Best quick getaway for great restaurants
Farm-to-table in the Lake District
With a killer combo of Unesco-listed, stunningly beautiful fells and a bumper crop of restaurants that have been hoovering up awards left, right and centre, the Lake District is a shoo-in for a food-fuelled weekend break. There's everything from big hitters like Simon Rogan's L'Enclume to mid-range bistros like fish-forward Hooked in Windermere, or sweet old-school tea rooms like Gillam's in Ulverston, just to pick a few from a very, very long list. Yes, it's a fair drive from London, but stop at Tebay Services en route – home to a nose-to-tail butchery, a sit-in restaurant and a farm shop – and you'll have the best road snacks ever.
Stay: The Gilpin Hotel & Lake House, which is home to not one but two Indian-influenced restaurants, one of which has a Michelin star. From £205. thegilpin.co.uk
How to get there: Direct trains from London Euston to Oxenholme Lake District take a little under three hours, but to make the most of the area we'd recommend a car.
Best short-haul holiday for great restaurants
Fine-dining in Basel, Switzerland
Swiss culture is a wonderful mélange of German, French and Italian influences, so you know the food is going to be good – and it's also likely to contain a lot of cheese, which makes it a winner in our books. But aside from creamy, dreamy dairy, the country is home to a renowned dining scene with heaps of award-winning restaurants. For a proper insider's guide on where and what to eat, sign yourself up to Taste My Swiss City on your visit. The scheme has selected local experts across 11 cities and asked them to create self-guided walking tours based around their favourite hotspots. You'll get a list of places to visit and a ticket that'll bag you a tasting snack or drink at each restaurant or bar, as well as an insight into each city's character. For example, in Basel you'll discover rower Lukas' hidden gems, starting with aperitifs at Le Rhin Bleu at the Rhybadhusli public baths. Once you've gorged yourself, head out into Switzerland's bucolic countryside for a Heidi-style retreat.
Stay: Get your hipster on at concrete beauty Nomad in Basel, which also serves locally brewed beer and hosts open mic sessions.
From £88. nomad.ch
Getting There: British Airways flies from Heathrow to Basel from £120 return.
Best long-haul holiday for great restaurants
Sushi in Japan
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It takes five years of apprenticeship before a trainee sushi chef is even allowed to prepare sushi rice, and it takes ten years to reach head chef level. Yep, the Japanese approach to cooking – and everything, really – is as perfectionist as it comes. As you'd expect, this means there are heaps of seriously excellent restaurants across the country, with more Michelin stars than you can shake a chopstick at. If you've not been before, it makes sense to start with Japan's Golden Triangle: Tokyo, Kyoto and the Japanese Alps. For lauded, flawless sushi, head to Sushi Tokami in Tokyo's Ginza district, which only has ten seats; or for cheap but gobsmacklingly good food, get yourself to Kyoto's Nishiki Market. And if you've been to Japan before, make sure you try Kobe beef in, er, Kobe, a cosmopolitan, waterside metropolis in the island's south.
Stay: Pop-art inspired Shibuya Granbell Hotel is located close to Shibuya station. From £81. granbellhotel.jp
Getting There: Finnair flies from Heathrow to Tokyo from £1,020 return.