The UK Michelin Guide previewed

Sunday, January 18th , 2009

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On Wednesday 22nd the UK and Ireland Michelin Guide appears. The results appear to have been leaked out early (hat tip to JP).  Who'd have thought that putting the list out on the internet five days ahead of schedule could possibly result in a leak?  

There are certainly some controversial elements. No change at the 3 star level, so Gordon Ramsay and The Waterside Inn retain their three stars, luckily in my view. At the two star level there are two stars for Hibiscus (fair enough I suppose), The Dining Room at Whatley Manor in Malmesbury and (bizarrely) for Atelier Robuchon and Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester. I find these last two utterly surreal. Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester is even an “espoir” i.e. tipped for three stars in the future. All I can say is that something must have changed radically since I went there.

One star additions are Chapter One in Kent, offal specialist St John (er, why, and why now?), Ambassade de l’Ile and Helen Darroze (no surprises there), Murano, Kai and Semplice (I am pleased about this one) and l’Autre Pied.  Both the Ledbury and Tom Aikens are one stars but listed as espoirs i.e. may get two stars one day. Other new one stars are Michael Wignall at the Latymer Bagshot), The Terrace at Montagu Arms (Beaulieu), Fraiche (Birkenhead), Purnell’s (Birmingham), Turners (Birmingham), The Burlington at the Devonshire Arms (Bolton Abbey), Lords of the Manor (Upper Slaughter), Casamia (Bristol), Manor House and Golf Club (Castle Combe), The Neptune (Hunstanton), Le Becasse (Ludlow), The Nut Tree (Murcott), Auberge du Lac (Welwyn) and the Manbrough on the Isle of Wight.

Places that appear to have lost a star are Juniper in Altrincham (which changed hands), The Goose (Britwell Salome), Graveytye Manor (East Grinstead), The Abbey (Penzance) and Tean in the Scilly Isles. Also 1 Lombard Street in London (maybe they were as rude to the inspector as they were to me) La Noisette (closed) Mirabelle (closed, for now at least), l’Escargot (long overdue in my mind) and Tamarind. Quite why they singled out Tamarind of the surreal clutch of Indian places with a star to demote escapes me, but I find Michelin’s grasp of Indian food tenuous at the best of times. Glenapp Castle in Ballantrae and Plas Bodegroes in Pwllheli also get the chop.

I have updated the location map of the UK Michelin restaurants.