Guess What These 24 Incredible Restaurants Have In Common?
Yesterday was one of the most important days in the restaurant industry, the day that the results of the UK and Ireland Michelin Guide were announced, a day that Gordon Ramsay labelled “the Oscars of the food industry,” and a very exciting one for us at The Handbook. The term Michelin Guides comes from a series of guide books published by the French tyre company Michelin , the first Michelin star came to London in 1977. The term normally refers to the annually published Michelin Red Guide which is one of the oldest European hotel and restaurant reference guides, which awards up to three Michelin stars for excellence to a select few establishments. A restaurant can be made or broken by the acquisition or loss of it’s star/s.
Whilst no London restaurants took home the three stars this year, sweeping up the two stars were Core by Clare Smyth and Kitchen Table, cementing the fact that it is famously hard to obtain the commendation and so big congratulations go to all the chefs and restaurants who have scooped up one (or two!) this year. It’s time to update our restaurant bucket list.
In London they were as follows:
Core by Clare Smyth
It’s without a doubt that Clare Smyth should have a smile as big as the one picture above, as her restaurant, Core, sweeps up two Michelin Stars at this years’ awards. She was the caterer for Harry and Meghan’s evening wedding reception and now she’s got two stars shining brightly by the name of her first solo career, which has been open just over one year. Gordon Ramsay has labelled his ex-chef the “Margaret Thatcher of cooking,” for her restaurant that serves up seasonal British fine dining.
Where: Notting Hill Brasserie, 92 Kensington Park Road, W11 2PN
This 19-seat U-shaped table around a cooking station has swooped up not one but two Michelin Stars this year. The Fitzrovia restaurant won its second Michelin star at the awards last night, with the first being awarded in 2015 just a year after opening. The restaurant specialises in small European dishes located at the back of Bubbledogs in Fitzrovia.
Where: 70 Charlotte Street, Fitzrovia, W1T 4QQ
Roganic first opened in 2011 in Marylebone as a two-year pop-up now has a Michelin star – impressive! Simon Rogan’s restaurant serves up foraged ingredients and mirrors the original pop-up, Roganic is all about informal dining and imaginative, innovative menu which uses the finest ingredients from around the country, including Simon’s ‘Our Farm’ in the Lake District. They also bring back many of the original Roganic team to run the restaurant, with the kitchen run by Head Chef Oliver Marlow, who has worked his way up through Simon’s kitchen.
The pop-up originally received high-acclaim and now its set to do just the same this time round… except this time you don’t have to panic about not getting a seat, as it’s here to stay.
Where: 5-7 Blandford Street, Marylebone, W1U 3DB
Leroy only opened up this year – and now the East London restaurant has grabbed enough attention to take home a Michelin star. Leroy is a new Parisian-style wine bar and bistro probably with a huge smile on its face after winning the star.
Where: 18 Phipp Street, EC2A 4NU
Nieves Barragan and José Etura’s restaurant Sabor also made it onto the Michelin Guide, taking home its first Michelin star just months after opening. Sabor (meaning flavour in Spanish) takes you on a journey from the tapas bars of Andalucía through to the asadors of Castile and the seafood restaurants of Galicia.
Where: 35-37 Heddon St, Mayfair, W1B 4BR
Ikoyi have been awarded their first Michelin star! Their first location opened up in July 2017, and Head Chef Jeremy Chan says: “We’ve had some fantastic feedback from customers, critics and guides about the food at Ikoyi but, to be perfectly honest, I didn’t think we would receive this accolade so soon – we’ve only been open for 14 months.” Well, you’ve done it Ikoyi! The cuisine promotes a modern twist on authentic West African flavours.
Where: 1 St. James’s Market, SW1Y 4AH
If achieving a Michelin Star wasn’t already impressive, Brat in Hackney has strikingly only been open for six months, making it a real newcomer to the restaurant scene. The new barbecue restaurant from Chef Tomos Parry features strong Basque influences on the menu with an open wood fire grill.
