Yesterday, the all new 2021 Michelin Guide to Great Britain and Ireland was revealed by Davina McCall and Michelin director Gwendal Poullennec at a surreal, stilted, digital-only, sometimes surprising, but often predictable live event somewhere in London. In total across the capital, the tyre company’s famous Red Guide index included seven new one-stars, three new two-stars, and two new three-Michelin-starred restaurants.
Here’s everything you need to know about all 12 restaurants: who’s behind them, where they are, what they serve, and what they had to say about their new status.
Three Michelin stars
Who’s behind it: Clare Smyth as chef-patron, with head chef Jonny Bone.
Cuisine: Modern European.
Opened: August 2017. It won two Michelin stars in October 2018.
Where is it: 92 Kensington Park Road, Notting Hill W11 2PN
What they said: “We are absolutely thrilled...This year has been unbelievably challenging, and I am so proud of my team for their resilience and their constant dedication to excellence.” —Clare Smyth
Who’s behind it: Hélène Darroze, with head chef Marco Zampese.
Cuisine: Globally inspired riffs on luxury anchor ingredients, including wagyu beef, lobster, and caviar.
Opened: 2008. Won a first Michelin star in 2009 and a second in 2011.
Where is it: The Connaught Hotel, Carlos Place, Mayfair W1K 2AL
What they said: “Putain... I don’t know what to... I am thinking [of] all women in the kitchen and I want to let them know that … everything is possible and believe in who you are.” —Hélène Darroze
Two Michelin stars
Who’s behind it: Founder and head chef Andrew Wong.
Cuisine: Best understood by its deliberate distinction between lunch and dinner; the former a paean to the art of dim sum, the latter a geographical survey of Chinese culinary traditions. It’s further subdivided at dinner between an a la carte menu and a fourteen-course tasting.
Opened: 2013, winning its first Michelin star in 2017.
Where is it: 70 Wilton Road, Pimlico SW1V 1DE
What they said: “We are beyond delighted to have been recognised by Michelin with a second star. We have an incredible team who have supported us every day and been such an integral part of this journey. Like so many restaurants, this has been a hard and challenging year and we’re all just looking forward to celebrating — virtually — and hopefully in person in the not too distant future!” —Andrew Wong
Who’s behind it: Chefs Paulo Airaudo and Rafael Cagali
What food does it serve: “Never traditional but always respectful; flavours and textures are interspersed with distinct combinations that take inspiration from time spent growing up in Latin America and working as young chefs in Italy and Spain.” In other words, modern Western European fine-dining which leans towards South America.
Where is it: The Town Hall Hotel, 8 Patriot Square E2 9NF
Opened: February 2019, winning a first Michelin star in the same year.
What they said: “I am absolutely speechless and overwhelmed. So so happy to receive this second star from Michelin guide @michelinguide. Can’t thank my team enough for the hard work. It’s just a dream comes true.” —Rafael Cagali, on Instagram
Who’s behind it: Chef Tom Sellers.
Cuisine: Seven-course tasting menu at lunch and nine at dinner, with the restaurant’s hallmark being building its dishes around a guest, and by extension Sellers’ story.
Where is it: 199 Tooley Street, Tower Bridge SE1 2JX
Opened: 2013, winning a first Michelin star after five months.
What they said: “It’s been a lifetime’s work so to be recognised and sit amongst other great chefs feels amazing.” —Tom Sellers
One Michelin star
Who’s behind it: Chef-restaurateur Adolfo de Cecco.
Cuisine: Improvisational, international tasting menu dishes.
Where is it: 158 Sandringham Road, Hackney E8 2HS
Opened: April 2019.
What they said: “It took me a while to process it, but it did happen. Yesterday we won a Michelin star. We opened casa Fofó in 2019 with a very small budget and an even smaller team but with big dreams and the drive to bring our vision to life...There are no word to describe how proud and grateful I am to have you as a team. A huge thanks to the @michelinguide who saw our potential. Dreams do come true.” —Adolfo de Cecco, on Instagram
Who’s behind it: Executive chef Sameer Taneja.
What food does it serve: High-end Indian cuisine.
