"BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art is one of the best ways of getting a panoramic view of Newcastle"
A creative family institution in Leeds
Food is taken very seriously indeed at Anthony's, Leeds' highly renowned family-owned establishment. In fact, complete attention, skill and artistic flourish go into every dish. The eight-course tasting menu at £65 a head may not be cheap, but who can resist demolishing dishes like sea bass with smoked bone marrow and chanterelle? It's almost too beautiful to eat, and it gets quirkier.
'Anthony's is a creative restaurant that works hard to think out of the box and deliver a product that cannot be replicated at home,' explains executive chef Anthony James. 'We use an array of ingredients from across the world to create dishes in our own unique style.' If you're looking for a really decadent night, the accompanying wine flight at £45 per head will make the evening a blissful if somewhat heady experience. Got an adventurous foodie on your hands? Try the roast pineapple, black olive and Brie ice cream - it might sound strange, but it works. What makes Anthony's really special, though, is that there's a whole lot of exciting molecular gastronomy on the menu, but not a hint of pomposity.
Michelin-starred magic in Cartmel
In search of culinary adventure? Then head to L'Enclume in Cartmel, where food is an art form - and we're talking plates to rival the Louvre. The dishes might be as delicate as the peaceful lakeland surrounds, but the flavour combinations are intense: think cod 'yolk', sage cream and radish, or White Lady beans and duck sweetbreads. Courses come in sets of 12, and having been awarded a second Michelin star now is the perfect time to visit- plus, if it's good enough for Rob Brydon and Steve Coogan in BBC2's The Trip, it's good enough for us.
Famous for using the very freshest, local and even foraged ingredients, the chefs at L'Enclume have shunned the idea of sticking to a standard menu and combine their expert heads to make every meal a unique and exciting experience. In the words of chef/proprietor Simon Rogan: 'Customers come to L'Enclume and sit at our tables to get a real taste of our surroundings.' You'll be dining out on the very best of molecular gastronomy, but the ambience is peaceful and comfortable, and the service is seamless but not stuffy.
Underground gastronomy in Manchester
Head below ground to Australasia's super-slick basement in Manchester and you'll sample Australian cuisine with a whole lot of fusion influence, from Japanese to European.
If you fancy a cocktail (or three) the menu combines cool and fruity concoctions from the Kiwi and Honey Crush to the downright saucy Sexiest Singapore Sling, both under £8. Mulling through the menu may take some time, as there are ample dishes to choose from. If you can bear to share then try 'going local' and choose a variety of smaller dishes like Tasmanian kingfish or soft shell crab - it's the best way of making the most of the menu. Just remember to leave room for pudding: the mango soufflé with coconut ice cream and mango soup is a highlight.
If you fancy staying out after eating then you need not leave your seat: after 11pm the restaurant opens the Late Lounge where you can hear resident and guest DJs at work and, if you're not too full, you can dance off your dinner.
A room with a view in Newcastle
Specialising in modern British cuisine, Six is situated on the rooftop of the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art and is one of the best ways of getting a panoramic view of Newcastle. In fact, one of the most spectacular viewpoints is from the ladies' toilets, so if you can it's well worth popping in for a visit - not recommended for the gentlemen among us, mind.
If art gets your appetite going then you'll be ready to tuck into gastronomic delights like pork belly, piperade and kale, and that's without mentioning the divine triple-cooked chips. Dishes are simple, but well executed using fresh and local ingredients. The Sunday lunch menu is particularly great value, with starters at £5 and mains averaging around £13, although you might need to loosen your belt by dessert. To see it at its best, make your visit a night-time one when the river and city are aglow around you. It's worth booking to nab a window table, but if you suffer from vertigo consider yourself warned.
Michael Caines at Abode, Manchester
This sleek restaurant offers a £14.50 set lunch menu - surely one of the best foodie deals in town, with an emphasis on quality over quantity.
Le Langhe, York
Dine out on some of York's finest food at La Langhe, with a starter, pasta course, main course and a dessert, as well as a glass of good wine, all chosen by the chef for £22.50.
Two Fat Ladies at the Buttery, Glasgow
This well-known spot specialises in seafood and offers an intimate atmosphere. Book the lunch or theatre menu and enjoy three courses for £19.50.