uk Michelin restaurant guide 2020

the best places to eat across the country

 
 

Still considered to be the most important guide to eating out in the United Kingdom and across the world, Michelin inspectors have spent a vast amount of time dining in the places that encapsulate everything incredible about the world of food and drink.

 

Contact your concierge for reservations.

 

RATED THREE MICHELIN STARS

 

the best restaurant in the world

Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester
mayfair, london

Coco Chanel once opined that “Luxury must be comfortable, otherwise it is not luxury”, and at Alain Ducasse’s elegant London outpost, the charming and professional team patently understand that what is of utmost importance is making the diner feel at ease. Although many of the much-loved Ducasse signatures are still in evidence, head chef Jean-Philippe Blondet has put his own stamp on the menu, so you’ll find French classics like ‘sauté gourmand’ of lobster alongside more original dishes such as fermented cabbage with caviar and juniper berries. The kitchen sources the very best of British produce and dishes are visually striking with bold, generous flavours. Sauces are a highlight – and it’s hard to resist the signature Rum Baba.

 

Awards:

Three MICHELIN Stars: Exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey!

Four COMFORT AND QUALITY Fork and Spoon: Luxurious restaurant; one of the most delightful places.

 

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Restaurant Gordon Ramsay
cHELSEA, LONDON

He may be one of the most famous chefs on the planet but Gordon Ramsay remains fiercely committed to maintaining the highest of standards at his flagship restaurant. The charming Jean-Claude, who has run the restaurant since day one, oversees a team who get the service just right: yes, it’s polished and professional, but it also has personality. The menu features plenty of dishes which might be called ‘classic Ramsay’ like the lobster ravioli, navarin of lamb and lemonade parfait, but there are newer dishes too, such as roast sweetbread with Jerusalem artichokes, courtesy of head chef, Matt Abé. Cooking is elegant, balanced and full of flavour; executed not only with great confidence, but also with an extraordinary lightness of touch.

 

Awards:

Three MICHELIN Stars: Exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey!

Four COMFORT AND QUALITY Fork and Spoon: Luxurious restaurant; one of the most delightful places.

 

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Sketch (The Lecture Room & Library)
MAYFAIR, LONDON

There are few more joyously colourful and lavishly decorated restaurants in London than The Lecture Room & Library. As you’re whisked past the braided rope and up the stairs to the first floor of Mourad Mazouz and Pierre Gagnaire’s 18C house of fun, you’ll feel your expectations rise with every step. Once seated in your eminently comfortable armchair, a team of unfailingly attentive and professional staff are on hand to ensure that all those expectations are met. The highly organised kitchen team do an extraordinary job in executing dishes bearing all the Pierre Gagnaire hallmarks: the main ‘plate’ comes surrounded by a number of complementary dishes and before long your table is covered with an assortment of vessels. Each element excels in terms of structure, composition, elegance and, above all, flavour. This is cooking that is original and immaculately rendered but also generous.

 

Awards:

Three MICHELIN Stars: Exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey!

Four COMFORT AND QUALITY Fork and Spoon: Luxurious restaurant; one of the most delightful places.

 

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The Fat Duck
Bray, berkshire

Tables at this iconic restaurant are released several months in advance, so you’ll need to plan ahead if you have a special date in mind. Once you arrive, a dedicated Story Teller will guide you through your journey, from “breakfast” through to “dinner”. Heston’s aim is to evoke memories of childhood and to recreate the child-like anticipation and excitement felt in your formative years. Both the décor and the table settings are understated, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the theatrical, multi-sensory experience. The innovative cooking is detailed, playful and perfectly judged, and the textures and flavours are harmonious. Elaborate, interactive presentation and a truly engaging service team further heighten the experience and every dish will leave you eagerly anticipating the next.

 

Awards:

Three MICHELIN Stars: Exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey!

Three COMFORT AND QUALITY Fork and Spoon: Very comfortable restaurant; one of our most delightful places.

