Bon Appétit! The new 2020 Michelin awards
The prestigious 2020 awards have just been announced - with new entries including a "picture-perfect" Warwickshire pub known for its game, wild foraged ingredients and "unfussy" style. Take a look at the full line-up for our region.
It’s always exciting to see which foodie hotspots nab Michelin stars. The new 2020 Michelin awards were announced earlier last night so, hot off the press, here are the best in business in Warwickshire, Birmingham and East Midlands. I’ll take a table for two at all of them, please!
NEW The Royal Oak, Whatcote, near Shipston-on-Stour – ★
One of six new Michelin stars around the country run by couples, The Royal Oak is led by husband and wife team Richard and Solanche Craven with “skilfully prepared” “unfussy” dishes. It is believed to be one of the oldest rural country pubs in the country with Oliver Cromwell rumoured to have stayed there before the Battle of Edgehill in 1642. Game is often ‘shot to order’ by local gamekeeper friends from the surrounding hills and estates. Sustainable fresh fish is sent up from Cornwall and New Wave Seafood in Gloucestershire, with veg from locally based Daylesford Organic Farm and Vegetable Matters in Ebrington mixed with their own foraged wild ingredients.
Salt, Stratford-upon-Avon – ★
A former Observer Food Monthly ‘Young Chef of the Year’, Paul Foster quit his job and launched a hugely successful crowdfunding campaign raising just over £100,000 to follow his dream and open his own restaurant. After a “few disappointments and bit of an emotional rollercoaster” he and wife Rhiain discovered a characterful 16th Century beamed building on historic Church Street in central Stratford. Salt, a relaxed fine dining restaurant opened in March 2017. Enjoy à la carte, tasting and Sunday lunch menus, where vegetarians and vegans are well looked after (inform the team in advance). The Coventry-born chef’s restaurant “loves to take humble, underrated ingredients and use them to create beautiful plates of food.” Michelin inspectors say: “Salt is already the shining star in Stratford’s food scene.” The wine list covers around 40 bottles.
A Michelin-starred 19th century inn run by restaurateur Andreas Antona – once described by The Sunday Times as ‘the godfather of modern Birmingham food’ – and executive chef Adam Bennett, previously head chef at Simpsons in Edgbaston. The Cross offers stylish food, relaxed service and a down-to-earth approach to gourmet food without the stuffiness of ‘haute cuisine’. Michelin inspectors say: “Bennett’s menu items are at once familiar and innovative” with an expansive wine list from Slovenia to South Africa, Lebanon to Chile. Cosy and attractive with a combination of deep red walls, exposed brickwork and wooden beams; outside there’s al-fresco dining in the summer. Kenilworth Castle and Abbey Fields are close by.
Peels at Hampton Manor, Hampton-in-Arden – ★
A restaurant with boutique rooms, serving up cutting edge tasting menus and supper clubs in a casual country house, described as “a fun sanctuary” by The Times. Built at the birth of the arts and crafts era, the Manor was a celebration of craftsmanship and the beauty of nature owned by the Hill family. The Michelin guide says: “Modern dishes come from a confident kitchen and feature refined, original combinations with some playful elements.”
NEW: Opheem, Summer Row, Birmingham
Opheem chef director Aktar Islam opened his solo restaurant last year. His progressive Indian cooking blends “traditional techniques with a modern outlook”. The Michelin guide said: “There’s no denying this large, modern Indian restaurant makes quite a statement – and not just in its bold decorative style. Aston-born chef-owner Aktar Islam uses recipes from across India as well as his own family’s favourites to produce visually arresting dishes with distinct, defined flavours”.
Adam’s – ★
Exquisite, innovative food by chef Adam Stokes. This larger reincarnation of his original pop-up restaurant gives him the ability to pursue a second Michelin star, which would be a first for Birmingham, but he still wants to maintain the small, cosy vibe his old venue was so well known for. A la carte, weekday lunch and tasting menus are available, and a separate dining room for up to 16 guests. There’s also a chef’s table, where up to 12 guests can sample a bespoke tasting menu put together by Adam.
Brad Carter and Holly Jackson’s small neighbourhood restaurant is renowned for its exceptional friendliness, professionalism, value-for-money menu and intense, well-balanced dishes.
Purnell’s, Cornwall Street – ★
Chic, contemporary fine-dining occupying a Victorian redbrick building in one of Birmingham City Centre’s finest conservation areas, close to Colmore Row, run by chef Glynn Purnell.
Simpsons, Edgbaston – ★
A newly designed bright, modern dining space, three large en suites for guests and a cookery school. Executive Chef Luke Tipping, whose father was also a chef, describes his style as “very natural, very seasonal and free flowing”. A professor of culinary arts, from University College Birmingham, he runs the restaurant with head chef Nathan Eades. The restaurateur behind Simpsons is Andreas Antona, who opened the first incarnation in Kenilworth, Warwickshire in 1993. It quickly built up a reputation as one of the best restaurants in the region. Michelin inspectors say: “what really sets this brigade apart is its ability to produce innovative flavour matches – think banana and foie gras or beef with snails and haggis”.
NEW Alchemilla, Nottingham ★
Fine dining in the middle of Nottingham that really brings plant-based ingredients to the fore.
Restaurant Sat Bains with Rooms, Nottingham – ★★
Sat and Amanda Bains’s run a modern restaurant with an urban kitchen garden and smart bedrooms. Lunch is served at the chef’s table and in the kitchen, while the main room comes alive at night. Cooking is highly technical, with good balance and a delicate style.
Ibérico World Tapas – Bib Gourmand
A restaurant combining the simplicity of rustic Spanish dishes with world cooking hidden in the basement of the old city law courts and jail with a vaulted ceiling, bright Moorish tiles and ornate fretwork. Tapas-style sharing dishes are listed under ‘Nibbles’, ‘Meat’, ‘Fish’ and ‘Veg’. “Skilful cooking is full of flavour and displays some Japanese influences”, according to the Michelin guide.