Close encounters: The UK’s best Chef’s Tables

enclume development tableThis week we’ve rounded up the Top 20 Chef’s Tables from across the country. Often considered to be the best seat in the house, chef’s tables and kitchen counters offer those who want to know how the sausage is made the chance to look behind the scenes and interact with the chefs too. The experience isn’t for everyone, but for those who don’t want to miss a single seared scallop, here’s where we suggest you find a perch by the stoves…

Aulis at L’Enclume, Cartmel

Aulis at L’Enclume menu: £150 pp (wine pairing £80 pp)

Recently refurbished, the new Aulis is a unique and interactive dining experience going ‘behind the scenes’ of Simon Rogan’s famous L’Enclume. There are just six seats at this chef’s table and development kitchen, which offers guests the chance to get a first taste of dishes before they appear on the main restaurant’s menu.

 

paris houseParis House, Woburn

Chef’s table menu with paired wines: £195 pp

Guests at the chef’s table receive champagne and canapés on arrival followed by a 14 course bespoke tasting menu with paired wines and coffee and petits-fours to finish. Available for lunch or dinner for up to eight people. Eight and 10 course tasting menus are also available at the chef’s table, at £91 and £109 respectively. Wine flights can be added at £65-77 per person.

 

northcotechefstable-006Northcote, Langho

Gourmet menu: £75 pp (wine pairing £51.10 pp)

Tasting menu: £95 pp (wine pairing £81.60 pp)

Take a seat at the chef’s table in the heart of Northcote’s kitchen where you can enjoy a bespoke menu for up to 14 guests. There is a one-off charge of £100 for lunch and £150 for dinner at this special private dining room.

 

Exterior Sat BainsRestaurant Sat Bains, Nottingham

Seven-course tasting menu: £95 pp

Ten-course tasting menu: £130 pp

Seating four-eight guests this bench-style solid oak table with high stools looks directly onto the savoury kitchen. The chef’s table can be booked for lunch and dinner Tuesday-Saturday.

 

the-passThe Pass, South Lodge Hotel, Horsham

Tasting dinner menu: £80-90 pp (wine pairing £70-80 pp)

Here the entire restaurant is one big chef’s table. “Elevated banks of seats and high chairs designed to allow full visibility of the open kitchen opposite, and where the chefs serve and explain dishes.” Matt Gillan left after a decade at the stoves in spring 2016 to be replaced by ex-Samling maestro, Ian Swainson.

 

The Yorke Arms, Ramsgill-in-Nidderdale

Tasting menu: £85 per person (wine pairing £60 pp)

The chef’s table experience at The Yorke Arms takes place not in the kitchen, but in the centre of their extensive fruit and vegetable gardens. Diners are housed in a tented dining pavilion known as ‘the onion’, which features an open fire and round dining table. It holds up to eight people and guests can either order from the restaurant à la carte or the garden tasting menu.

 

Bohemia, Jersey

Tasting menu: £79 pp, Prestige menu: £89 pp

This ‘behind the scenes’ experience includes a choice between the chef’s selection of tasting menus or the Prestige menu. Set in the heart of the kitchen, this air-conditioned private table seats 4-6 diners.

 

Fischers at Baslow Hall, Baslow

Taste of Britain lunch menu: £70 pp (£110 pp with wine pairings)

Taste of Britain dinner menu: £95 pp (£145 pp with wine pairings)

The tasting bench provides a front-row seat for two-four guests, looking directly into Fischer’s kitchen. Guests will dine from a special Taste of Britain menu. To fully appreciate the experience staff recommend arriving for lunch at noon and at 7 pm for dinner.

 


The Three Chimneys-4Y7Z1335-Photograph by Angus Bremner copyThe Three Chimneys, Dunvegan

Skye, Land and Sea Tasting menu: £110 pp (wine pairing £55 pp)

There’s no partition between you and the kitchen at the celebrated Isle of Skye restaurant, guests are right in the centre of the action. The table can seat eight people and is available for exclusive parties or can be shared with others.

