Twinkle twinkle Michelin stars
It's the accolade that all chefs want – so who's reached for the stars in Glos, Wilts and surrounding counties this year?
The judge’s scores are in – and this week the prestigious 2020 awards were announced. A staggering, 1,464 restaurants now form Michelin’s culinary constellation – adding 131 new twinklers including a nice starry smattering in Wilts. So next time you’re looking for a fancy pants night out, don’t book anything until you’ve checked the full line-up for our region.
The Bybrook at The Manor, Castle Combe – 1 star
The Manor House is a five-star luxury country house hotel in the Cotswolds with Rob Potter, previously at Michelin starred Lucknam Park, in charge of The Bybrook restaurant since 2016. Walk off a gourmet lunch in the glorious grounds or picture postcard village – or maybe make a weekend of it?
The Dining Room at Whatley Manor, Malmesbury – NEW 2 stars **
Michelin’s Young European Chef of the Year 2018, Niall Keating, takes his inspiration from around the world including Korean, Japanese and French cuisine. £200 will get you the gastronomic tasting menu with matching wine.
Restaurant Hywel Jones by Lucknam Park, Chippenham – 1 star
Stupendous 5-star country house hotel (it’s got a mile-long driveway) with a very posh dining room – no ripped jeans or trainers allowed in here – headed up by Hywel Jones. Michelin starred since 2006.
The Red Lion Free House, East Chisenbury – 1 star
Another pub, another county. This time it’s a thatched country pub run by two chefs, just 15 mins drive from Stonehenge. Prix Fixe Weds–Fri lunch/Thurs & Fri dinner is especially good value.
Le Champignon Sauvage, Cheltenham, Gloucs – 1 star
Down from 2 to 1 star this year, chef David Everitt-Matthias and front of house wife Helen have been running this place since 1987 – and David’s never missed a service, apparently. The decor may not be exceptional but the French food is.
Olive Tree, Bath, Somerset (NEW) – 1 star
In the basement of the elegant, eclectically styled Queensberry Hotel, the winner of Bath’s one and only Michelin star, Chris Cleghorn cooks up Modern British in the Olive Tree restaurant. Thoughtful as well as talented, no one’s left out: amongst his ‘fives’ and ‘sevens’ multi-course tasting menus there are vegetarian, vegan and dairy-free ‘sevens’ too.
The Pony & Trap, Chew Magna, Somerset – 1 star
No fancy surroundings – this is a homely Somerset boozer run by brother and sister duo Josh and Holly Eggelton – but the food’s been Michelin star standard since 2011.
Bulrush, Cotham, Bristol – 1 star
Just your average neighbourhood restaurant. Not. Sit downstairs near the kitchen where chef/proprietor George prepares seasonal organic and foraged menus, often using pickled and preserved ingredients. Put me down for the nine-course tasting menu on Fridays and Saturday eves.
Casamia, Bristol – 1 star
This tiny family-run restaurant with just nine tables is housed on the ground floor of an old hospital along Bristol’s waterfront. Chef Peter Sanchez-Iglesias and his team serve up just one eclectic multi-course tasting menu and advise allowing around three and a half hours to enjoy it to the full – alrighty!
Paco Tapas, Bristol – 1 star
Just along from Casamina is another arm of the Sanchez-Iglesias family’s empire. This is where Andalucian meets the West Country to create perfect tapas. I’ve got my eye on their vast, almost lobster-sized red Spanish prawns…
Wilks, Redland, Bristol – 1 star
Owner James ‘Wilks’ Wilkins learned his craft under Gordon Ramsey, the Galvin brothers and triple Michelin starred Michel Bras in France and Japan before setting up on his own. It took just a year to be awarded a Michelin star in 2012. Expect classic flavours, traditional and modern techniques – and an exceptional Sunday roast.
The Fat Duck, Bray – 3 stars
The Waterside Inn, Bray – 3 stars
The Crown, Burchetts Green, Maidenhead – 1 star
L’Ortolan, Reading – 1 star
The Hind’s Head, Bray – 1 star
Coworth Park Ascot – 1 star
The Blackbird, Newbury – 1 star
The Woodspeen, Newbury – 1 star
Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, Great Milton – 2 stars
Oxford Kitchen, Oxford – 1 star
The Nut Tree, Murcott – 1 star
The Bell Inn, Langford – Bob Gourmand NEW ENTRY
The Magdalen Arms, Oxford – Bib Gourmand
Oli’s Thai, Oxford – Bib Gourmand
Sorrel, Ripley – 1 star
The Clock House, Ripley – 1 star
Tony Parkin at The Tudor Room, Egham – 1 star
Matt Worswick at The Latymer, Bagshot – 1 star
HANTS and Isle of White
The Black Rat, Winchester – 1 star
The Crown Inn, Upton – Bib Gourmand
Seaview, IOW – Bib Gourmand
Have a gander at the full list of Michelin stars for 2020. PS – If you’re seeking for a more low-key, laid-back or frankly less spendy dinner, don’t forget we also review a ridiculous number of brilliant pubs, cafes and restaurants on a weekly basis – look HERE!