The first ever Michelin Guide was produced for French motorists 118 years ago, in 1900. One star meant a restaurant was good and worthy of a stop; two that it mérite un détour (justified a detour); and three that it was so exceptional that it warranted a special journey. While there are questions surrounding the guide’s relevance – the list tends to represent a particular style of fine dining and has been criticized for its dated tastes – there was no doubt that the chefs receiving their whites at the Michelin Revelation at the Hurlingham Club in London this year still saw it as a huge honour.
The Lecture Room & Library at Sketch in Mayfair is London’s newest three-Michelin-starred restaurant – joining Restaurant Gordon Ramsay and Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester as the only restaurants in the capital to hold Michelin's highest accolade. Overseen by French chef Pierre Gagniere and run by head chef Johannes Nuding The Lecture Room & Library has held two stars since 2013. One surprise outcome of the night was the deletion of The Araki – previously also holding three stars – from the guide altogether.
Last year, while there were no new three-star restaurants, Clare Smyth’s Notting Hill restaurant Core entered the guide with two stars. Joining Core with two stars this year is new-to-the-guide Aimsir in Celbridge, near Dublin – where Jordan Bailey focuses on foraged and preserved ingredients. In London, La Dame de Pic gains a second star. Superstar French chef Anne-Sophie Pic, one of the few female chefs to hold three Michelin stars elsewhere in the world (for Maison Pic in Valence), has worked her magic yet again at this restaurant inside Corinthian-columned Four Seasons Hotel London at Ten Trinity Square. The Dining Room at Whatley Manor in Malmesbury (Niall Keating) and The Greenhouse in Dublin (Mikael Viljanen) also received Michelin’s two-star honour.
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London restaurant Mãos, on Redchurch Street in Shoreditch, has received its first Michelin star in the 2020 guide. Originally reviewed by us as a hush-hush East London supper club, it looks like word on Nuno Mendes and Edoardo Pellicano's dynamic Portuguese tasting menu has got out. Da Terra in the restored Town Hall Hotel in Bethnal Green nearby also received its first star in the 2020 awards. As did The Dysart Petersham, set in a charming early 1900s house in Richmond, and Japanese Endo at The Rotunda in the old BBC building in Shepherd’s Bush.
Three London restaurants received the Michelin Bib Gourmand, an accolade that has been part of the guide since 1955 and acknowledges exceptionally good food at moderate prices: Berenjak, the Iranian-inspired Soho spot we love; Two Lights, which made Conde Nast Traveller’s list as one of the best restaurants of 2020; and Bancone, a buzzy fresh-pasta counter in Covent Garden, which has a second spot opening in Soho soon.
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This year's Sustainability Award goes to Loam Restaurant in Galway, where chef-owner Enda McEvoy was among the first in Ireland to champion natural ingredients and build personal relationships with his suppliers. The menu is very short so as to reduce food waste.
187 Michelin-Starred Restaurants are featured for 2020. Keep scrolling to see the full list of this year's prize winners.