Where is it: 12a Berkeley Square, Mayfair W1J 6BS
Opened: 2002. It gained the star in 2006, before losing it in 2019, a year after founding chef Atul Kochhar had his contract terminated after he posted anti-Islamic tweets. It had previously held a Michelin star but was demoted in 2018, following the scandal with Kochhar. This time around, Michelin said it was “Revitalised and reenergised – great to have @Benaresofficial back to its best.”
What they said: ““The team and I are absolutely delighted to have regained a star for Benares. It’s a fantastic achievement and despite testing times for hospitality over the past year, the entire team have all worked incredibly hard to maintain exceptional standards at every service. We would like to thank our customers for their wonderful feedback and support, our supplier partners and the Michelin Guide for their faith in us.” —Sameer Taneja
Who’s behind it: Big-deal NYC chef Daniel Humm of Eleven Madison Park, and head chef Dimitri Magi.
Cuisine: Playful hotel fine dining that blends British seasonality with “global inspiration”, especially that of American comfort and street foods.
Where is it: Claridge’s Hotel, Brook Street, Mayfair, London W1K 4HR
Opened: December 2019.
What they said: “So incredibly humbled for @daviesandbrook to receive its @michelinguide star. Huge thanks to my team, I feel so very proud of you all and all the hard work that you’ve put in. Thanks to @danielhumm for being the best mentor one can imagine and to @claridgeshotel for your constant support. That is just the beginning, sky is the limit!” —Dimitri Magi, on Instagram
Who’s behind it: Chef-restaurateur Andy Benyon.
Cuisine: A fish-focused 18-seater chef’s table restaurant and bottle shop
Where is it: 20 Sidworth Street, Hackney, London E8 3SD
Opened: October, 2020. Yes, you read it right. It has traded for just 20 days.
What they said: “Wow - I think we’re still in shock - 1 Michelin Star !!! Thank you so much to our customers, suppliers and community[...]This has been a dream come true, and the team have put so much hard work in to making this happen. We’re beyond proud to keep raising Hackney’s food profile, and to say - Behind is a Michelin star restaurant!” —Andy Benyon, on Instagram
Who’s behind it: Chefs Tom Brown and James Toth.
Cuisine: Seafood sharing plates: “simple, but sophisticated, seafood dishes which change daily.”
Where is it: 3 Prince Edward Road, Hackney Wick, E9 5LX
Opened: April 2018
What they said: “MICHELIN STAR YALL! ..the proudest moment of my career so far, but I genuinely can’t take the credit for this... it’s all down to my incredible staff who give so much and work so hard every day, thank you so much
“Also to @nathanoutlaw for the training, love and support, without the things I learnt from him this would never have been possible... congratulations to everyone else that won today...to be honest we’re just lucky to be open still after the year we’ve all had in this industry so this is definitely a huge silver lining for us.” —Tom Brown, on Instagram
Who’s behind it: Relative old-timer Tom Aikens.
Cuisine: Modern European. Or: “Tom Aikens’ return to experience-led fine dining in an intimate 25-cover converted mews house. The menus at Muse have been inspired by nostalgia and the pivotal moments and key people from Tom’s personal life and career.” Two tasting menus — seven or 10-course — feature dishes with names such as “From a Humble beginning” and “Conquering the Beech tree.” Respectively, onion, caviar, and egg; and langoustine, pork fat, and burnt apple.
Where is it: 38 Groom Place, Belgravia, SW1X 7BA
Opened: January 2020
What they said: In a pre-recorded Zoom video which aired during the Michelin ceremony, a surprised Tom Aikens’ said, “Wow, that’s amazing, I’m so happy.”
Who’s behind it: Chef-restaurateur Victor Garvey.
Cuisine: Heavily Californian-accented fine dining.
Where is it: 64 Dean Street, Soho W1D 4QQ
Opened: November 2019, in a do-over of Garvey’s Catalan-inspired restaurant, Rambla.
What they said: “We’re just kids playing restaurants,” Garvey said in a pre-recorded Zoom video last night. On Twitter, the chef posted: “Stars are awarded to restaurants, not chefs. As such, every single person who works @solasoho is equally responsible for this incredible honour tonight.”