With their central locations, Mercure Hotels allow you to live like a local, if only for a weekend. Take a city break and choose a base that places you in the thick of the edible action.
Scotland’s romantic capital is flush with art, history, and top-notch dining. Edinburgh’s four Michelin-starred restaurants and thriving food scene embrace Scotland’s rich natural larder of wild seafood, meat and game, as well as its infamous national dishes: haggis and black pudding. Start your day in the heart of Edinburgh with a room at either the Mercure Edinburgh Haymarket Hotel. Both centrally located, you’ll step out into stirring views of Edinburgh Castle and great brunch options are only a short walk away. The Scottish National Gallery café serves a fine incarnation of Scotland’s best-known produce. Order award-winning Findlay’s haggis, black pudding and sautéed mushrooms, which will set you up for an afternoon meandering the narrow closes and wynds of the nearby Old Town. Once you’ve worked up an appetite again, experience Edinburgh’s finest fine-dining at Tom Kitchin’s Michelin-starred The Kitchin with the eight-course Surprise Tasting Menu. After, head towards iconic comedy club The Stand for an evening of stand up. Dinner in Edinburgh leaves you spoiled for choice. For a great-value supper, check out Bia Bistrot which puts a European spin on classic Scottish dishes such as Cullen skink, or if you really want to live it up with more Michelin-starred cuisine, then visit Food and Travel favourite Restaurant Martin Wishart set on the bank of Edinburgh’s historic Port of Leith. This is not a city to miss a nightcap, so head to the Mercure Edinburgh Princes Street Bar for a late-night dram or a classic whisky-mac before turning in and starting over again.
Dining in London has no rules and few limits (namely, the British weather and the depth of your pockets). You’re in for a treat at any time of day. Fancy fizz and pizza for breakfast? Old Street’s PizzaBuzz serves a wood-fired full English pizza from 11am that comes with bottomless prosecco. Craving artisan doughnuts? Head to St. John Bread and Wine opposite Smithfield Market and take your fill. There are 53 Michelin-starred restaurants in England’s capital and hearty pub food to be found on every corner. With such a boundless and cosmopolitan food scene, all appetites are catered for. If you’re interested in literary London, make Mercure London Hyde Park your home. Visit The Wolseley in Piccadilly (a favourite of the late food-critic AA Gill) and Fortnum and Mason for an afternoon tea that would knock the socks off of any discerning food lover. For the evening, settle in at Alain Ducasse’s three-star Michelin restaurant at The Dorchester for an evening of modern fine dining, and cap it with an ice-cold Martini at the legendary Dukes Bar. Alternatively, if you prefer market-bustle and down-to-earth eats, start your day with the award-winning breakfast at Riding House Café on Great Titchfield Street, followed by an afternoon sampling artisan produce at London’s oldest food market, Borough Market. Head east for dinner at Michelin-starred Lyle’s in Shoreditch and mind-blowing cocktails a short walk away at the speakeasy-style Nightjar before heading back to your room at Mercure London Bridge. Whichever side of London you choose, you can find one of Mercure’s seven locally-inspired hotels in the thick of the action for a sound night’s sleep and fresh ideas for the new day.
The West Country’s primary city is a hub of culture and creativity. Bristol has famously green-fingered locals (the city won European Green Capital of the year in 2015) who insist on local, sustainable produce wherever possible. It’s not hard to see why either. Bristol is bound on all sides by acres of rich farmland, which supply its chefs with tangy cheeses, rich meats, superb fruit and vegetables and enviable wines and ciders. Start your day at the Source Food Hall & Café for the perfect introduction to the West Country’s natural larder. The Food Hall is a showcase for the freshest local produce from Exmoor mussels and Cornish crab, to Somerset cheddar and cider. Once you’ve worked up an appetite grab a free-range full English or vegetarian brunch in Source’s Café. Afterwards, take a stroll along Bristol’s harbour before stopping in at Poco tapas bar. Classic dishes are the saddleback pork belly with fennel and labneh with buckwheat and rose, and fried oysters – all sourced within 50km of the restaurant. Bristol is the UK’s first Cycling City, so rent some wheels to soak up as much as you can of the Old City, or join a Banksy walking tour if you’re curious about Bristol’s enigmatic street artist. For dinner, the whole lemon sole with burnt lemon and seaweed butter at Michelin-starred The Pony & Trap is not to be missed. Mercure offer a variety of hotels to further indulge in Bristol’s youthful city and stunning surrounds. The Mercure Bristol Grand Hotel, Mercure Bristol Holland House Hotel and Mercure Bristol Brigstow Hotel place you in the heart of the Old City and will suit urbanites and culture-crawlers eager to seek out new culinary delights the next day. Mercure Bristol North The Grange Hotel is a rural escape situated in 18-acres of landscaped gardens in the tranquil North Bristol countryside. It has its own AA rosette awarded restaurant, The Acorn, and an after-dinner gin and tonic menu if you want to unwind in the beautifully sculpted gardens with a local tipple.
This article was published on 19th May 2017 so certain details may not be up to date.