Monday 27th March saw 20 new One Star, 3 new Two Star, 4 new Green Star and 5 Special Awards unveiled for Great Britain & Ireland at the MICHELIN Guide Ceremony 2023. Here we reveal some of the dishes that most impressed the Michelin Inspectors from these extraordinarily talented kitchens.
The Samling Hotel in Ambleside, Cumbria, has stunning views looking down over Lake Windermere, and the The Samling dining room’s full-length windows ensure that diners get the benefit too. Best of all is that the food proves more than a match for these views, with a set menu of modern, skilfully produced dishes like Herdwick hogget with turnip and sorrel, or cod with saffron and sea herbs.
At heft in Newton in Cartmel, Kevin and Nicola Tickle have done a fine job of restoring a 17C inn. There’s a story behind all of the dishes that appear on Kevin’s tasting menu and flavours prove assured and rewarding, with a couple of highlights being the scorched cod with cockle broth, and succulent Lakeland venison with Dickie's faggot.
The third new Michelin Star in Cumbria went to the Pentonbridge Inn. This 18C inn shows what happens when the right chef finds the right establishment. Chris Archer makes great use of top-notch ingredients – like Orkney scallops, Herdwick lamb and Scottish halibut – and knows how to make them shine without recourse to over-elaboration. Don’t be deceived by the visual simplicity of the dishes, as they are packed with flavour.
It is also a good year for Devon. Gidleigh Park has been familiar with Michelin Stars over the years, so it was particularly gratifying for the inspectors to find the cuisine at this grand Edwardian country house hotel was back at Star level. Christopher Eden’s experience is here to see in dishes like delicious steamed turbot with brassica, cucumber and lemon verbena. Make a night of it
Boringdon Hall, outside Plymouth, is another Devonian hotel of note whose restaurant is now in the spotlight. Àclèaf occupies what was once the minstrels’ gallery. The inspectors were particularly impressed with how chef Scott Paton and the kitchen team had developed over the last couple of years; the depth of the sauces and the quality of the desserts – like the cherry, pistachio and white chocolate creation – are just two standouts.
In Cheltenham, Lumière has been on the radar of the inspectors for many years, which shows that hard work and persistence really can pay off. This restaurant has been in the MICHELIN Guide for over 14 years, but it has never stood still. The taking on of a 15-acre smallholding has certainly made a difference and is reflected in the greater confidence of Jonathan Howe’s dishes, such as the Creedy Carver duck with clementine and pak choy.
It's a similar story in Cambridge at Restaurant Twenty-Two. Sam Carter and the team have been together since 2018, and their level has been improving year on year. Always a popular restaurant with the locals, the cooking is exacting and accomplished, with a set menu that offers a perfectly balanced experience. Dishes such as dry-aged Saddleback pork with sweet & sour apple, celeriac and tarragon has depth as well as looks.
The Tudor Pass in Egham, Surrey is another restaurant that benefits from having its own garden. It’s part of the Great Fosters Hotel and all their herbs and honey come from the estate. Alex Payne’s surprise menu has a natural flow and elegance to its makeup, with dishes like beef with salsify and watercress displaying considerable refinement and technique.
Grace & Savour in the West Midlands is also in a hotel – in this case, it occupies a converted building in the walled garden at Hampton Manor. David Taylor’s experience working in Oslo underpins the menu, with dishes that boast plenty of natural flavours, like line-caught cod with mussels, horseradish and pickled mustard.
South Lodge Hotel & Spa in Horsham is also a very impressive hotel and it now has a restaurant to match in the form of Ben Wilkinson at The Pass. The eponymous chef works in a calm and controlled way in the open kitchen and his confident cooking is fully deserving of a Michelin Star once again gracing this restaurant. Fallow venison, with beetroot, lardo and kale was just one of their excellent dishes.
Store in Norfolk is one of the smallest restaurants in the Great Britain & Ireland Guide, as it has just five tables. Stoke Mill, which houses this restaurant, was where Jeremiah Colman started production of this mustard and, as the name suggests, this was where the mustard seeds were stored. Liam Nichols’ less-is-more approach is evident in dishes like Holkham Estate venison with salsify and beetroot. A retired baker in the village comes in daily to bake the bread.
Tim Allen is a chef who’s familiar with Michelin Stars, but this time he achieves one for his own restaurant – the appropriately named sō–lō. His experience is there to see on the plate, with dishes such as Aynhoe Park venison with beetroot; cauliflower with Madras spices; and Herdwick lamb served two ways. The inspectors were particularly impressed by the textural contrasts.
The sign of a good chef is knowing when to leave things alone – and that’s exactly what the inspectors found at another restaurant from a chef not unfamiliar with Michelin Stars. At SOLSTICE BY KENNY ATKINSON, a diminutive restaurant just around the corner from his House of Tides flagship, the tasting menu gives little away, with just a single ingredient given for each course – be it sweetbread, lobster or rhubarb – but their quality and the respect with which they are handled, comes shining through.
In London, there’s a great variety of new Michelin Stars. Luca comes from the same stable as The Clove Club and is one of those places where you feel in safe hands the moment you walk in. Robert Chambers’ menu is so appealing that it’s hard making a decision. Pasta is always a good choice here – the pumpkin ravioli is especially good – and the Hereford beef fillet, whether it comes with braised cheek or braised short rib, is a dish that’s easy to eat and testament to the skill of this kitchen.
Takuya Watanabe made his name and reputation at Jin in Paris, but in 2022 he relocated to London and opened Taku. You’ll find yourself subconsciously stroking the fine oak counter while waiting for your fellow diners to congregate. A stunning mussel soup heralds the arrival of a succession of delicious snacks before the nigiri, which follows the traditional path by steadily progressing from lighter to stronger flavoured fish.
Cycene in Shoreditch is the latest restaurant within the Blue Mountain School – the space which previously hosted Maos restaurant. This is another operation where the chefs are heavily involved in the service, as Theo Clench and his team bring forth their dishes from the kitchen and explain their content to the expectant diners. It’s a very stylish space and dishes, like the cavatelli with sea urchin and kinome or the turbot with lettuce and sake, are equally innovative and original.
St. Barts is a very good-looking restaurant near Smithfield Market, with more than a hint of Scandic cool in its decoration. Duck and berries; crab and ginger; yoghurt and rhubarb – the combinations of Johnnie Crowe’s creations are always on the money, the ingredients exceptional, and the final dishes delicate and innovative in their makeup. This is another great addition to the London dining scene.
Two more Michelin Stars now shine proudly in Edinburgh. Timberyard is another restaurant that's found the ideal chef for its kitchen; namely, James Murray. His pared-back style of cooking displays an innate trust in the natural flavours of the main ingredient, be it grouse, eel or sea bream, and the resulting dishes are understated yet assured.
In Leith, Heron proves that two chefs can work together in perfect harmony when they are this focused. Tomás Gormley and Sam Yorke have obvious respect for the ingredients they use, and the dishes – such as mackerel with gooseberry or the bramble, rosemary and almond dessert – work so well with the bright and relaxed style of their restaurant.
Over in Cork, Terre sits within the impressive Castlemartyr Resort. Chef Vincent Crepel’s international travels inform his refined and striking dishes, so you can expect to see plenty of Asian influences used to enhance the wonderful local ingredients. Some of the dishes are finished tableside, occasionally even by Vincent himself.