 

School-01-638x320Samuel’s, Swinton Park Hotel & Spa, Masham

Chef’s Table menu: £58 pp

Enjoy a gourmet menu, specially designed for you and served at the Demonstration Table in the stylish yet informal surroundings of the Cookery School. The price includes a glass of bubbly on arrival.

 

LONDON

dinner chefs tableDinner, Mandarin Oriental  SW1

Five-course lunch menu: £145 pp or eight-courses: £175 pp

Six-course dinner menu: £165 pp or nine-courses: £225 pp

The chef’s table is situated directly opposite the custom-built show kitchen and accommodates four-six guests. Enjoy a tasting menu created by exec chef Ashley Palmer-Watts, as well as a tour of the kitchen, and your own dedicated sommelier.

 

petrus kitchen tablePétrus SW1

Chef’s table experience: £145 pp

Accommodating up to eight, the kitchen table overlooks the pass. Converse with the chefs as they create a seven-course, bespoke menu tailored to your tastes. Plus you’ll have your own personal sommelier on-hand to match each course, and the opportunity to get involved in the cooking.. Available for lunch or dinner.

 


CT kitchen viewMarcus, The Berkeley W1

Five-course tasting menu: £105 pp (wine pairings £75 or £175 pp)

Eight-course tasting menu: £120 pp (wine pairings £95 or £195 pp)

Grab a front row seat to one of London’s best chef’s tables. Marcus offers an immersive, memorable dining experience in a private space overlooking the restaurant’s kitchen. Watch as your five or eight course tasting menu dishes are created and presented in front of your party. And their head sommelier can create wine pairings for your meal, either working to a budget or through a recommended selection.

 

Soak up the atmosphere and watch Corrigan’s team of chef’s create a memorable meal. The room is situated almost within the kitchen – it is Richard Corrigan’s personal library, with many of his books adorning the walls. The Kitchen Library seats up to six diners. There is also a Chef’s Table, seating up to 12, which looks into the kitchen through a glass window.

 

muranochefs-tableMurano W1

Chef’s table lunch menu: £85 pp

Chef’s table dinner menu: £115 pp

The private room, seating up to 12 guests, features a retractable glass wall and a window offering a direct view into the kitchen. Guests can select a set menu or Angela and her team can devise a bespoke menu with matching wines.

 

kitchen tableKitchen Table, Bubbledogs W1

Tasting menu: £125 pp

The set tasting menu of contemporary British cooking, consists of 12 courses, which changes daily. Guests can see chef James Knappett and his team prepare, serve, and talk diners through the different dishes. Wine pairings are available from Sandia Chang’s (wife of James) carefully curated list.

 

urlCity Social EC2

Three-course menu: £75 pp

Six-course tasting menu: £125 pp

The chef’s table at Jason Atherton’s swish city venture at Tower 42 seats six-10 guests with views of both the kitchen and the London skyline. It operates by a minimum spend of £,1000 plus service and the six-course tasting menu is exclusive to this lovely private room.

 

chefs-table-1600x1200

Angler EC2

Eight-course tasting menu: £100 pp

Six-course tasting menu: £80 pp

Four-course tasting menu: £65 pp

For special occasions, Angler’s Chef’s View is a semi-private table seating up to 14, showing their chefs at work with vistas of iconic City landmarks such as The Gherkin and the Salesforce Tower.

 

Merchants Tavern EC2

Five-course tasting menu: £50 pp (£80 pp with wine pairing)

Seven-course tasting menu: £60 pp (£100 pp with wine pairing)

The counter directly overlooks the “cook line” offering a unique perspective on a working kitchen and it’s the chefs that serve you. Merchants Tavern take bookings of anything between two and 10 guests; you can order from the dining room menu or let the chef decide for you.

 

Hedone W4

Tasting menu: £95 pp

Carte Blanche menu: £135 pp

Mikael Jonsson and his “totally committed” team create “an extraordinary culinary experience”behind a “modest” façade in outer-Chiswick (where sitting at the counter watching the preparation is a popular option). Wine pairings are available for both lunch and dinner.

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