 

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The waterside inn
BRAY, BERKSHIRE

This illustrious restaurant sits in a glorious spot on a bank of the River Thames. It was opened in 1972 by brothers Michel and Albert Roux and is now in the hands of Michel’s son Alain. It remains the longest-standing Starred restaurant in the UK, having been awarded One Star in 1974, Two Stars in 1977 and Three Stars in 1985. Michel set the bar high and luxury is at every turn. Tables are superbly laid with the finest crockery and glassware, an abundance of staff cater for guests' every whim, and menus are packed with top quality ingredients. Carefully considered classical French menus are a calendar for the seasons and dishes arrive in perfectly judged, sophisticated combinations. The lobster and rabbit are specialities, the Challandais duck for 2 is a seminal dish and the cheese trolley and the soufflé of the day are not to be missed. Bedrooms are fittingly chic and sumptuous.

 

Awards:

Three MICHELIN Stars: Exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey!

Four COMFORT AND QUALITY Fork and Spoon: Luxurious restaurant; one of the most delightful places.

RATED two MICHELIN STARS

 

arpege france
NEW TWO STAR
Aimsir
celbridge, republic of ireland

Start with a drink in the cocktail lounge overlooking the garden then head past hanging meats and colourful jars of foraged produce into the elegant dining room. Jordan Bailey calmly leads the chefs in the open kitchen, while his wife heads the delightful service team – and their infectious pride radiates through all who work for them. Originally from Cornwall, Jordan worked at the Elephant and Sat Bains, before heading off to Norway, where he quickly rose through the ranks to become head chef at Three-Starred Maaemo. He brings with him overwhelming passion, a great understanding of flavours, and supreme craftsmanship, resulting in superbly balanced, original dishes with real depth of flavour. The 18+ labour-intensive courses are all very different and make good use of preserved and fermented ingredients sourced from around Ireland.

 

Awards:

Two MICHELIN Stars: Excellent cooking, worth a detour!

Three COMFORT AND QUALITY Fork and Spoon: Very comfortable restaurant; one of our most delightful places.

arpege france
Andrew Fairlie at Gleneagles
Auchterarder, scotland

You’ll find this elegant restaurant concealed within the world-famous Gleneagles hotel. It may be windowless, but the classically dressed room is an intimate spot, with contemporary still-life paintings on the walls. Tables are immaculately laid and an air of comfort pervades the room, but that’s not to say the atmosphere is in any way stilted or solemn. Head Chef Stevie McLaughlin leads the way in honouring the memory of Andrew Fairlie. The kitchen works well with the seasons and when you’re in this part of the world you don’t lack for prime ingredients, whether that’s scallops from Mull, Highland lamb or local venison. These ingredients form the focus of the French-based menu and add a sense of luxury and indulgence. Great use is also made of the Victorian walled kitchen garden, which provides plenty of leaves, vegetables and fruits.

 

Awards:

Two MICHELIN Stars: Excellent cooking, worth a detour!

Four COMFORT AND QUALITY Fork and Spoon: Luxurious restaurant; one of the most delightful places.

 

arpege france
Bibendum
chelsea, london

Bibendum sits on the first floor of the historic art deco building which was built as Michelin’s London HQ in 1911 and its handsome interior cannot fail to impress. The iconic stained glass windows allow light to flood in – a fact best appreciated at lunch when the Michelin Man can be seen in all his glory; in fact, his presence is everywhere, from the butter dish to the salt and pepper pots. Claude Bosi’s cooking shows a man proud of his French heritage and confident of his abilities. His dishes are poised and well-balanced with bold, assured flavours. Choose the à la carte menu for classics like Brittany rabbit with langoustine and artichoke barigoule or turbot à la Grenobloise – and don’t miss the soufflé for dessert, particularly if it’s chocolate.

 

Awards:

Two MICHELIN Stars: Excellent cooking, worth a detour!

Three COMFORT AND QUALITY Fork and Spoon: Very comfortable restaurant; one of our most delightful places.