Where: Redchurch Street, Shoreditch, E1 6JJ,
And outside of London
Moor Hall, Lancashire
What’s better than one Michelin star? Two of course. Moor Hall in Lancashire has impressively managed to bag itself two shining stars for its luxury restaurant. Located in a majestic thirteenth century manor house in the rolling Lancashire countryside, Moor Hall brings you modern British cuisine at its best. At the helm of this culinary trailblazer is talented chef patron, Mark Birchall. A Lancashire lad born and bred, Roux Scholarship winner Mark has led an award-full chef-ing career. Inspired by the beautiful surroundings, Mark centres his menus on the abundant home grown produce. The presentation is on point – seasonal delicacies are served up on local pottery platters. The fabled cheese room is a real highlight, showcasing the best of British fromage – not one to brie missed!
Where: Moor Hall, Prescot Road, Aughton, Ormskirk L39 6RT
Another starry winner from the West Country, Bulrush sits at the heart of the thriving foodie scene in Bristol. The restaurant is owned by chef Roux-sponsored George Livesey, who hails from the Peak District and has worked in several notable restaurants including Club Gascon and White Rabbit. Together with his partner Katherine Craughwell, George cooks up a storm, with an eight or nine course tasting menu on offer as well as bountiful a la carte options. From butternut squash ice cream to red cabbage gazpacho, Bulrush dishes are fizzing with flavour and popping with perfection.
Where: 21 Cotham Road S, Bristol BS6 5TZ
The Olive Tree, Bath
Tucked away in one of Bath’s finest townhouses, better known as the Queensberry Hotel, you will find this little gem – The Olive Tree. Big dog chef Chris Cleghorn is committed to sourcing local produce from the nearby hills and vales of the bucolic Somerset countryside. Since 2013 Chris has been crafting exquisite dishes, available on an impressive selection of tasting menus. This is every vegetarian’s heaven, with multiple mouth-watering meat-free options. The service and attention to detail in The Olive Tree doesn’t go unnoticed, thanks to Laurence and Helen Beere, managers of the restaurant, who believe that modern comfort is critical in a top-notch culinary experience. Stylish, with a measured touch of the eccentric, this is a west country cuisine gem.
Where: 4-7 Russell Street, Bath BA1 2QF
Fordwich Arms, Kent
In Britain’s smallest town, you will find one of its greatest gourmet pubs. Fordwich Arms, in Fordwich, Kent, has been recently refurbished and is home to chef-patron Daniel Smith. Daniel was awarded The Observer Young Chef of the Year Award in 2016 and not for any old reason. The man can cook. With a seasonal menu, Daniel demonstrates the flavour and variety of local Kentish ingredients, whilst keeping his dishes full of ambition and modern Michelin mastery. In terms of vibe, this pub errs on arts and crafty, coupled with the classic pubby comfort of open fires and oak panelling. In the summer months, visitors can luxuriate on the dining terrace overlooking the picturesque river Stour. Not too bad at all.
Where: King Street, Fordwich, Canterbury, CT2 0DB
Rogan & Co, Cumbria
Simon Rogan – the bigwig, the real deal, the top banana of the British foodie scene. Rogan & Co, found in the Cumbrian village of Cartmel, is Simon’s latest addition to his growing culinary cartel (or the latest extension to Roganville, as some are calling it). Rogan & co was set up to offer a relaxed way to enjoy incredible food. Emphasis is once again on home grown and local delicacies, from wood pigeon to smoked eel, the creativity and finesse in the menu is distinctively Rogan-esque and, if you happen to be near Cartmel, not one to miss.
