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Fairlie celebrates new stars from Michelin

26 January 2006
Fairlie celebrates new stars from Michelin

There were both tears and jubilation last week as Michelin revealed its annual verdict on the UK restaurant scene.

No new British restaurants were awarded the coveted three-Michelin-star status and only one establishment, Andrew Fairlie at Gleneagles, won two stars.

Commenting on the significance of the award, executive chef Andrew Fairlie, said: "It has been a huge team effort throughout the whole of last year. There was a lot of pressure on the team because we knew we wanted to achieve at least a two-star level. It's a massive credit to everyone involved."

Seventeen new one-star awards were announced but only five were in the capital, showing that the distribution of Michelin-quality food is becoming increasingly wide-spread throughout the country.

Lucknam Park in Bath, St Ervan Manor in Padstow, Cornwall, and Gilpin Lodge in Cumbria were just some of the restaurants to win a star, while Torquay, formerly renowned as the home of Fawlty Towers, won two new one-star awards.

The awards went to Orestone Manor and the Elephant, both owned by local entrepreneurs Peter Morgan and Friedericke Etessami.

Simon Hulstone, head chef at the Elephant, said he was "absolutely over the moon" at the news. "This is something every chef works toward but I suppose only a few of us can have. We found the formula so I'm well chuffed. Now we've just got to continue with the consistency."

Rose Ashton, co-manager of Orestone Manor, added: "We've been working very hard since we took over three years ago to achieve what we wanted."

She pointed out that, outside London, Devon now shared the top spot with two other counties, Yorkshire and Berkshire, in terms of the number of Michelin-starred-restaurants in the county. "I guess Basil Fawlty is consigned to history now," she said.

In London, Rasoi Vineet Bhatia in Chelsea, the Ledbury in Notting Hill, Amaya in Belgravia and Maze and Nobu Berkeley in Mayfair all scooped one star.

Three of the restaurants have been open for less than a year, with the Ledbury opening in April, Maze in May and Nobu Berkeley in August.

Head chef of the Ledbury, 26-year-old Brett Graham, described the award as a mixture of both "happiness and relief".

"Getting the star has been a real team effort. Everyone mucked in and helped from the start and most of the team have been here since we opened so everybody feels a part of it."

New to this year's red book was the introduction of "Rising Stars", restaurants tipped by the red guide for higher ratings in next year's awards.

Three restaurants - Fraiche in Birkenhead, Atlantic in Jersey and the Harrow in Hungerford, Berkshire - were all tipped for one star. The Vineyard at Stockcross in Newbury, Berkshire, and the Greenhouse in London were both tipped for a second.

John Campbell, executive chef at the Vineyard, said he fully supported the new initiative. "I think it's a really good concept. It's a new way of adding some differentiation into the grading, and giving businesses hope. It does mean we'll be in limbo for a year, but a happy limbo - it's nice to be pushed forward."

Michelin 2006: who's up and who's down

New two-star restaurants Scotland: Andrew Fairlie at Gleneagles, Auchterarder

New one-star restaurants
England:
Lucknam Park, Bath; Le Poussin at Whitley Ridge, Brockenhurst; the Hare, Hungerford; the Hand & Flowers, Marlow; the Moody Goose at the Old Priory, Midsomer Norton; St Ervan Manor, Padstow; the Masons Arms, South Molton; Waldo's (at Cliveden), Taplow; Orestone Manor, Torquay; the Elephant, Torquay; Gilpin Lodge, Windermere
Wales: Ynyshir Hall, Powys
London: Rasoi Vineet Bhatia, Chelsea; the Ledbury, Notting Hill; Amaya, Belgravia; Maze, Mayfair; Nobu Berkeley, Mayfair

One-star deletions
England: The Samling, Ambleside; Moody Goose, Bath; the Lygon Arms, Broadway; Café du Moulin, Guernsey; Merchant House, Ludlow; Le Poussin at Parkhill, Lyndhurst; Chewton Glen, New Milton; Adlards, Norwich; the Abbey, Penzance; the Black Pig, Rock; Thackeray's, Royal Tunbridge Wells; Charlton House, Shepton Mallet; Sawyards, Storrington
Northern Ireland: Shanks, Bangor; the Oriel, Gilford
London: Putney Bridge, Putney

Restaurants dropping from two stars to one
England:
Winteringham Fields, Winteringham
Republic of Ireland: Thornton's (at Fitzwilliam H), Dublin

By Jessica Gunn

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