- Le Gavroche (London; tel. 020/7408-0881): Long known for its top-rate French cuisine, this stellar restaurant has risen to the top again following a bit of a slump in the 1990s. Come here for that grand meal and skip the trip to Paris (we don't really mean that). The menu options are a delight, with such tantalizing dishes as a cassoulet of snails with herb-seasoned frogs' legs. Naturally, the wine cellar is among London's finest.
- The Square (London; tel. 020/7495-7100): One of the great London restaurants to have emerged in the 21st century, this gourmet citadel is the domain of master chef Philip Howard, whose Continental cuisine has dazzled the food critics of London. Howard is justifiably praised for his "magic" in the kitchen and for his use of "stunningly fresh" ingredients, which he deftly concocts into masterpieces.
- Pied-à-Terre (London; tel. 020/7636-1178): Chef Shane Osborn lures some of the most cultivated palates in London to this bastion of French cuisine, the best dining choice in Bloomsbury when you're visiting the British Museum. A classical technique is combined with modern inventiveness, and the well-crafted dishes have both flair and flavor.
- Le Manoir aux Quat' Saisons (Great Milton, southeast of Oxford, Oxfordshire; tel. 800/237-1236 in the U.S., or 01844/278881): The country-house hotel and restaurant of self-taught chef Raymond Blanc have brought him a TV series, as well as cookbooks and a school of cuisine. A new lightness, inspired mainly by Japan and the Mediterranean, is more evident in the celebrated chef's creations, and more meatless dishes appear on the seasonal menu. But the intensely French loyalties remain: sweetbread-stuffed pigs' trotters, kidneys, foie gras, and even veal tongue.
- Le Champignon Sauvage (Cheltenham, the Cotswolds; tel. 01242/573449): David Everitt-Matthias has awakened the sleepy taste buds of Cheltenham. Thoroughly imbued in the French classics, he also adds more modern and lighter touches to his table d'hôte menus, the finest at this old spa. Some dishes reach into the old English repertoire, including stuffed leg of wild rabbit served with black pudding and turnip sauerkraut. His desserts are acclaimed as the most luscious in England.
- The Moody Goose (Bath, Somerset; tel. 01761/416784): The spa city of Bath offers some of the finest dining in the West Country and, in Bath itself, this English restaurant is the market leader. A most refined cuisine is served here, in an elegant Georgian setting. The kitchen is known for its passion for fresh ingredients, and everything is cooked to order and to perfection.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.