For the rest of us there’s Christmas, for Chefs there’s Michelin star day. But unlike Christmas, there’s a chance that you really might get a stocking full of coal. Michelin stars come and go, and restaurants have to be on their best form all year round to win the coveted awards, and equally they can lose them with the same carelessness with which I leave baseball caps at house parties. And last night was the big night, the annual naughty and nice list, with eight London restaurnats losing their Michelin stars but six others gaining stars.
First, the unfortunates, whose unlucky stars were Benares (they somewhat acrimoniously lost their brilliant chef Atul Kochhar this year), Bonhams in Mayfair, Fera at Claridge’s, the wonderful Galvin at Windows, Soho’s Yauatcha, L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon and Hedone, out in Chiswick. Meanwhile poor The Araki found itself demoted from two stars to one.
While The Gallery at Sketch, resplendent in powder pink, scores highly in Insta likes, the food is somewhat hit-and-miss. But upstairs at The Lecture Room & Library the consistency is high, and so’s the quality because it’s been given a rare third Michelin Star! The restaurant deservedly joins the very elite club made up of the Fat Duck at Bray, Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester, Alain Roux’s The Waterside Inn and Restaurant Gordon Ramsay (who famously exclaimed at last year’s awards “Do you have any idea of the kind of s*** I’d get if I lost my third star?”).
After gaining a star last year in its first year, La Dame de Pic, The City has picked up a second star! Underscoring the meteoric rise of the brilliant Four Seasons at Ten Trinity Square, this is a must visit. We checked it out back in 2017 and the restaurant has gone from strength to strength.
The Dysart Petersham won its first Michelin star this year, deservedly for the family run restaurant which easily made one of Richmond’s best when we put together our favourites recently, but now is clearly one of the nation’s best as it joins the Michelin club. The restaurant-cum-gastro-pub is the perfect place for traditional English fare, but with a flair. Occupying a former pub (the Dysart Arms) the arts and crafts vibes make the space special as well as the food.
Hackney’s Da Terra, set inside Bethnal Green Town Hall, represents a second Michelin star win for Paulo Airaudo after his Geneva restaurant La Bottega won one back in 2015. Da Terra glories in its Basque menu, an excellent addition to East London’s crowded fine dining scene.
Billed as ‘Sushi in the clouds’, Endo at the Rotunda sits atop the old BBC Television Centre and overlooks White City. With just 16 seats, the entire restaurant is based around sensory experience and that goes well beyond the view or the iconic setting. The Omakase style dining clearly won the attention of the Michelin star folks as it’s been added to the one-star list, and deservedly so.
Under the helm of Chiltern Firehouse alum Nuno Mende, Mãos in Shoreditch is intimate. Really intimate. After the relatively sprawling auspices of Chiltern Firehouse this tiny, supper club-esque restaurant sits in a loft space and seats sixteen people (together, so expect to get to know them!).
Outside London, here are the restaurants that have also been awarded stars:
The Dining Room, Whatley Manor, Malmesbury
Cottage in the Woods, Lake District
Allium at Askham Hall, Lake District
Old Stamp House, Lake District
The Oak Room, Adare
The Angel, Hetton
Beach House, Oxwich
The Tudor Room, Egham
Isle of Eriska, Hebrides
The Royal Oak, Whatcote
Interlude, Lower Beeding
The Muddlers Club, Belfast