Food Miles: Cutting-edge cuisine at Britain's country-house hotels

Imagine yourself on a weekend away at a British country-house hotel, and thoughts of afternoon tea on the terrace and reading the papers over a full English breakfast may well spring to mind. But those traditions have now been supplemented by some of the most modern cooking happening anywhere in the country.

Mange Tout, By Bruno Loubet

"OH JESUS." Such is the two-word response fired back at me by a friend on receipt of my latest invitation to be a gastronomic guinea pig for this column. But then, to be fair to her, she was present at my inaugural Cooking the Books dinner, aka "The Gwyneth Paltricide"; this time, I assure her, I'm dealing with a far more benevolent recipe provider, namely Bruno Loubet.

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Restaurant Story, 201 Tooley Street, London SE1

Can you judge a book by its cover? Not in the case of Story, the white-hot new restaurant housed in what looks like a garden centre on a traffic island just south of the Thames in Bermondsey.