 

arpege france
core by clare smyth
nottinghill, london

The moment you step inside Clare Smyth’s Notting Hill restaurant you know you’re in for an unforgettable experience. It has a reassuringly welcoming atmosphere that puts all diners at ease and that’s largely down to her warm and engaging service team. Secondly, it’s decorated in a bright, yet understated way that makes for a truly comforting feel. Purity and elegance are the hallmarks of Clare’s cooking. There are no elements of 'look at me' bravado – just beautifully balanced dishes that reflect her heritage, professional experience and personality. A typical dish to illustrate just how skilled this kitchen is must surely be the Charlotte potato with dulse beurre blanc and roe, a nod to her Northern Irish upbringing; here a seemingly simple ingredient is elevated to something extraordinary and shows the real depth of the cooking.

 

Awards:

Two MICHELIN Stars: Excellent cooking, worth a detour!

Four COMFORT AND QUALITY Fork and Spoon: Luxurious restaurant; one of the most delightful places.

arpege france
dinner by heston
knighstbridge, london

The fire that swept through the Mandarin Oriental hotel in 2018 mercifully left this restaurant largely untouched but, not a team to rest on their laurels, the chefs took the opportunity afforded by its closure to develop recipes and gain experience in other kitchens. Heston Blumenthal’s culinary quests led him to ‘The Forme of Cury’ – one of England’s oldest recipe books – and it is from this and other historical works that dishes such as ‘rice and flesh’ and ‘frumenty’ (c. 1390) come – although the latter’s ‘grilled octopus with spelt, smoked sea broth and pickled dulse’ wouldn’t sound out of place in any 21C restaurant. Obsessed with consistency, the kitchen works with intelligence, efficiency and attention to detail to produce dishes that look deceptively simple but taste sublime.

 

Awards:

Two MICHELIN Stars: Excellent cooking, worth a detour!

Three COMFORT AND QUALITY Fork and Spoon: Very comfortable restaurant; one of our most delightful places.

 

arpege france
Hélène Darroze at the Connaught
mayfair, london

Its location within the iconic Connaught Hotel heightens expectations; take your seat in what must be one of the most elegant rooms in the capital and you will be handed a Solitaire board featuring 16 marbles. Each bears the name of a single ingredient; from these, you choose 5 or 7 – and the corresponding courses are delivered in any order you wish. Cooking is largely informed by Darroze’s homeland but she is not averse to using the occasional unexpected flavour. The visually appealing dishes are built around one high quality main ingredient and are bold, feminine and full of finesse. The wine list offers an impressive choice, and the service team also add to the experience with their professionalism, lack of pretension and personality.

 

Awards:

Two MICHELIN Stars: Excellent cooking, worth a detour!

Four COMFORT AND QUALITY Fork and Spoon: Luxurious restaurant; one of the most delightful places.

 

arpege france
kitchen table at bubbledogs
bloomsbury, england

Ignore the throngs enjoying the curious combination of hotdogs with champagne and head for the curtain – behind it you’ll find a horseshoe-shaped counter and a look of expectation on the faces of your fellow diners. Chef-owner James Knappett and his team prepare a surprise menu of around 14 dishes; the produce is some of the best you can find and the small dishes come with a clever creative edge, without being overly complicated. With seating for just 19, the atmosphere is very convivial, especially if you’re a fully paid-up member of the foodie community. The chefs interact with their customers over the counter and offer comprehensive explanations of each dish; they are helped out by James’ wife Sandia, who is charm personified.

 

Awards:

Two MICHELIN Stars: Excellent cooking, worth a detour!

Two COMFORT AND QUALITY Fork and Spoon: Comfortable restaurant; one of our most delightful places.

arpege france
l'enclume
knighstbridge, london

Opened in 2002 by Simon Rogan and his wife, L’Enclume has become as synonymous with this sleepy Lakeland village as sticky toffee pudding. Indeed, it’s been so successful, that the couple also opened the more relaxed Rogan & Co, as well as stylish bedrooms which are spread about the village. The characterful old building still displays evidence of its ‘smithy’ days and its location next to a brook makes it a truly charming spot on a warm summer’s evening. 16 or so courses make up the well-balanced, perfectly paced tasting menu and produce from their 12 acre farm guides the fiercely seasonal dishes, which are passionately prepared, innovative and full of interest. Flavours are natural and harmonious and an array of textures stimulates the palate. For those wanting to immerse themselves further, the development kitchen, Aulis, opens at weekends.