Where: Devonshire Square, Cartmel, Grange-over-Sands LA11 6QD
Gidleigh Park, Devon
Cornish turbot, leeks, purple sprouting and caviar hollandaise. If this sounds up your street/ lane / path then you need to head over to Gidleigh Park in Chagford, Devon. Awarded a Michelin star for its impeccable culinary competence, Gidleigh Park is a Tudor manor house, set in over one hundred acres of woodland in the wilds of Dartmoor National Park. Known for its old school charm and high standards, visitors to Gidleigh Park are numerous, now more than ever, thanks to new chef Chris Simpson. Chris was the former head chef at Nathan Outlaw’s restaurant in Port Isaac, Cornwall, and specialises in pared down, simple dishes with a subtle twist. It’s not just foodies who flock here, but also wine nerds. With over 13 000 bottles from around the globe, Gidleigh Park boasts an internationally renowned wine cellar to match its Michelin-renowned food. Cheers to that.
Where: Gidleigh Park Hotel, Chagford, Newton Abbot TQ13 8HH
Sorrel, in Surrey, epitomises modern fine dining. The restaurant’s nine course tasting menu really is the talk of the county. The eating experience here is polished, very Surrey – plush new carpets, an abundance of tastefully exposed wooden beams and lovely hand wash in the loos. It’s not cheap, but then that doesn’t really come as a surprise. The food is mind-blowing but delicate, which is what you’d expect from Steve Drake, head chef and British food guru for more than 25 years. Rumours are that the place is fully booked for the next four months. Now that’s what I call popular.
Where: 77 South Street, Dorking RH4 2JU
White Swan, Lancashire
If you’ve heard of the village of Fence in Lancashire, then you obviously know your (geographical) stuff. Unimposing, petite and semi-rural, you are forgiven if Fence doesn’t ring a bell. However, things are changing for Fence, and that’s thanks to a certain young chef named Tom Parker. The White Swan is lucky to have such an innovative and original man in the kitchen. Along with its cheery front of house team, this pub champions outstanding, flavour-ful food, with daily menus that are impressively affordable. A phenomenal pub that fees genuinely invested in creating the best food, and giving the best culinary experience. The White Swan is finally putting Fence on the map.
Where: White Swan Hotel, 300 Wheatley Lane Road, Fence, Burnley BB12 9QA
Tim Allen’s Flitch of Bacon, Essex
The Flitch of Bacon (FoB) is proudly and loudly claiming its title as the only Michelin-starred restaurant in Essex. Tucked away in the village of Little Dunmow, this modern British restaurant-cum-pub is all about locally-sourced, season-abiding top-quality nosh. The pub was bought by chef Daniel Clifford back in 2015. Earlier this year, Tim Allen was brought onboard and appointed as chef partner at the FoB. Tim and Daniel have previously worked together at well-renowned Midsummer House in Cambridge, and the FoB succeeds in emulating equal culinary acclaim. Sophisticated, delicious, yet relaxed enough for families, dogs and children, FoB is a shining beacon of cuisine light in an otherwise rather gloomy county.
Where: The St, Little Dunmow, Dunmow CM6 3HT
Blackbird, West Berkshire
The Blackbird, in the idyllic village of Bagnor, is at first rather unimposing; a simple country pub not dissimilar to any other. However upon further inspection, it becomes clear that The Blackbird is actually something quite special. A rural gastro pub that specialises in top calibre dishes, nailing the in between of hearty, crowd-pleasing grub and more sophisticated fare. Chef owner Dom Robinson has worked with a host of lauded culinary wizards, and this is evident in his simple, concise, seasonal (and happily affordable) menus.
Where: A34, Bagnor, Newbury RG20 8AQ
Oxford Kitchen, Oxfordshire
Paul Welburn, the master behind the Oxford Kitchen, is the talk of the food critic kitchen. With a career ranging from BBC TV series The Great British Chef to catering on private yachts in the South of France to head chef at W1, where he retained a Michelin star for five whole years. His Oxfordshire baby is all about adding a contemporary twist to Britain’s classic dishes. With impressive seasonal tasting menus offering fares such as BBQ Octopus, Ajo Blanco, Squid Ink, Romesco and Sea Herbs (and wine to match), your taste buds will not be left unfulfilled. Found in Summertown, the restaurant blends in alongside the host of indulgent local eateries and bars. Intimate, funky and modern, the inside décor is both fresh and inviting.
