Eat around the world in Bucks and Oxon
Travel may me off the table, but that doesn't mean you're resigned to fish and chips alone! Travel via your tastebuds with these global restaurants on our doorstep.
Hidden away in Liston Court just off the main high street, this cool, relaxed venue has the feel of Italian cafe culture down, and the menu to match. The boards in particular slip down nicely with an Aperol spritz.
Villa Marina, Henley
This family-run restaurant by Henley bridge was opened by Fabio Terrinoni back in the 90s, and has been dishing up a lip-smacking variety of authentic Italian dishes ever since. Not only is the food delicious, but the restaurant’s size and central location also makes it a perfect venue for occasions.
MIYA in Aylesbury
A stylish Japanese bar and grill in the middle of town, MIYA boasts not one but FOUR (count ’em) kitchens: the main kitchen, the Sushi counter, the Robata grill and Teppanyaki. The interiors are just as varied, with an opulent bar area for cocktails and a traditional dining table area where you’re seated on the floor.
Sushi-lovers should hotfoot it to tiny Taberu on the Cowley Road for a huge selection of options of sashimi, hand rolls, nigiri and more. Not a fish fan? No fear – the bento boxes and ramen bowls here are also excellent.
A delicious blend of modern British and classic French cooking, Michelin-starred Artichoke is a mainstay of Bucks fine dining – ideal if you’re after a little Gallic haute cuisine. Treat yourself to a tasting menu and wine flight for a special occasion.
La Table d’Alix at The Haseley Plough, Great Haseley
Run by a French couple, La Table d’Alix is a hidden gem with plenty of traditional dishes (think moules frites, Périgord duck breast, Dauphinois potatoes and bouillabaisse) and – naturellement – a wine list to match.
Efes Wine & Tapas Bar, Little Chalfont
Expect a blend of Spanish tapas and Turkish mezze at this friendly bolthole in Little Chalfont – as well as a surprising selection of cocktails. In fact, they’re so loved by locals that Efes was recently awarded ‘Best Restaurant in Little Chalfont’ by Restaurant Guru.
La Bobina, Faringdon
Reservations recommended at this buzzing Faringdon tapas bar, as the eclectic interiors, live music, and extensive selection of gins make this a weekend staple with Faringdon residents. Personally, I recommend going with a group and ordering one of their Feast menus – it’s too hard to make a decision otherwise!
If you’re wondering where on earth this Scandi eatery is, you’d be forgiven for missing it – it’s secreted away on top of John Lewis in Westgate, but can only be accessed by a separate lift. Once you get up there, the menu is a delight of curing, pickling and smoking. The sharing boards in particular are excellent.
This cool Muddy Award-winner is one of my favourite cafe experiences (not least because you can also shop for gifts and homeware while you’re there). NORSK is open for breakfast and lunch, and the Norwegian-inspired menu changes weekly.
Giggling Squid, Marlow
After its facelift last year, this Marlow favourite is more popular than ever, and we’re always tempted to pop in for their lunchtime tapas menu when we’re in that neck of the woods. Expect refreshingly authentic Thai food, particularly considering it’s a chain.
Oli’s Thai, Oxford
Tiny but mighty, Oli’s Bib Gourmand reputation often precedes it (booking is strongly recommended). It’s currently operating on a takeaway-only basis, but it’s well worth ordering for a Friday night treat to tide you over until the restaurant opens again.
It may look like nothing from the outside, but step inside this warm Turkish restaurant and you’ll be immediately hit with delicious smells. The menu features a host of Anatolian dishes, including mezze and traditional barbecue.
Antep Kitchen, Milton Keynes
Now you know these guys are the real deal, as they’ve been nominated in multiple categories at the British Kebab Awards (there is such a thing). Before you start picturing greasy takeaways, the menu is beautifully varied, with chargrilled meat, fish and veggies served with couscous and delicious Turkish bread.
Radhuni, Princes Risborough
Your standard Friday night curry house, this is not. Instead, Radhuni is an award-winning Indian and Bangladeshi restaurant situated in Princes Risborough’s historic Old Library. There’s even a complimentary drinks trolley wheeled out at the end of your meal – yes please.
The Standard, Jericho
Good things come in small packages, and that’s certainly the case for this diddy Bengali and South Asian restaurant in the heart of Oxford’s Jericho. The menu isn’t extensive but is perfectly formed, and has lots of great veggie options.
Prefer a staycation? Here’s a taste of modern British…
The Wild Rabbit, Kingham
A Cotswold pub with superb fine dining (it made the list of Top 50 Gastropubs 2020), The Wild Rabbit’s farm-to-table ethos means the seasonal menu is full of mouth-watering local fare such as Wootton Estate venison wellington and native lobster Thermidor.
The Nut Tree Inn, Murcott
A Michelin-starred pub on our doorstep? Don’t mind if we do! Food is served Tuesday to Saturday, and for an occasion you can’t go wrong with the fabulous tasting menus.