 

Awards:

Two MICHELIN Stars: Excellent cooking, worth a detour!

Three COMFORT AND QUALITY Fork and Spoon: Very comfortable restaurant; one of our most delightful places.

 

arpege france
la dame de pic
mayfair, london

Anne-Sophie Pic’s London outpost is a charmingly run brasserie deluxe situated in the impressive Beaux-Arts style Four Seasons Hotel; an airy, high-ceilinged room with lots of white, plenty of light and some attractive modern art. Cooking is rooted in classic French techniques yet delivered in a light, modern manner and dishes are elegant, refined and original, with tremendous attention given to their finer details. The kitchen source excellent quality produce and the delicate combinations of these ingredients are exciting and intuitive, with no superfluous elements on the plate. The well-structured wine list highlights wines from the Rhône Valley – home of restaurant Maison Pic, the Valence institution owned by the Pic family.

 

Awards:

Two MICHELIN Stars: Excellent cooking, worth a detour!

Two COMFORT AND QUALITY Fork and Spoon: Comfortable restaurant; one of our most delightful places.

 

arpege france
le gavroche
mayfair, london

Anyone with any interest in Britain’s post-war culinary history will be aware of this restaurant’s significance, not just because of its celebration of French cuisine but also because of the well-known chefs who have passed through its kitchen over the years. In an age of health-consciousness, there is something exhilarating about Michel Roux and head chef Rachel Humphrey’s unapologetically extravagant French dishes – and the ingredients are of the highest order, whether that’s the huge scallops or the succulent Goosnargh duck. Everyone has their favourite dish – be it soufflé Suissesse or omelette Rothschild – and the cheese board is one of London’s best. You’re guided through your meal by a charming team and the hum of satisfaction that pervades the room says it all.

 

Awards:

Two MICHELIN Stars: Excellent cooking, worth a detour!

Four COMFORT AND QUALITY Fork and Spoon: Luxurious restaurant; one of the most delightful places.

arpege france
le manoir aux quat'saisons
great milton, england

Legendary French chef Raymond Blanc presides over this iconic restaurant in a quintessentially English country house. You cannot help but fall in love with the place: the setting is divine and a feeling of luxury envelops you. Enjoy a fine array of canapés in a sumptuous lounge then head through to the magical beamed restaurant comprising several interconnecting rooms; in summer, be sure to sit in the conservatory for views over the manicured gardens. Top quality seasonal ingredients and beautifully fresh produce from the kitchen garden underpin the skilfully executed cooking – which has a classical French base and a light, modern touch – and the main menu is fittingly entitled ‘Spécialités du Moment’. Flavours are intense, combinations are sophisticated and the presentation shows an eye for detail. Desserts are always a highlight and service is polished.

 

Awards:

wo MICHELIN Stars: Excellent cooking, worth a detour!

Four COMFORT AND QUALITY Fork and Spoon: Luxurious restaurant; one of the most delightful places.

 

arpege france
midsummer house
CAMBRIDGE, englaND

A beautiful Victorian house with a lovely conservatory extension plays host to this stylish restaurant. It’s set in an idyllic location overlooking Midsummer Common and the delightful first floor lounge and terrace make the perfect spot for drinks, as they look out over the garden and the River Cam. Experienced chef-owner Daniel Clifford has run this restaurant for over 20 years and his experience shines through. Never a chef to rest on his laurels, his dishes continually evolve and, although they have a classic base, are packed full of personality and originality. Daniel’s travels inform many of his newer creations and the inventive vegetarian dishes are much more than just an afterthought. Flavours are measured, there’s an appealing range of different textures and many of the dishes are finished off at the table using modern techniques.

 

Awards:

Two MICHELIN Stars: Excellent cooking, worth a detour!

Three COMFORT AND QUALITY Fork and Spoon: Very comfortable restaurant; one of our most delightful places.