The establishments featured in the Michelin Guide to Great Britain and Ireland 2014 were announced yesterday, with an additional four new starred restaurants for Britain compared to last year, and some interesting newcomers having been granted the esteemed accolade.
Highlights include the first Peruvian restaurant to gain a star, London’s Lima, a star for Story in London’s Bermondsey, which has only been open five months, a star each for restaurants in Bristol, Birmingham, Cumbria and Jersey and a bump up for Heston Blumenthal, whose restaurant Dinner by Heston Blumenthal went from one to two stars.
Taking it from the top, there was no change in the restaurants with the utmost prize of three stars, awarded to establishments deemed as having ‘Exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey’ – these were Restaurant Gordon Ramsay and Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester, both in London, and The Waterside Inn and The Fat Duck both in Bray, near Windsor. Bray has long been known as a slice of foodie heaven in Britain, also home to The Hind’s Head, Heston Blumenthal’s Michelin-starred restaurant, and with another Michelin-starred pub The Royal Oak close by.
Heston Blumenthal racked up his quota of Michelin stars, making it six that the inventive chef now holds since his latest opening Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, which celebrates Britain’s culinary heritage, went from one to two stars.
Perhaps the most interesting stories surround the newly crowned one star restaurants. Lima’s Michelin star cements the Peruvian food trend as a firmly established part of the British food scene. It wasn’t the only global cuisine on the list though – two Chinese establishments got a star – HKK in trendy Shoreditch (which launched last December) and Bo London in Mayfair.
Michelin judges clearly have an appetite for quirky restaurants, granting Story in Bermondsey – an up and coming area of London– its first star only five months on from its opening. Head Chef Tom Sellers created a menu based on childhood experiences and dishes – featuring a Three Bears’ Porridge with ‘one too sweet, one too salty and one just right’. Another hot chef of the moment, Jason Atherton, got a star at his Social Eating House in fashionable Soho; anyone keen to experience more Atherton cooking should head to brand-new hotel the London Edition features the brand-new Berners Tavern, with Jason at the helm.
Two London seafood restaurants gained a star as well – Angler in the uber-cool South Place Hotel, and Outlaw’s at the Capital, the London outpost of seafood-chef Nathan Outlaw, whose Cornwall restaurant retained its two stars in the roundup as well (www.nathan-outlaw.com).
Outside London, West Midlands’s city Birmingham restaurant adam’s gained a star, which is timely given that the city recently launched its ‘Birmingyum’ marketing campaign to highlight the diverse and delicious food offerings you’ll find there (from the Balti Triange to Brum Yum Yum, a new pop up street food collective; Birmingham is just over an hour by train from London). Jersey (in the Channel Islands) may be well known for its potatoes, but now not just produce but its restaurant Ormer by Shaun Rankin has been recognised with a star –Rankin has spent 18 years on Jersey promoting its gastronomy, and it’s paying off (he gained his first star there in 2005 at Bohemia).
Up north in Cumbria, in the north west of England, The Samling, a luxury hotel in the Lake District, also got a star for its restaurant; the hotel also won the title of ‘Best Dining Hotel in the World’ at the annual Boutique Hotel Awards.
Bristol’s wilks, described as ‘an unpretentious neighbourhood restaurant’, also got a star, and ticks the new trend towards cuisine that relies less on meat and fish to wow its guests – the restaurant lets vegetables, herbs, fruits, cereals and aromatic spices play key roles. It’s more affordable than many Michelin-starred restaurants, with 3 courses for £19 at lunchtime, and a £26 vegetable tasting menu. Bristol, is south west England, is 1 hour and 20 minutes by train from central London.
Talking of affordability, the Bibs Gourmands were also announced, the award which recognises those establishments offering good food at affordable prices (the limit being £28 for three courses). Another vegetable-focused establishment, the newly opened Grain Store in London’s Kings Cross, got a Bib Gourmand, as did trendy Polpo in Smithfield for its Venetian bacaro inspired menu. The 26 new Bib Gourmands cover a lot of the UK, ranging from Edinburgh (Galvin Brasserie de Luxe) and Belfast (Coppi and Home) to Lancashire (Hearth of the Ram) and Cornwall (Tolcarne Inn). Altogether there are now 132 Bib Gourmands in the UK, with the Felin Fach Griffin pub a fine Welsh example, located between the dramatic Black Mountains and lush Brecon Beacons.
Editor of the Michelin Guide, Rebecca Burr, said “We have never produced a GB & Ireland guide that provides our readers with such diversity and variety. Fantastic B&Bs, wonderful pubs, stylish hotels, world class restaurants and great value eateries – we have them all in our guide.
“In the last year we’ve seen the rise of relaxed counter dining but also the opening of some big brasseries. Dining is becoming a less structured, less formal affair and opening times and menus are more flexible to reflect the way we live our lives. Single concept restaurants focusing on one or two dishes have also continued to open.
“The Michelin guide has always reflected what’s out there and London in particular has never offered so much choice – there really is something for everyone and for every occasion and there appears to be no end to the number of exciting new restaurant openings. With cuisines and culinary influences from all parts of the globe, it’s no surprise that the capital is one of the most exciting cities in the world for food.
“We’ve seen internationally acclaimed chefs open restaurants over here but we’re also delighted to witness the rise of the next generation of talented British chefs and the continued evolution of British cooking.”
Octopus olivo at Lima London
Social Eating House
Tony Fleming, head chef at Angler
HKK dining room
Lychee wood roasted Peking Duck at HKK
The HKK DimSumTrilogy