My 2020 Milton Keynes Hit List

As with most food and travel lovers, I don’t think I am alone in saying I have got a HUGE list of places I want to visit. It’s never-ending. From Michelin star restaurants in Japan, to street food spots in London, my obsession with trying new foods and travelling to new places shows no sign of curbing this year. Although my bucket list for the rest of the world is ever-growing, for this blog post I am going to be looking a little closer to home. Although I have lived in Milton Keynes for my whole life and have recently immersed myself in all things MK, I still have a growing list of restaurants and things I want to do.

MK is made up of lots of different areas so whilst I know places like Stony Stratford very well, in some areas, I have only really scratched the surface! Inspired by Eat with Ellen and Nicole Navigates who recently shared their local bucket lists, I thought I would share my 2020 Milton Keynes hit list with you to inspire your own. This is essentially a big to-do list of all the places I want to try and visit this year!

So in no particular order (other than alphabetical!) here is my 2020 hit list for Milton Keynes, which is slightly longer than I anticipated…

Sophie at the Sausage & Cider Festival in Milton Keynes

Blossom Room, The Hub

Blossom Room is a recent addition to Milton Keynes’ nightlife scene and has taken over the old GBK unit in The Hub. The interior had an absolutely huge makeover and features murals from local artist, Luke McDonnell and a ceiling that is covered in blossom.

It looks great and from those who have been for drinks, the feedback has been good and it looks a great place to go for a girl’s night! However, I am of course most intrigued to try the food once the kitchen is up and running. The bar is ‘Japanese-inspired’ which I really hoped would extend to the food, however, other than tempura and Teriyaki, there aren’t any other plates as such on the menu. So I think, for now, it’s the interior that is the Japanese inspired aspect. I will, of course, share my thoughts once I’ve paid it a visit!

Tree Cathedral

Milton Keynes is sometimes referred to as the ‘City of Trees’ and this year I really want to visit one of its namesakes, the Tree Cathedral, near Central MK. The photo below speaks for it really – trees planted in an avenue and join at the top to create a canopy that is reminiscent of the inside of a church.

I will definitely be heading here to take some photos when I start working on a new edition of my guide to the most Instagrammable locations in Milton Keynes!

Catch a sunrise over Campbell Park

Last year, I joined a group on Facebook called ‘Photography in Milton Keynes’ and it’s for people who enjoy photography, professionally or for a hobby. There are some fantastic photos shared in the group, including lots of sunrises and it’s made me want to get more creative with photography.

Getting up early on a clear day and going to catch a sunrise over Campbell Park is now firmly on my hitlist for MK this year!

Fratelli’s, Woburn

I am almost ashamed of how long Fratelli’s has been on my list! Fratelli’s is an Italian restaurant in Woburn and Ampthill. I’ve heard great things and everyone I know who has been there really loves it. The menu looks epic and full of traditional Italian dishes. It seems like a worthy contender for my MK Food Guide and I’m really excited to head there next week for a Friday date night with Dan!

Gabriella’s Dolci & Cucina, Olney

Gabriella’s is an Italian deli and coffee bar in Olney run by the very lovely Gabriella who is also a cake artist! The cakes that she makes look amazing and some of the food I see posted on their Instagram looks gorgeous. I really love Italian food so this is high on my list. I love an excuse to pay Olney a visit too as it’s such a pretty place.

Milton Keynes Theatre and MK Gallery at night in the rain

George Stubbs Exhibition MK Gallery

Last year, MK Gallery reopened after a huge refurbishment. It’s now become a bit of a treasure locally and has received national recognition from art critics for being one of the best galleries in the UK. I love going to the café but it’s also home to some great exhibitions too. George Stubbs: All Done By Nature is at the gallery until 26th January, so this is really something I need to tick off sooner otherwise I will miss it.

Don’t forget that MK residents visit exhibitions at the gallery free on Tuesdays and entry is free for Under 26s.

The Greenman at Eversholt

This pub is owned by Candice Brown who won the Great British Bake Off in 2016 and her brother, Ben. Another destination I have heard nothing but great things about and I definitely want to head here for a Sunday Roast at some point. I met Candice very briefly at Blackpit Brewery‘s Festival of Beer last year following her talk. She is a woman after my own heart and is a huge advocate for supporting local, independent businesses and putting money back into your local community.

Legend One Sushi Bar, Central Milton Keynes

This is another new addition to Central Milton Keynes and it’s independent! Other than Akasaka, MK is pretty void of good Japanese food and sushi. Not that I don’t love Akasaka, but it is good to have another place to go!

I was a little sceptical because it serves Chinese and Japanese food. Often this means one cuisine isn’t done as good as the other, however, I’ve heard good things and I’m really looking forward to going to try it out! Sushi and Japanese is my favourite food so I’ve got high hopes. Someone said the gyozas were the best they’ve had outside of Japan – yikes!

Leighton Buzzard

Okay, this is cheating a little bit because I know Leighton Buzzard isn’t technically Milton Keynes and it’s a different postcode, but it’s close enough! I threw out the question on my Instagram stories recently for places I should add to my food hit list, and many of them were actually in LB.

Rustico, Amore Pizza and Code & Waffle were just some of the suggestions you guys put forward so it definitely sounds like it’s worth a trip!

Olivier’s Restaurant at The Woburn Hotel

You guys know how much I love street food, but I love fine dining just as much! I would love to discover some great fine dining spots this year and top of the list is Olivier’s Restaurant at The Woburn Hotel. I had a meeting at the hotel at the end of 2019 and was blown away by the history and how beautiful it was so I hope to make a trip there this year.

Just look how stunning that food is!

Whisk Kitchen & Bar, Woburn Sands

Another new opening in MK for 2020, the Whisk Kitchen opened between Christmas and New Year after several setbacks. Serving pancakes and cocktails, this spot is a very cosy addition to Woburn Sands high street and I can’t wait to try it. The Whisk is run by the most lovely people so I really hope it’s a success.

Other places on my hit list

I mean, my list is pretty much never-ending, but here are a few more places on my hit list that I hope to visit this year.

🍋 The Plough in Simpson

🍋 Robin Hood at Clifton Reynes

🍋 Crocker’s Tring

🍋 Eileen’s of Ampthill

So, there’s my 2020 Milton Keynes hit list. I can’t wait to tick off some of these places and share my thoughts with you.

If you like to eat, explore and want to discover new places to eat in Milton Keynes, come and connect with local food lovers in my Eat & Explore MK community group on Facebook!

What’s on your Milton Keynes hit list? Have you ticked off any of these places yet?

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  1. Cat wrote:

    My sister goes to the tree cathedral every change of season to take a photo with her husband and her son as a cool way to record him changing as he gets older. It’s such a lovely backdrop for photos.
    I feel a lot of pressure about the gyozas now haha. x

    Posted 1.8.20 Reply
    • Sophie wrote:

      That is such a lovely idea! I really want to go and take some photos. Haha I’m going this weekend I’ll feedback…!

      Posted 1.8.20 Reply