The Michelin Great Britain and Ireland Guide 2021 was launched at an online event on Monday 25th January; a celebration of the huge talent we have in the UK and Ireland, as well as of the inspiring way in which restaurants have been rising to face the challenges of the last year.
In these uncertain and highly testing times, we are particularly delighted to be able to announce the promotion of not just one but two restaurants from Two to Three Michelin Stars – our highest accolade, awarded to those at the very peak of their profession. This brings the total number of Three Starred restaurants in the Great Britain & Ireland 2021 selection to seven.
Let’s take a closer look at these two restaurants…
CORE by Clare Smyth, 92 Kensington Park Road, London, W11 2PN
It’s not just the food that makes a restaurant and, at Core, Clare Smyth really focuses on the whole experience. It’s a wonderfully discreet, elegant space, which fits its Notting Hill location perfectly. The room has a cool, serene feel; flowers and accessories on the wooden tables echo the seasons; and even the crockery is specially commissioned to match the mood.
From the moment you arrive, Clare’s superb service team put you at ease with their warm welcome and natural pride – and they work seamlessly together to provide some of the smoothest, most attentive service around. The delivery from tray-to-table is particularly charming, and a relaxed, contented hum fills the room.
There is a choice of two different tasting menus – ‘Core Classics’, which features dishes that Clare has continually refined over the years, and ‘Core Seasons’, which sees more contemporary constructions with a luxurious edge. Alternatively, there’s the à la carte, which lists all of the dishes from both.
Clare is one of Great Britain’s most gifted chefs and the strength of her kitchen lies in its ability to create modern dishes that deliver superb flavours and textures but in a restrained, understated style. Elegance, unfussiness and a wonderful purity are her hallmarks and the resultant dishes are unrivalled in their sophistication. Not one to take her success for granted, she constantly refines even her most well-established dishes, and the terrific wine flights bring it all together to enhance an already outstanding experience.
These are some of the Michelin Inspectors’ favourite dishes:
Isle of Mull scallop tartare with sea vegetable consommé
A divine, full-flavoured, silky diced scallop, beautifully presented on a large scallop shell and surrounded by a raised bed of seaweed. Natural aromas and flavours transport you to the sea and the light sea vegetable broth spiked with herb oil has layer upon layer of flavour.
‘Beef and Oyster’ – Highland Wagyu beef and Porthilly oysters
A highly refined and sophisticated dish comprising a perfectly cooked, plump oyster and melt-in-the-mouth Wagyu beef with a flavoursome jus and oyster cream. Buttery mash and a rich mix of oysters and chopped beef in a dark, sticky jus fill the oyster shell – and the oyster cracker is exquisite.
‘Core-teaser’ – chocolate, malt and hazelnut
This stunning-looking dessert might look large but it’s actually incredibly light. A play on the flavours of a Malteaser, it has a hazelnut mousse core encased in a delicate chocolate shell and is topped with a malt-flavoured creation akin to candy floss, which crunches in the mouth before melting away. An imaginative and memorable dish.
Hélène Darroze at The Connaught, Carlos Place, London, W1K 2AL
Following a 2 month closure at the end of 2019, Hélène Darroze at The Connaught reopened with a more contemporary look, while also cleverly managing to retain its traditional elegance. Created by French designer Pierre Yovanovitch, the room is now a lighter, brighter place to dine, with its salmon pink ceiling, light wood panelling and exposed wooden tables.
The cooking, too, has moved on a level, with Head Chef Marco Zampese overseeing a passionate, highly skilled kitchen team who prepare a 3 course set priced lunch and a 5 or 7 course tasting menu at dinner, with upgrades offered at a supplement.
The cooking is influenced by Hélène’s homeland, with refined French-based dishes centred on one superb main ingredient, then enhanced with subtle international touches. Dishes are understated and elegant with an air of sophistication but also have an underlying complexity and great depth of flavour. Flavours marry together with consummate ease and there’s intense attention to detail in the skilful execution.
The formally attired serving team are attentive yet personable, and have a natural confidence in both what they are doing and what they are serving. The wine list is a tome of beauty – a roll-call of the finest producers rooted in the classic regions, with some exceptional producers’ collections. Real effort has been put into the international beer, sake and cocktail selections too.
For the ultimate experience, oenophiles can book the private room beside the wine cellar, while foodies can dine at the chef’s table in front of the pass.
Here are some of the Michelin Inspectors’ favourite dishes:
Wild sea bass, champignon, walnut, lardo di Colonnata and Douglas pine
Slices of lightly cured sea bass assembled in a delicate mille feuille of chestnut mushrooms and lardo – the richness of the mushrooms and the saltiness of the lardo perfectly complement the fish. On the side, walnut purée, mushroom broth and Douglas pine provide a delicious accompaniment and add depth of flavour.
Westcombe ricotta, Ardi Gasna, voatsiperifery pepper and onion consommé
Handmade agnolotti pasta with strands of truffle running through it and a contrastingly soft, creamy filling. The sweetness of the onions – and hints of acidity from some pickling – offset the ricotta and Ardi Gasna cheeses, while the onion consommé adds intensity. The contrasting textures and tastes make this a delicious dish.
Signature Baba – Armagnac Darroze with pineapple, passion fruit, Tahitian vanilla and coconut sugar Chantilly
A rich, elaborately presented dish, where the golden baba is sliced at the table and then covered with a choice from three different vintages of Armagnac aged by Hélène’s brother Marc. The baba is beautifully light in texture and the Chantilly cream’s luxurious flavour works perfectly with the liquor. The passion fruit and the roasted pineapple add both a light, fruity flavour and a subtle acidity.
This year, the guide is being published in a digital format only, both on our website (UK and Republic of Ireland) and via the iOS app.
Quick links to:
All Michelin Stars in the UK / Republic of Ireland
All Michelin Bib Gourmands in the UK / Republic of Ireland
All Michelin Plates in the UK / Republic of Ireland