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Reader Treats Just For You!

Twinkle twinkle Michelin stars

The list of Michelin star winners, that is. The prestigious 2020 awards have just been announced. Take a look at the full line-up for the West Country

 

Chris Cleghorn at The Olive Tree Restaurant in Bath

Hot off the press (or should that be out of the oven?) come the Michelin Guide star ratings for 2020.  A staggering, 1,464 restaurants now form Michelin’s culinary constellation – adding 131 brand new twinklers. So if you’re in search of a fancy-pants night out don’t book anything anything until you’ve checked the full line-up for West Country.

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SOMERSET

The Olive Tree Restaurant, Bath, Somerset – 1 star

In the basement of the elegant, eclectically styled Georgian townhouse Queensberry Hotel, the winner of Bath’s one and only Michelin star, Chris Cleghorn cooks up Modern British in the Olive Tree restaurant – and what’s more, he’s retained it for a second year.  Thoughtful as well as talented, no one’s left out: amongst his ‘fives’ and ‘sevens’ multi-course tasting menus there are vegetarian, vegan and dairy-free ‘sevens’ too.

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The Pony & Trap, Chew Magna, Somerset – 1 star

No fancy surroundings – this is a homely Somerset boozer run by brother and sister duo Josh and Holly Eggelton – but the food’s been Michelin star standard since 2011. Dedicated to using produce from the land surrounding the pub in the Chew Valley.

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BRISTOL

Bulrush, Cotham, Bristol – 1 star

Just your average neighbourhood restaurant. Not. Sit downstairs near the kitchen where chef/proprietor George Livesey prepares seasonal organic and foraged menus, often using pickled and preserved ingredients.  Put me down for the nine-course tasting menu on Fridays and Saturday eves.

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Casamia, Bristol – 1 star

This tiny family-run restaurant with just nine tables is housed on the ground floor of an old hospital along Bristol’s waterfront. Chef Peter Sanchez-Iglesias and his team serve up a four-course (excl Friday & Sat eves) and full menu (Wed to Sun) and advise allowing around three and a half hours to enjoy it to the full – alrighty!

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Paco Tapas, Bristol – 1 star

Just along from Casamina is another arm of the Sanchez-Iglesias family’s empire. This is where Andalucian meets the West Country to create perfect tapas with a handpicked sherry list (ever had a sherry cocktail?).  I’ve got my eye on their vast, almost lobster-sized red Spanish prawns…

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Wilks, Redland, Bristol – 1 star

Owner James ‘Wilks’ Wilkins learned his craft under Gordon Ramsey, the Galvin brothers and triple Michelin starred Michel Bras in France and Japan before setting up on his own. It took just a year to be awarded a Michelin star in 2012. Expect classic flavours, traditional and modern techniques – and an exceptional Sunday roast.

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WILTSHIRE

The Dining Room at Whately Manor, Malmesbury, Wilts – 2 stars (NEW)

This year Niall Keating gets his second Michelin star. He takes his inspiration from around the world including Korean, Japanese and French cuisine. £120 will get you the gastronomic tasting menu and there’s a choice of three wine flights.

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The Bybrook at the Manor, Castle Combe, nr Bath, Wilts – 1 star

The Manor House is a five-star luxury country house hotel in the Cotswolds with Rob Potter, previously at Michelin starred Lucknam Park, in charge of The Bybrook restaurant since 2016. Walk off a gourmet lunch in the glorious grounds or picture postcard village – or maybe make a weekend of it?

 

Restaurant Hywel Jones by Lucknam Park, Colerne, nr  Bath, Wilts – 1 star

Stupendous 5-star country house hotel (it’s got a mile-long driveway) with a very posh dining room – no ripped jeans or trainers allowed in here – headed up by Hywel Jones. Michelin starred since 2006.

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The Red Lion Free House, East Chisenbury, Wilts – 1 star

Thatched country pub run by two chefs, just 15 mins drive from Stonehenge. Prix Fixe Weds–Fri lunch/Thurs & Fri dinner is especially good value.

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DEVON

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Lympstone Manor, Lympstone, nr Exmouth, Devon – 1 star

Hurrah for the recognition of Michael Caines’ super-classy destination in south-east Devon.  If you’re curious, try and nab yourself tickets for a dining event with the chef himself at the end of this month.

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The Elephant, Torquay, Devon – 1 star

Oh we do like to be beside the seaside. Especially if we’re tucking into food that’s as amazing to look at as it is to eat.  This super relaxed (well-behaved kids and dogs both welcome) bistro overlooking Torquay harbour is run by one of the UK’s most decorated chefs Simon Hulstone and his wife Katy.

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The Masons Arms, Knowstone, Devon – 1 star

These guys arrived on Exmoor’s food scene in 2005, won their Michelin star in 2006 and have retained it ever since. I’m no expert, but I reckon owner and chef Mark Dodson knows what he’s doing.

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Thomas Carr @ The Olive Room, Ilfracombe, Devon – 1 star

Unpretentious surroundings (underneath a B&B) and super-fresh seafood caught that day, cooked up by Thomas Carr, who trained under Cornwall’s Nathan Outlaw.

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CORNWALL

Restaurant Nathan Outlaw, Port Isaac, Cornwall – 2 stars

For the full, Cornish seafood shebang, Nathan Outlaw’s your man and his flagship restaurant is the one to book. One set seafood menu is served in an intimate first floor dining room seating six or downstairs overlooking the action in the Kitchen Bar which seats eight.

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Paul Ainsworth at No 6 Padstow, Cornwall – 1 star

Diners can expect, modern British cuisine in an elegant and intimate townhouse setting. Carefully sourced local produce, such as Porthilly Oysters, Tamar Valley lamb and day-boat fish, star in the restaurant’s exquisitely crafted dishes.

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Outlaw’s Fish Kitchen, Port Isaac, Cornwall – 1 star

Housed in a rustic seaside cottage in the heart of the village, the second of Nathan Law’s Michelin star eateries has just eight tables and an intimate yet lively atmosphere. Head Chef Tim Barnes’ menu is dictated by the sea and the fishermen, with fish sourced from inshore day boats and cooked to order. Choose from small, original and delicious seafood plates, designed to share, tapas-style.

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Chris Cleghorn at The Olive Tree restaurant in Bath

 

Have a gander at the full list of Michelin starred pubs and restaurants click here. PS. If you’re seeking a more low-key, laid-back or frankly less spendy dinner, don’t forget we also review brilliant pubs, restaurants and cafes HERE !

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The Urban Guide to the Countryside - Somerset