Michelin starred Mana in Ancoats

The Michelin Guide for Great Britain and Ireland 2023, listing the latest prestigious Michelin Stars, Green Stars and Special Award winners was revealed on the evening of Monday 27th March during a live ceremony at Silverstone Circuit in Northamptonshire. This was the first time in three years that the ceremony had been held in front of invited guests due to the pandemic.

These awards are widely recognised as the pinnacle of achievement for any fine dining restaurant, and careers (and lives) have been built or broken in their pursuit and their deletion. They bolster creative egos, mark the pinnacle of industry standards, and genuinely help business, especially in more rural areas.

This year, 20 UK restaurants were newly awarded One Michelin Star, three were awarded Two Michelin Stars and four restaurants were awarded a Michelin Green Star in recognition of sustainable practices. Currently, a total of 188 restaurants at least one Michelin Star, with 160 One Michelin Star restaurants, 20 Two Michelin Star restaurants and just eight Three Michelin Star restaurants in the whole of the UK.

If you fancy treating yourself to a top-notch lunch or dinner somewhere not too far away, here is a list of the current Michelin Starred restaurants within reasonable driving distance from Manchester city centre (mileage has been calculated from the Town Hall.)

Great news for Manchester as mana in Ancoats retained the Michelin Star it was awarded in 2018. It took forty years for Manchester to get another Michelin Star and it looks like Chef Simon Martin and team aren’t letting theirs go easily. Although their red Michelin plaque got nicked from outside the restaurant back in November, that was soon replaced with a more secure fixture. Stockport’s Where The Light Gets In (11.7miles), also retained its Michelin Green Star for the second year running.

L’Enclume in Cartmel, Cumbria (82 miles), headed by chef Simon Rogan, has successfully retained the three Michelin stars it was awarded in 2022, during the restaurant’s 20th anniversary year. The only restaurant in the north of England to hold three stars is highly regarded for its hyper-seasonal and traceable tasting menus and for its pioneering work on the farm-to-fork movement. L’Enclume received its first Michelin star in 2005 and its second star in 2013, and a Michelin Green Star awarded in 2021. The restaurant also holds the number one spot in the UK Good Food Guide and a score of 10/10, and five AA Rosettes.

Simon Rogan, L’Enclume, image credit Cristian Barnett Photography

‘’We’ve been on an amazing journey since we first opened our doors in Cartmel in 2002,” says Simon Rogan. “I’m over the moon that L’Enclume and Rogan & Co have retained their respective stars and that’s down to our teams’ hard work and dedication, but above all their passion for what they do day to day. “

Rogan’s neighbourhood restaurant Rogan & Co (a similar distance) also successfully retained the Michelin Star which it has held since 2018.

The award-winning Moor Hall, Aughton, Lancashire (36.8 miles) has retained its Two Michelin Stars under the talented Chef Patron Mark Birchall along with its Michelin Green Star. It also holds five AA Rosettes and was voted ‘Best Restaurant in England’ at the Estrella Damm National Restaurant Awards 2022. Set within a five-acre landscape and within easy reach of Liverpool & Manchester, the glass-fronted restaurant enjoys views of the lake and much of its produce has been grown in the on-site kitchen garden. Birchall’s neighbourhood restaurant The Barn, located within the grounds of Moor Hall, also retained its One Michelin Star for its seasonal dishes made with quality ingredients.

The village of Aughton in West Lancashire now boasts a third new Michelin Star restaurant as Sō–Lō (32.45miles) by chef Tim Allen bagged its first star this year.

Welcome to Northcote. Image credit Deanna Thomas

Northcote in Langho, Blackburn, Lancashire (32.4 miles) is a luxury country house hotel, whose restaurant is overseen by Executive chef Lisa Goodwin-Allen. Northcote retained its One Michelin Star – an accolade it has held for an incredible 27 consecutive years.

“I’m absolutely delighted to have retained the star,” says Lisa. “I feel it’s a real honour and a true testament to the people that work at Northcote, who are working tirelessly behind the scenes. We do it as a team effort, so it’s a reflection of the entire team. We’re all really chuffed to be featured in the guide for another year.”

Back up to Cumbria, which now boasts an incredible TEN Michelin One Starred restaurants. Along with Rogan’s venues, the Lake District has now proved itself to be a gastronomic tourist destination.

Kevin & Nicola Tickle, Heft. Image credit Jenny Jones Photography

Heft in Grange-over-Sands (80.2 miles) was presented with its first Michelin Star this year. Kevin & Nicola Tickle have breathed new life into their historic former 17th century coaching inn, putting it back at the heart of the community of Newton-in-Cartmel. It attracts locals in for a quiet drink and a bar snack as well as fine-diners keen to sample Kevin’s uniquely original set menus, which are underpinned by his deep-seated understanding of the provenance of his ingredients.

“Being awarded a Michelin star is totally unexpected, we’ve just tried to do our best to bring a village pub back to life and put it back at the heart of the community that surrounds it,” say Kevin & Nicola Tickle. “We really didn’t think we would be in the running this year, we really can’t describe what this means to us both, especially with all that’s been thrown at us in the last couple of years. We couldn’t be prouder of everyone that works with us; for us this is a real team effort. We’ve taken our time and hopefully the work we’ve put in has helped build a solid foundation for the future. Heft is about our surroundings and our sense of belonging to this place. The food we create and serve reflects our passion for the place we are lucky enough to call home.’’

Meanwhile, Chef Paul Leonard, who replaced Kevin Tickle when he left Forest Side in Grasmere in 2019 (102.1miles), has managed to hold on to the luxury restaurant’s Michelin Star.

Ryan Blackburn credit Phil Rigby Photography

Chef patron Ryan Blackburn’s flagship restaurant the Old Stamp House, Ambleside, Westmorland (87.7 miles) has also successfully retained its Michelin Star for the fourth year running, since being award the accolade in October 2019.

SOURCE at Gilpin Hotel (formerly HRiSHi), the new restaurant at family owned and run Gilpin Hotel & Lake House near Windermere (80.6 miles) also retained its star under new executive chef Ollie Bridgwater (ex-Fat Duck).

The dining room at Pentonbridge Inn with view of the kitchen pass

A new star has been bestowed upon Pentonbridge Inn, near Carlisle which sits close to the Scottish Border (134 miles.) Head Chef Chris Archer learned about the award when a special Michelin branded white jacket had been craftily hidden in a delivery of vegetables. He said: “As a chef, it’s something that you hope and dream about for your entire career and it’s down to the dedication and hard work of the whole team that we have achieved it together at Pentonbridge.” Chris works closely with the garden team at sister business Netherby Hall to source the fruit, herbs and vegetables for his seasonally inspired tasting menus.

The Samling, a luxury lakeside boutique hotel based near Ambleside (83.8 miles), finally won back the star it lost in 2017 thanks to chef Robby Jenks who took over the kitchens in 2019.

Over in Birkenhead, restaurant Fraiche (37.3 miles) also retained it Michelin star, although chef patron Marc Wilkinson was on record saying he was thinking of closing his tiny restaurant in September 2022 after 18 years. Looks like he’s changed his mind with good reason.

The Full List of Michelin Stars in the MICHELIN Guide Great Britain & Ireland 2023 can be found HERE.

Also read: Get out of town – Treat yourself to a visit to Heft at High Newton in Cumbria

Read again: The Spärrows is the only new Greater Manchester restaurant to have been awarded a Bib Gourmand for 2023


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