Eating Out – The 2016 Summary

In all over this year, I’ve had 22 Michelin-starred meals in 18 places, for a total of 36 stars all told.  I’ve tried to keep a wide range through the year, from pubs-with-stars through to some of the most spectacular-looking dining destinations in the UK.  In no particular order, I’ve been to…

  • Three-star
    • Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester Hotel, London
    • Waterside Inn, Bray, Berkshire
  • Two-star
    • Hélène Darroze at the Connaught Hotel, London (three times, including tonight)
    • Champignon Sauvage, Cheltenham (twice)
    • Midsummer House, Cambridge
    • Hibiscus, London (now closed)
    • Hand and Flowers, Marlow
    • Manoir aux Quat Saison, Great Missenden, Oxon (for my Birthday, no less!)
    • Dinner at the Mandarin Oriental, London
    • The Ledbury, London
    • Marcus at the Berkeley Hotel, London
  • One star
    • House of Tides, Newcastle (twice)
    • Raby Hunt, Summerhouses, Darlington
    • Pony & Trap, Chew Magna, Bristol
    • Paris House, Woburn, Beds
    • Benares, London
    • Alimentum, Cambridge
    • Wild Rabbit, Kingham, Oxon

Interestingly, neither of the three-starred places count anywhere notable on my favourites.  In my opinion the best restaurants of the year have been

  • 1st= Hélène Darroze
  • 1st= Midsummer House
  • 3rd= Hibiscus
  • 3rd= House of Tides

The best meals, on the other hand, is a smaller list – the top three would be…

  • Hélène Darroze – the second visit
  • Hélène Darroze – the first visit
  • Midsummer House

Yes, Darroze really is that good (in my opinion, of course – others may vary)

Alongside that, honorable mentions go to

  • Wild Rabbit – any other year, it would certainly have been in the top three, and indeed I’d say it’s probably number four/five in the list
  • Marcus – much as I dislike the man himself, I can’t deny that the meal was bloody marvellous

There are other places I still want to go (and I’m considering another Scotland visit at some point in 2017) but I won’t be going to anywhere like as many as this year.  I’ve massively enjoyed it, and I truly don’t want to become blase about the entire thing.

7 Comments on “Eating Out – The 2016 Summary”

  1. Blue Witch says:

    Is the House of Tides in Newcastle a new star? Not heard of this one – I thought that the RH was the only Michelin starred restaurant in the NE?

    You’re after Charles Campion’s job when he explodes from over-eating aren’t you? 😉

    I started by doing a mental sum of the cost of all of those meals – and then realised that it’s no more than the cost of a sunny week in somewhere reasonable in Europe. Spreading the joy of treats!

  2. Lyle says:

    No, it’s been on the list since 2015 ( ) and is heartily recommended. On the quayside, near the Tyne bridge.

    In the NE there’s also the Black Swan at Oldstead (York-ish) and The Star Inn in Harome, but I haven’t been to either.

    And did you see that the RH is now two stars? Got marked up this year.

  3. Lyle says:

    As for costs, I know exactly what I’ve spent this year (including tonight)

    While not insignificant, it’s also nowhere near as high as it could’ve been – if I drank the wines, for example, I’d have more than doubled the expense. It’s also almost certainly less than I could’ve spent if I went out drinking every weekend (looking at what some of my friends spend in pubs etc., or on weekends)

    As I’ve said before, it’s been a very different year, and somewhat of a blowout (for me) through having the first year of disposable income in a very long time. Next year will be different, but this one has been one heck of a year, and an awful lot of fun!

  4. Blue Witch says:

    Ah, it was October 2014 when I last looked into what the NE offered.

    I didn’t know, but am unsurprised that the RH now has 2 stars. Pleased for James – he seems to work incredibly hard and is not at all pretentious. Although, having just checked, the prices have gone up quite considerably haven’t they?!

  5. Lyle says:

    Not that I’d noticed, re the prices – it’s the same as I paid in 2016 when it was still “just” a one-star.

    The accommodation costs might’ve gone up – I didn’t look at them before – but still, £90 for a ten-course two-Michelin-star meal is pretty impressive.

  6. Lyle says:

    More interestingly, I notice they’re also not doing vegetarian menu any more.

  7. Blue Witch says:

    Luckily for me they still do fish… I hope they can still do wheat free. Mind you, it’ll probably be 2020 before we can (a) afford and (b) have time to go there again!

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