The Michelin Guide, every spring, publishes its updated list of the most noteworthy restaurants all around the world. The UK, in particular, hosts almost 200 Michelin-starred establishments. London alone has 74, but the areas around the capital also offer exceptional dining.
In 2023, there have been 19 new one-star restaurants, five two-star restaurants and one new three-star restaurant.
Luxury is promoted across all of these eateries, from the service quality to the interiors and, ultimately, the menus. Elegant atmospheres and top-notch fine dining are all mutual characteristics that these five establishments are endowed with.
Elite Traveler has created a list of five Michelin-starred restaurants in the UK worth checking out.
The Fat Duck, Bray
Located in the 16th-century village of Bray in Berkshire, the Fat Duck has become one of the UK’s most internationally talked about restaurants owing to the imaginative gastronomy created by revered chef Heston Blumenthal. The kitchen is led by Edward Cooke, who is in charge of the 12-course meals which live up to the establishment’s three Michelin Stars, combining fine dining with theatrics and an element of surprise.
A menu in a lightbox with a magnifying glass brings layers and storytelling to each dish since the premise of the restaurant is to embark on a degustation journey. The current menu Sensorium is hailed as a curious, gloriously gastronomic journey into mouth, mind and memory, an exploration of human sensory interconnections, driven by Heston’s longstanding notion that one should ‘Question Everything’. From starting with a Nitro-poached aperitive, guests embark on a journey, ‘A Walk in the Woods’ takes you to places you walked as a child, where Sound of the Sea, a seafood-based dish also takes in sound to intensify the taste experience.
The Fat Duck‘s Michelin reputation started in 1999 when it received its first star. It was awarded the second star in 2002 and the third in 2004, which made it the quickest restaurant in the UK to receive three Michelin Stars.
Waterside Inn, Bray
Bray’s other claim to culinary fame is the three Michelin-Star restaurant, the Waterside Inn, which stands out for its idyllic riverside setting as well as its exemplary cuisine.
The restaurant has been serving fine French cuisine in this spot on the river since 1972 and has since built up a reputation across the world. Run by chef-patron Alain Roux, the kitchen creates seasonal menus that focus on the best products available. The current menu includes a Jerusalem artichoke velouté flavored with truffle and garnished with scallop slices. Alain is one of only three UK members of the Relais Dessert Association, making the desserts here particularly renowned.
To get the complete Waterside Inn experience, it is recommended to book a room in the riverside structure, since both the menu and the overnight stay are in the name of elegance and luxury.
Outlaw’s New Road, Port Isaac
Known for his television appearances, chef Nathan Outlaw is a prominent name in the culinary world. Much of his attention is placed on his one Michelin-starred restaurant in Port Isaac, Outlaw’s New Road.
Within a boutique hotel on the South West coast of England, in Cornwall, the restaurant presents a menu of locally caught seafood. Small and original plates are created from the fish and seafood that’s brought in by the fishermen that day, so no two trips here are the same. From fresh lobster to spider crab, Outlaw’s New Road has crafted a unique tasting menu.
Nathan Outlaw explains: “Over the past two decades, I have dedicated my craft to the pursuit of seafood excellence, uncovering original techniques and recipes whilst harnessing the nuances of classical seafood cookery. The dishes prepared at Outlaw’s New Road reflect the location and time of the ingredients gathered, even to the day; we consider the subtle changes in produce and raw components as each season evolves. Our aim is to elevate seafood.”
Midsummer House, Cambridge
Sitting on the edge of Cambridge’s Midsummer Common, this Victorian riverside cottage is the setting for multi-course meals of French cuisine that has been awarded the accolade of two Michelin stars. When it was awarded its second Star in 2004, it was the only two-Michelin-starred restaurant in the East of England.
Chef Daniel Clifford first opened Midsummer House in 1998, but was forced to close on two occasions in 1999 and 2000 after two devastating floods which ruined the cellar and ground floor. After that, the structure has been renovated to the highest standards. There are 14 tables and the guests can enjoy their Michelin-starred meal in an open-plan conservatory, right next to the main dining room.
With chef Daniel Clifford leading the way, the kitchen puts out dishes such as Ahjou pigeon with confit leg pastille, beetroot and horseradish, and smoked cauliflower with hazelnut and raisin. Alongside the original menu, the sommelier team also picked a thoughtful wine list which complements every dish.
Restaurant Sat Bains With Rooms, Nottingham
Modern British dishes and multi-course tasting menus are the focus here at the two Michelin-Starred-restaurant Sat Bains With Rooms, which takes its name from the accomplished chef Satwant Bains. The establishment is located under a flyover, but the interiors will wow every guest. With dark accents, flagstone doors and exposed bricks Restaurant Sat Bains With Rooms has a mysterious yet intriguing charm.
Run by chef John Freeman, the kitchen creates a continually changing menu featuring dishes that combine fine produce with experimentation. There are seven- and ten-course menus, alongside a filling and elegant breakfast with cinnamon flavors, roasted apples and walnut crumbles.
The menu is based on seasonal products only, crafted in a way to enhance their texture, flavor, balance and tradition. Each guest can also stay in one of the rooms overnight, starting at £180 per night.