Frank Melling, Thundersprint motorbike - My Favourite 5

Frank Melling is the man with the key role in staging the Thundersprint motorbike in Northwich every year. He says:'My favourite five restaurants are utterly honest, lots of fun and all very memorable in their own way.'

Frank Melling is the man with the key role in staging the Thundersprint motorbike in Northwich every year. He’s an enthusiastic cook and says his favourite time of the day is preparing dinner. He says:’My favourite five restaurants are utterly honest, lots of fun and all very memorable in their own way.’

Dysart ArmsBowes Gate Road, Bunbury, near TarporleyCW6 9PHPhone: 01829 260183The Dysart Arms is like going round to your mate’s house for a really good meal. The menu is mainstream, but top-end, gastro pub. The welcome is outstanding and there are big tables where you can spread out and relax next to real log fires complete with spitting wood and a proper smell. Absolutely on the money for a country gastro pub.

 

H�tel du Grand Canyon du VerdonFalaise des Cavaliers - D7183630 Aiguines, FrancePhone: 00 33 4 94 76 91 31Absolutes are always tricky but if there is a better restaurant view anywhere in France, I’ve never seen it. The restaurant terrace balances on the very edge of the Gorges du Verdon – Europe’s very own Grand Canyon – and the view is breath-taking. The food is French bistro – but fairly priced and unpretentious. The service is very rural French – and therefore seriously quirky. Accept it with a smile as part of the experience - or be prepared to sulk.

Agra Fort1-7 Cambridge Rd, Ellesmere PortCheshire, CH65 4AEPhone: 0151 355 1516The back streets of Ellesmere Port are perhaps not the first place you would think of for what is one of Cheshire’s best Indian restaurants – but that’s where the Agra Fort is located. It’s not the poshest Indian restaurant in the county but the food is outstanding – both in terms of quality and value – and the service is impeccable. Best of all the Agra Fort is still family owned and although Mr. Thalukear no longer cooks, the kitchen staff prepare the food to his demanding standards.

Le Jardin de FiorineRue Georges Cousot 3, Dinant, BelgiumPhone: 00 32 82 22 74 74It’s a myth to think that the finest haute cuisine French cooking is in France: the true home of this branch of gastronomy is the Wallonia region of Belgium. Yes, the Le Jardin de Fiorine in Dinant is a bit stuffy but goodness me the food is three steps better than superb, the service is sublime and ambience a foody’s paradise. The wine list matches the quality of the food - but without big city price hikes.If you are on the way to Germany or Luxembourg, take a diversion off the E 411/E42 for a visit. It’s worth the detour.

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Santa Maria Restaurant St. Augustine135 Avenida MenendezSaint Augustine, FL 32085Phone: 00 1 904 829 6578There are not many restaurants in America on a site nearly 300 years old. The Santa Maria is perched on the old Spanish wharf jutting out into the intercoastal waterway at St Augustine, Florida, America’s oldest city.The food is archetypal American but with high quality ingredients. Steaks, fish and seafood are all 100% honest and between courses the waiters will give you bread to drop through hatches next to your table, for the mullet and catfish which come for their nightly feed: a great experience.

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