2018’s Michelin winners
The judge's scores are in, they've held up their Michelin paddleboards and here are our local winners.
The judge’s scores are in, they’ve held up their Michelin paddleboards and here are the winners in Bucks, Oxon and the Home Counties around us. I’ve also included the Bib Gourmand entries – those high quality restaurants and pubs with three courses under £28. Snail foam and starry soupcons all round, let’s get eating.
The Coach, Marlow – 1 star (NEW)
Fabulous, mini dishes, delivered with aplomb in this stylish non-bookable bar/pub in the centre of Marlow, owned by local Michelin-meister Tom Kerridge.
The Hand & Flowers, Marlow – 2 stars
The first pub to have been given Michelin stars, these days Tom Kerridge’s Marlow pub is part of the gastro establishment.
The Hundred of Ashendon, mid Bucks – Bib Gourmand
Classy rural pub in mid-Bucks from owner/chef Matt Gill, who formerly toiled over the stoves at the much-admired St John in London. He’s just retained his third consecutive Bib Gourmand for this off-the-grid treasure.
The Russell Arms, Butler’s Cross – Bib Gourmand
I reviewed this pub recently and loved it. It’s village owned, very relaxed (dogs happily loll in the bar) and the food is fab.
The Three Oaks, Gerrards Cross – Bib Gourmand
A fabulous gastropub that you need the sat nav for, you’ll never drive past it! I reviewed it here, you’ll love it.
The Nut Tree, Murcott – 1 star
The 10th consecutive year for this classy thatched pub/restaurant near Bicester.
Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, Great Milton – 2 stars
Le Manoir needs no introduction – Raymond Blanc’s Oxfordshire gaff reclaims its stars year after year so dust down your best outfit and your reinforced credit card and enjoy.
The Magdalen Arms, Oxford – Bib Gourmand
Popular gastro pub up the Iffley Road, round the corner from Oli’s Thai (below) and the Pegasus Theatre.
Oli’s Thai, Oxford – Bib Gourmand
Much admired simple but stylish Thai restaurant in a trendy, locals area of Oxford.
Goodbye: The Sir Charles Napier (Chinnor) and The Wild Rabbit (Kingham) have both lost their Michelin stars in 2018. The Killingworth Castle (Wootton) has lost its Bib Gourmand.
L’Ortolan, Reading – 1 star
Berkshire has romped it this year with gazillions of stars falling from the Michelin inspectors, including a reprise for L’Ortolan, Reading’s only Michelin restaurant. Traditional service, white tablecloths, and beautifully presented French fare makes it perfect for special occasions.
The Fat Duck, Bray – 3 stars
Good luck getting a seat at Heston’s flagship restaurant but if you do manage to be one of the few to get in on the gastronomic journey, strap your credit card for blast off – it’s over £265 per head, plus another £165 to the bill for the wine flight.
The Waterside Inn, Bray – 3 stars
Fancy being cooked for by Alain Roux? Course you do! What is modestly described as a ‘restaurant with rooms’ on the Waterside website is in fact a gastronomic powerhouse. Save up and experience the magic.
Coworth Park Ascot, Berkshire – 1 star (NEW)
Executive chef Adam Smith showcases his gastronomic talents by taking classic British flavour combos and giving them a modern twist, creating dishes that are as pretty as a picture. And who doesn’t love a view across a croquet lawn?
The Crown, Burchetts Green, Maidenhead – 1 star
Chef Simon Bonwick works the kitchen alone while several of his NINE kids work front of house. Expect the best seasonal British ingredients cooked using French techniques. Expect simple, unfussy plates of food that tastes epic.
The Hinds Head, Bray – 1 star
Heston’s gastropub has undergone a huuuuge refurbishment this year to reflect its royal and religious past. The menu has had an overhaul too, ditching the a la carte for 3 set menus of eclectic British dishes.
The Royal Oak Paley Street, Maidenhead – 1 star
AKA Parky’s pub. This is Michael Parkinson and his son Nick’s gaff. Chef Dominic Chapman (Ex Hind’s Head) takes great British produce as his starting point and wild ingredients as his inspiration. Modern British sounds far too dull to describe his food.
The Woodspeen, Newbury – 1 star
Chef John Campbell’s converted boozer just a few miles from his old stomping ground The Vineyard is a smart country restaurant without formality. Don’t be fooled though, this fine dining – it’s just forgoes the large linen bill and it’s acceptable to drink pints.
The White Oak, Cookham – Bib Gourmand
Five years on the trot that this superb gastropub has retained its Bib Gourmand. The facts don’t lie! This is refined pub grub that you want to stick your face in and lick the plates clean.
Le Champignon Sauvage, Cheltenham **
Le Champignon Sauvage may have become something of a culinary institution thanks to the imaginative cooking of its chef owner David Everitt-Matthias, but the atmosphere and tone of the restaurant remain refreshingly laid-back.
Goodbye to: Lords of the Manor (Gloucestershire) and 5 North St (Gloucestershire) lost their Michelin stars and the Horse & Groom in Bourton-on-the-Hill lost its Bib Gourmand.
Fox and Hounds, Hunsdon (BG)
Hertfordshire’s only awarded eaterie, and it’s a repeat offender (as well as being Destination Pub finalist in the Muddy Awards 2017). Head East of Hertford, order big, then walk it off in the pretty village of Hunsdon.
For a full list of Michelin starred pubs and restaurants click here, but if you don’t feel like being fancy pants, don’t forget I review a stupendous number of really brilliant eateries on a weekly basis!