Where: 215 Banbury Road, Summertown, Oxford OX2 7HQ
If you’re looking for the most instagrammable Michelin experience, Salt is the one for you. Chic, unfussy, delicious and mouth-wateringly aesthetic, this restaurant is the definition of a risk well taken. Back in 2016 chef Paul Foster (with the support of his wife Rhiain) packed in his job and launched a crowdfunding campaign, with the hopes of realising his long-held dream of starting his own restaurant. It has certainly paid off; in March 2017, the doors of Salt opened in Stratford-Upon-Avon, offering a relaxed fine dining experience celebrating the best of local seasonal produce. Paul is another proud winner of the Observer Food Monthly young chef of the year award, and his skill is clear in the innovative, pared back menu which oozes foodie finesse.
Where: 8 Church Street, Stratford-upon-Avon CV37 6HB
Winteringham Fields, North Lincolnshire
Winteringham Fields in Lincolnshire is all about its ‘one-mile menu’. As one of the area’s best known homegrown restaurants, expert chef Colin McGurran ensures that the food he uses is 100% rooted in the local area. Whether it’s found in the nearby sea or on the home owned farm, everything cooked up respects and showcases the beauty and flavour of local nature and the seasons. The menu changes daily, depending on which produce Colin feels is ready and at its best. This restaurant is the definition of ingredient driven, and the flavours are all the more exquisite for it.
Where: 1 Silver Street, Winteringham, North Lincolnshire, DN15 9ND
Ireland has had its fair share of Corkers when it comes to Michelin stars this year. All three of its baggers were in County Cork, and showcase a vast range of culinary talent. First up is Restaurant Chestnut, an intimate 18 seater restaurant masterminded by Cork-born award winning chef Rob Krawczyk and his partner Elaine Fleming. Bare walls and low panelled ceilings give a feeling of zen to this eatery, making room for the feasting of flavours skilfully crafted in the kitchen. From brambles with yogurt and clove sorbet to brill with cauliflower, ink and parsley, Rob certainly knows how to impress his diners.
Where: The Chestnut Tree, Staball Hill, Ballydehob, Co. Cork, P81 X681, Ireland
If you happen to be at the South-West tip of Ireland and in need of exquisite, Cork-sourced food, Mews is the place to go. Serving perfectly simple-sounding dishes such as Cod, Shoregreens, Seaweeds and Mussel Sauce, this restaurant excels in ingredient integrity and taste mastery. The tasting menu is a joy to experience, in a wonderfully uncomplicated and sophisticated setting, with welcoming service and unrivalled culinary skill.
Where: The Mews Baltimore Co, P81TC64, Co. Cork, P81 TC64, Ireland
Ichigo Ichie, Cork
A contender for the most exciting newly Michelin acclaimed restaurant, Ichigo Ichie is the food baby of chef Takashi Miyazaki. This is the first kappou-style and kaiseki restaurant in Ireland, however Takashi brings an ingenious twist to Japanese haute-cuisine. Using the best Irish seafood and vegetables, often not simply grown but foraged from the land, Takashi presents dishes that represent the local seasons whilst remaining deeply attuned to their Japanese cultural roots.
Where: No5 Sheares Street, Centre, Cork, T12 RY7Y, Ireland
A break from the norm: The Checkers, Powys
This is one crazy, norm defying moment in the history of Michelin culinary stardom. The Checkers made headline news last month for handing back their Michelin star, as the chef-owners explained they wanted to put family first. This brings an end to a seven-year run with the famous award since the Checkers first appeared in the guide in 2011.
Where: Broad Street, Montgomery, Wales, SY15 6PN
Click here to see other London restaurants that have won a Michelin star last year!