Fine dining’s no longer the pastime of a privileged few – the explosion of gastropubs, street food pop-ups and food festivals across the UK in recent years have shown that we’re a nation that’s passionate about food. And for those seeking something truly special, dinner at a Michelin-starred restaurant is bound to deliver.
In the restaurant business, Michelin stars are a big deal – they’re often described as the Oscars of food, and for good reason. To preserve the integrity of the awards, Michelin is notoriously secretive about its reviewers’ identities (even their families aren’t supposed to know who they are!) and even one star can do wonders for the fortunes of a restaurant.
Today, there are 170 restaurants in the UK and Ireland with at least one Michelin star, 17 of which just received their first one in the latest Michelin Guide. Earning one star is hard enough, but to earn a second is harder still – and only the very best restaurants in the world are awarded a coveted three.
To help people discover great food on their doorsteps, we’ve mapped out every single Michelin-starred restaurant in our new graphic, Foodie Destinations.
At a glance, you can easily see where the nation’s hotspots for fine dining are. And while (as you’d expect) many of Britain’s top-flight eateries are located in the capital, Michelin stars can be found all over the country – including three on the island of Jersey alone!
You’ll also be able to see where you can find eight of the most anticipated food festivals taking place in 2017, from Bristol’s VegFest to Meatopia at London’s Tobacco Dock. What better excuse to book a staycation than the promise of glorious food, prepared by some of the nation’s finest chefs?
Here are ten restaurants that were awarded a new star in the 2017 guide – will you be visiting any of them this year?
The Fat Duck, Berkshire (Three stars)
Heston Blumenthal’s restaurant just became Britain’s fourth three-star eatery. From snail porridge to egg and bacon ice cream, Heston’s recipes are always pushing boundaries at the country’s most famous restaurant.
Veeraswamy, London (One star – new entry)
Veeraswamy is Britain’s oldest surviving Indian restaurant, and 90 years after it opened in 1926, it’s finally claimed its first Michelin star. It’s known for catering to royal events – seems even the Queen can’t resist a good curry!
The Raby Hunt, County Durham (Two stars)
Now one of only 20 UK restaurants to hold two stars, the Raby Hunt is set in a 19th-century hunting inn and run by self-taught chef James Close, who prides himself on his “modern British” style of cuisine.
Forest Side, Cumbria (One star – new entry)
With food inspired by the wild Cumbrian landscape, this hotel restaurant bagged its first star in the latest guide. True to its name, fruits of the forest like mushroom broth, apple crackling and elderberries feature heavily on the menu.
Heron and Grey, Dublin (One star – new entry)
This miniature restaurant, which has no windows and seats just 18 people, is one of the smallest ever to be awarded a Michelin star. Heron and Grey serves international cuisine in Dublin’s Blackrock market.
Peel’s at Hampton Manor, Solihull (One star – new entry)
Peel’s, based in the former home of police force founder Sir Robert Peel, certainly cooks up some arresting dishes – it’s already been awarded three AA rosettes, and this year they can add their first Michelin star.
Pidgin, London (One star – new entry)
This Hackney restaurant may look modest from the outside, but its modern spin on classic British food is anything but. Pidgin began life as a supper club and now serves up four-course set menus in London’s East End.
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Restaurant James Sommerin, Penarth (One star – new entry)
Chef James Sommerin has earned two Michelin Stars over his career – one for The Crown at Whitebrook, which closed in 2013, and one for this self-named, family-run restaurant on Cardiff’s esplanade.
The Crown, Berkshire (One star – new entry)
Located in a (reportedly haunted) former pub, The Crown serves French-accented cuisine in a cosy rustic atmosphere. Chef Simon Bonwick learned his craft at The Waterside Inn, one of Britain’s tiny handful of three-star restaurants.
The Wild Rabbit, Oxfordshire (One star – new entry)
This Cotswolds gastropub, owned by Daylesford Organic entrepreneur Lady Bamford, is just as upmarket as you’d expect – and judging by its inclusion in the latest Michelin Guide, their local, organic approach to cuisine is working well for them.