Restaurant Nathan Outlaw at the St Enodoc Hotel in Rock, Cornwall, has been awarded two Michelin stars in this year's Michelin Guide Great Britain & Ireland. Outlaw, long-since tipped for two stars by Michelin, was the most high-profile award in England. In addition, five new one Michelin stars have been awarded in England, outside London.
New Michelin stars were awarded to Curlew, Bodiam, East Sussex; Pony & Trap, Chew Magna, Bath & North East Somerset; Adam Simmonds at Danesfield House, Marlow, Buckinghamshire; the Black Rat, Winchester, Hampshire; and
Paris House, Woburn, Bedfordshire, which was relaunched by chef Alan Murchison and the 10 in 8 Restaurant Group last February. Head chef at Paris House is Phil Fanning. The Black Rat and the Pony & Trap were both promoted from Bib Gourmands.
In a press statement, Nathan Outlaw, who is currently on holiday, said: "It's a real honour to be recognised for what you do day in, day out. This is, of course, testament to the incredible local ingredients I have available to me. If I didn't have such fantastic suppliers, I wouldn't be in this fantastic position."
Commenting on Nathan Outlaw's promotion to two Michelin stars, former guide editor Derek Bulmer, who edited the current edition, said: "We've been following Nathan for 10 years. He has settled finally, and made Cornwall his home. He has a particular flair with fish, raises quite simple dishes to new heights. He doesn't overcomplicate. He knows when a dish is finished."
Among the one-star restaurants gaining recognition in England was Adam Simmonds, whose eponymous restaurant at Danesfield House Hotel and Spa already holds four AA rosettes and 8 out of 10 in the Good Food Guide. Simmonds previously held a Michelin star at Ynyshir Hall near Machynlleth in Wales.
Simmonds said: "It's brilliant. I don't think it has sunk in yet. It has taken a long time. I'm absolutely delighted as you can imagine. It has been a four-year gap since I held one at Ynyshir Hall, but you have to go through your ups and downs, but this makes up for it. At the end of day, I've got it back, it doesn't matter how long takes. I've got the hat trick that I wanted with Good Food, Michelin and AA. I have a lot of support out there in the industry, for which I'm truly grateful. I'm going to go and have a glass of Champagne now."
Former Gordon Ramsay Scholar Josh Eggleton, who runs his family businesss, the Pony & Trap in Newtown, Chew Magna, Bristol, said the news was completely unexpected. "One of my chefs found out from the website, but to be honest I thought he was winding me up! This is very much a family business - my sister runs front of house and my parents are partners - this is great news for all of us. We were busy before but, judging by other people, I think we're going to be even busier now. We need to make sure we're consistent and that we continue to push forward. But this certainly gives us the confidence to do so."
Alan Murchison, chief executive officer of the 10 in 8 Fine Dining Group, which runs Paris House in Woburn, said it had been a nerve-racking morning for the group. "I am absolutely thrilled for Phil and the team as this award recognises all the hard work they have put in during the past year."
Richard Pursey, chairman of the group, added: "We are bowled over by the news and are delighted for Phil Fanning and the whole team. This award is testimony to the talent and hard work of the youngsters we are developing within the business and aiming to establish in the industry."
Mark Colley, who owns the Curlew restaurant in Bodiam, East Sussex, with his wife, Sara, said: "We're a little bit lost of words. We're really proud of the team and Graham Garrett [of the Michelin-starred West House at Biddenden] who is a very good friend who works for us on a consultancy basis as executive head chef - he has been with us every step of the way. I know it's a cliché, but it's about the team and I have the best team in the world as far as I'm concerned!
"Although we previously owned a boutique hotel, our passion has always been on the food side. But when we opened the Curlew, we just wanted to create a great local restaurant for a great local community, most of whom we have the pleasure of knowing. We wanted to create somewhere we'd like to go to - that has been a priority. I'm not saying you don't have half an eye on accolades, but that underlines what you hope you are getting right. We are looking forward to business it may bring. We won't change a thing."
Head chef Neil McCue added: "I'm in shock. I don't know whether to run down the street naked, but I don't think that's appropriate! It's the best achievement of my life. I've got to thank the people around me, including Graham. I think we hit the ground running with great reviews, but I didn't think we were going to do something like that [win a star] quickly. It's testament to how well we've done."
Former Chez Bruce chef Chris Bailey, head chef of the Black Rat in Winchester, said he learnt of the news from his fishmonger who had read about the restaurant on Twitter. “We were aware of an inspector coming in some time ago, but we were not expecting anything. I’m very excited – I haven’t stopped shaking.”
Bailey said that the restaurant, owned by restaurateur David Nicholson, had not chased a Michelin star. “The restaurant is a laidback, local restaurant. We serve really good food, suitable for everyone. We’re only a small team but we’re very happy with the news, it’ll be heads down, initially, but after work tonight we might have a bottle of bubbly or two.”
Rising stars in England included the Marquis, Alkham, Kent; Artichoke, Amersham, Buckinghamshire and the Black Swan, Helmsley/Oldstead, North Yorkshire.
Six restaurants in England lost their Michelin star, however some of them are currently closed. They are: Drakes on the Pond, Abinger Hammer, Surrey; the Goose (closed), Britwell Salome, Oxon; West Stoke House (closed), Chichester, West Sussex; the New Angel, Dartmouth, Devon (closed, now Angelique); Harry's Place, Great Gonerby, Lincolnshire; the Star Inn, Harome, North Yorkshire.
The total number of Michelin-starred restaurants in the UK is now 143, the highest figure ever.
New stars in England
Restaurant Nathan Outlaw, Rock, Cornwall
Curlew, Bodiam, East Sussex
Pony & Trap, Chew Magna, Brisol, Somerset
Adam Simmonds at Danesfield House, Marlow, Buckinghamshire
The Black Rat, Winchester, Hampshire
Paris House, Woburn, Bedfordshire
Rising stars in England
Drakes on the Pond, Abinger Hammer, Surrey
The Goose (closed), Britwell Salome, Oxon
West Stoke House (closed), Chichester, West Sussex
The New Angel, Dartmouth, Devon (closed, now Angelique)
Harry's Place, Great Gonerby, Lincolnshire
The Star Inn, Harome, North Yorkshire
By Amanda Afiya
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