1. Wolf down fish’n’chips in the world’s oldest chippie
The National Federation of Fish Friers confirms that fish and chips have indeed been served from these premises in the Leeds town of Yeadon continually since 1865, making it the longest running fish and chip shop in the world. This quaint little chippie has been serving up England’s favourite dish for 150 years, meaning it really knows its stuff. And hence its name: ‘The Oldest Fish & Chip Shop in the World’.
Find out more about The Oldest Fish & Chip Shop in the World
2. Go cocoa bean crazy in York
York’s love affair with chocolate rivals that of Romeo and Juliet. The city has a chocolate experience dedicated to York’s chocolately history, a chocolate trail and more than it’s fair share of independent chocolate shops and cafes. Start with a tour of York’s Chocolate Story – yes, samples are available! – to learn local chocolate-making secrets and try your hand at chocolate lolly-making. Then move on to York Cocoa House for chocolate-themed afternoon tea, or to Monk Bar Chocolatiers for amazing hand-moulded treats in the shape of everything from stilettos to swans.
Find out more about chocolate in York
3. Get (Michelin) stars in your eyes (and mouth)
There’s a new Michelin star adorning Northern England’s culinary crown: The Man Behind the Curtain, in Leeds, wows customers and critics alike with its crazy food theatre and bizarrely named dishes – who’s up for 'Inception of a Spacecat in Black' or 'The Insecurity of Postmen in Oakley Sunglasses’? Meanwhile, Cumbria’s two Michelin-starred L’Enclume, one of England’s finest restaurants, is a destination in itself. The newly revamped Forest Side Hotel, a Victorian country house in the Lake District has lured famous chef and forager Kevin Tickle, formerly of L’Enclume, to head up its kitchen and forage food from its 46-acre grounds. Go ASAP and beat the crowds – it’s tipped for gastronomic greatness.
Find out more about L’Enclume
4. Sip Earl Grey where it was invented
Earl Grey tea is enjoyed – usually at around 4pm – all over the world, but few know it was invented in Northumberland for Charles, 2nd Earl Grey. Splendid Howick Hall is the birthplace of the famous Earl Grey tea blend. Bergamot, which gives Earl Grey tea its distinctive taste, was used to offset the taste of lime in the water from Howick Hall’s well. So there really is no better place in the world to enjoy a pot of Earl Grey than Howick Hall’s Tea House.
Find out more about Howick Hall
5. Fill up in Britain’s curry capital
The authentic Asian restaurants of Bradford are famous for making taste buds tingle; it's been named the country’s curry capital four times. With a vibrant community, a large number of historic and contemporary curry houses, authentic recipes and talented local chefs, the city of Bradford in West Yorkshire draws in foodies from far and wide. Go in September for the annual World Curry Festival.
Find out more about Bradford
6. Pop out your pinkie in Bettys Tea Rooms
Bettys, one of England’s most iconic teashops, has been serving high-class brews and dainty treats to the gentry since 1919. Afternoon tea doesn’t come any more traditional than at the original Bettys Tea Rooms in Harrogate, which transports you back to a time of high society and painstaking elegance. It’s all wrought iron canopies, elaborate window displays, polished display cabinets filled with mouthwatering treats, and staff in period dress wheeling gleaming trolleys.
Find out more about Bettys Tea Rooms
7. Feast on one of Britain’s oldest cheeses
Cheshire cheese is one of the oldest recorded named cheeses in British history and it’s still the UK's largest-selling crumbly cheese. Sample it at cheese shops, such as The Cheese Yard in Knutsford, or more structured cheese and wine tasting evenings. Indulge your cheesy love further at the International Cheese Awards at Dorfold Park near Nantwich, now running for more than 100 years.
Find out more about Cheshire cheese
8. Follow the real ale trail with Leeds Brewery
Leeds has numerous fantastic pubs to choose from but when you see the words Leeds Brewery above the door you know you’re on to a winner. In 2008 the company opened its first pub, The Midnight Bell, which was an instant success. Since then they’ve opened another five. All are distinctly different with unique characteristics ranging from red bricks fired at the start of the industrial revolution at The Midnight Bell, to original etched and bevelled glass work at The Garden Gate, to 13th century timber frames at The Duke of York.
Find out more about Leeds Brewery
9. Earn your chef’s hat at Swinton Park
Food plays a prominent role at Swinton Park, a luxury castle hotel with a stylish onsite cookery school in the Yorkshire Dales. There’s a four-acre kitchen garden, an award-winning restaurant and a cookery school. Guests can also try a range of country pursuits on the estate including fishing, golf, falconry, riding and shooting. There are splendid walks and beautiful gardens, and you can play hunter-gatherer on a foraging walk. After all that action out in the fresh air, you’ll be content to relax in the hotel’s sumptuous spa. And eat like the lord of the manor!
Find out more about Swinton Park