(Bloomberg) -- In the upper echelons of British and Irish fine dining, no news is good news: All eight three-star restaurants from the 2022 Michelin Guide for Great Britain and Ireland kept their prestigious status while none joined the ranks in the latest edition.
In fact, there were no bombshells ahead of this year’s Great Britain and Ireland ceremony, unlike what transpired in France in February. A few days ahead of the French Michelin star ceremony news leaked that two three-star restaurants had lost their top ranking, including Guy Savoy.
The UK stars were announced on March 27 in a glitzy live ceremony at the Silverstone Circuit in Northampton. It’s the first live event for Michelin in two years. They invited the chefs who received new stars in 2021 and 2022 to go onstage and receive their accolades in person, celebrating getting past a tough few years for the restaurant industry while drinking champagne overlooking the F1 track.
Last year there was one new three-star restaurant, L’Enclume from chef Simon Rogan in the Lake District town of Cartmel.
Gwendal Poullennec, international director for Michelin Guides, didn’t look at the lack of additional three-star spots as a disappointment or signs of a slow down at the high end of the UK restaurant scene. Rather, in a press conference following the ceremony, he flagged how consistent the winners were and how dynamic the culinary scene is throughout the two countries.
"Of course, it’s a difficult time for ambitious dining projects,” says chef Theo Clench whose five-month-old Shoreditch restaurant Cycene earned a Michelin star. “But as the past six months has shown with bookings at Cycene, there’s still demand and a desire for people to experience new restaurants." A tasting menu at the stylishly spare, bi-level dining space, which Clench opened in collaboration with the Blue Mountain School, goes for £175 per person. "It can offer some much needed time with friends and a sense of escapism," he adds.
Cycene was among the 20 restaurants that gained one-star status, including Timberyard in Edinburgh and Luca in London. Three spots joined the two-star list, including the return of the celebrated Ledbury in West London, bringing the total to 25. Last year there were a total of 22 two-starred restaurants, which included five new spots.
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A rating of three stars is given for “exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey,” according to Michelin. Two stars represent “excellent cooking, worth a detour.” One star is for “high-quality cooking, worth a stop.” Michelin also has a list of Bib Gourmands, for good-value, inexpensive restaurants.
This year, Michelin also recognized the science of mixology for the first time, in the form of a cocktail award. The winner was Makis Kazakis from Mayfair’s Park Chinois restaurant. Among the awards that were announced ahead of time were the Bib Gourmands, or cheap eats. There were four new bib gourmands added in London, bringing the total in the capital up to 39.
Guides from Michelin date back to 1900; initially they focused on practicality with information like street maps and places to stop for fuel. They evolved to their signature red-bound books of restaurant listings. In 2021, the guides went to an all digital format.
Below are the winners in the three-star and two-star categories and the new one-star establishments.
** Indicates a new entry
Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester, LondonCore by Clare Smyth, LondonGordon Ramsay, LondonHélène Darroze at the Connaught, LondonL’Enclume, Cartmel, EnglandSketch (the Lecture Room & Library), LondonFat Duck, Bray, EnglandWaterside Inn, Bray, England
A. Wong, London**Alex Dilling at Hotel Café Royal, LondonAimsir, Celbridge, IrelandAndrew Fairlie at Gleneagles, AuchterarderClaude Bosi at Bibendum, LondonChapter One by Mickael Viljanen, DublinThe Clove Club, Shoreditch, LondonDa Terra, London**Dede, Baltimore, IrelandDinner by Heston Blumenthal, LondonHand and Flowers, MarlowIkoyi, St James’s, LondonKitchen Table, LondonLa Dame de Pic London, London**The Ledbury, LondonLe Gavroche, LondonLe Manoir aux Quat' Saisons, a Belmond Hotel, Great MiltonLiath, Blackrock, DublinMidsummer House, CambridgeMoor Hall, AughtonPatrick Guilbaud, Dublin, IrelandRaby Hunt, SummerhouseRestaurant Sat Bains, NottinghamStory, LondonYnyshir, Machynlleth, Powys
New One Stars
**Àclèaf, Plymouth**Ben Wilkinson at The Pass, Horsham**Cycene, London**Gidleigh Park, Chagford**Grace & Savour, Hampton in Arden**Heft, Newton in Cartmel**Heron, Leith**Luca, London**Lumiere, Cheltenham**Pentonbridge Inn, Penton**Restaurant Twenty-Two, Cambridge**sō–lō, Aughton**Solstice by Kenny Atkinson, Newcastle upon Tyne**St. Barts, London**Store, Stoke Holy Cross**Taku, London**Terre, Castlemartyr**The Samling, Ambleside**The Tudor Pass, Egham**Timberyard, Edinburgh
(Updates with quotes in sixth paragraph.)
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