerson.
Britannia at the Beach
With stunning views across the shoreline of Beesands Beach in Devon, Britannia at the Beach is a hybrid restaurant, fishmonger, and takeaway that serves up phenomenal seafood dishes, using the freshest produce. The family run establishment has evolved the rustic shack over the years, and it has become a cornerstone of the community at Beesands. The menu changes depending on the catch of the day, so you can always be assured of freshness and versatility within the menu.
The clue is in the title with this one, and if you are unnerved by heights, then you may want to give this Northumberland restaurant a miss. Located high-up in the canopy of Alnwick Gardens, there are walkways and rope bridges connecting everything, as well as foliage growing through the floor, and not to mention the large open fire in the middle of the restaurant. With food focusing on British cuisine that utilises seasonality and local suppliers, the quality of the dishes is fantastic, that helps to complement that phenomenal setting.
Whilst edging towards the more expensive end of the spectrum, the Gloucester Studio, located in a small log shed. It is quirky and unusual, but the food is outstanding. Cooked right in front of you, with the menu tailored to exactly what you would like, it is an experience like no other. The surroundings are intimate and help to build the atmosphere of the food to come, cooked by self-proclaimed pyromaniac chef Kathryn Minchew.