A month after the word was banned by UK food bible The Good Food Guide, a gastropub has been awarded two Michelin stars.
The Hand and Flowers in Marlow, Buckinghamshire, which was opened by Tom and Beth Kerridge in 2005 and won its first Michelin star the following year, has been awarded a second star in the 2012 Michelin Guide for Great Britain and Ireland.
This is the first British pub to be given the Guide’s second-highest honour – ironically, given the The Good Food Guide’s announcement it was banning the term ‘gastropub’ as lazy and inaccurate.
Michelin editor Rebecca Burr said, ‘This is a good news story for the British pub industry and confirms our view that pubs serving good food are the ones that continue to thrive. In the 2012 guide we are delighted to have 13 pubs with Michelin stars.’
In this year’s Guide, Heston Blumenthal’s Fat Duck in Bray and Alain Ducasse’s residency at the Dorchester in London’s Mayfair retain their three stars, as do the Waterside Inn, also in Bray, and Gordon Ramsay in Royal Hospital Road, Chelsea.
There are two new two-star restaurants, the Hand and Flower and Restaurant Sat Bains in Nottingham.
The dozen or so new one-starred restaurants include Coworth Park in Ascot, Sir Charles Napier in Chinnor, Buckinghamshire, The Pass in Horsham, and The Checkers in Montgomery, Monmouthshire, Wales.
The owners of the Checkers said they are delighted with the award – especially as they only opened in March.
The Guide describes it as a ‘charming 18th Century coaching inn’ serving ‘classical dishes executed with a deft touch’.
French chef Stephane Borie – who trained under Michel Roux and Raymond Blanc – and sisters Sarah and Kathryn Francis, said they were ‘over the moon.’
Three other restaurants in Wales retain their stars: Shaun Hill’s The Walnut Tree in Abergavenny, The Crown at Whitebrook, Monmouthshire, and Tyddyn Llan, Llandrillo, Denbighshire.
Written by Adam Lechmere