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In the Year Its Stars ‘Supported’ the Industry, Michelin Still Took a Few Away

Jason Atherton’s restaurant on Poland Street in Soho drops its star, alongside seven more in London

Michelin director Gwendal Poullennec on a star background Michelin Revelation/YouTube

Yesterday evening, Michelin included two new three-Michelin-starred restaurants in its 2021 guide to Great Britain and Ireland: Core by Clare Smyth and Hélène Darroze at the Connaught — both restaurants were moved up from the two-star category in a year that also saw three one-star restaurants promoted to two-star status, plus the inclusion of seven new one-Michelin-starred venues in the capital.

What was not announced, but which was included — per tradition — as a footnote late last night, were those restaurants that were either demoted or deleted from the guide. There had been a suspicion that in the year of the pandemic, with its myriad challenges for the hospitality industry, demotions or deletions would have been scrapped. Michelin itself had after all talked up its new role this year as a “supporter” of the industry.

Still, it is an index which is fundamentally and existentially reliant on being the arbiter of (a version, its version) good and bad and by extension success and failure. And so, after a clutch of both unsurprising promotions and extremely surprising inclusions, the guide left room for a small number of low-key demotions and deletions.

In all there were three demotions for restaurants that remain open, and six deletions because those restaurants had closed.

In the two-star category, Kyoto-inspired, Mayfair restaurant Umu was the only venue to change status in the top two categories — in the 2021 guide demoted to one star.

Those that were removed from the guide’s one-star rankings included Henrik Ritzen’s Scandinavian fine dining restaurant Aquavit in St. James’s, which had held a star since 2017 and Jason Atherton’s Social Eating House, the more casual, industrial three-floor restaurant the Gordon Ramsay alumnus opened with chef lieutenant Paul Hood on Soho’s Poland Street in 2013. It had held its Michelin star since that year.

Elsewhere, six restaurants with one Michelin star closed in 2020/2021 and have therefore been deleted from the guide: Brett Graham’s The Ledbury, in Notting Hill; The Greenhouse, in Park Lane; Simon Rogan’s Marylebone flagship Roganic, Alyn Williams at the Westbury Hotel on Conduit Street in Mayfair; Aggi Sverrisson’s Texture, also in Marylebone; and The Square, helmed most recently by chef Clement Leroy, also in Mayfair.

On Michelin’s also-ran — often very good restaurant — list of Bib Gourmands, just one restaurant was removed: Blixen, the all-day brasserie in Spitalfields, which a representative at Michelin said had permanently closed.


2151 Salvio Street, , CA 94520 (925) 309-7774 Visit Website

The Greenhouse

8 Carrer de Bergara, , CT 08002 Visit Website

Social Eating House

58 Poland Street, , England W1F 7NS 020 7993 3251 Visit Website


35-37 Heddon Street, , England W1B 4BR 020 3319 8130 Visit Website


8 Mount Street, , England W1K 3NF 020 7499 1800 Visit Website


Lancaster Place, , England WC2R 1LA 020 3011 0115 Visit Website


Wilton Place, , England SW1X 7RL 020 7235 1200 Visit Website

The Square

6-10 Bruton Street, , England W1J 6PU 020 7495 7100 Visit Website


, , England Visit Website


65A Brushfield Street, , England E1 6AA 020 7101 0093 Visit Website


51 Wilton Way, , England E8 1BG 020 7923 2901 Visit Website

The Ledbury

127 Ledbury Road, , England W11 2AQ 020 7792 9090 Visit Website


20 Queen St, London W1J 5PR, London, 440207 629 3561 Visit Website


Brixton Station Rd., Brixton, Greater London, London, 44 0207 998 3309 Visit Website

Core by Clare Smyth

92 Kensington Park Road, , England W11 2PN 020 3937 5086 Visit Website


14-16 Bruton Place, , England W1J 6LX 020 7499 8881

Alyn Williams at The Westbury

37 Conduit Street, , England W1S 2YF 020 7183 6426 Visit Website


5-7 Blandford Street, , England W1U 3DB 020 3370 6260 Visit Website


4 Redchurch Street, , England E1 6JL Visit Website


3 Prince Edward Road, London, Greater London E9 5LX +44 20 8986 3922 Visit Website


18 Phipp Street, , England EC2A 4NU 020 7739 4443 Visit Website


St James's Market, 1 Carlton Street, London , SW1Y 4QQ Visit Website


199 Tooley Street, , England SE1 2JX 020 7183 2117 Visit Website

Kitchen Table

70 Charlotte Street, , England W1T 4QG Visit Website


34 Portman Street, London, W1H 7BY Visit Website

Ametsa with Arzak Instruction

Halkin Street, , England SW1X 7DJ 020 7333 1234 Visit Website

Hélène Darroze at the Connaught

16 Carlos Pl, London, Greater London W1K 2AL +44 20 7499 7070 Visit Website