Last awarded a star in 1974, Manchester and Michelin have not historically got on - but how did the city fare this year?
No, sorry, still a no. *Boo hoo* *stamp feet*
However, instead of moping about and regurgitating the same old 'why won't they love us' waffle, below we've listed a few spots within half a tank's drive of Manchester where the restaurant collectors among you can sate those Michelin munchies.
Us? We're off for a Manchester kebab...
Run since 1985 by Craig Bancroft and chef Nigel Haworth (joined latterly in the kitchens by fellow Great British Menu star Lisa Allen), the cooking at this Michelin veteran is precise, the seasoning considered and the presentation elegant. It carries the flag for the small producers of the North West and deserves credit for sticking to the mantra of 'local and seasonal' for three decades. Confidential review
Northcote Road, Langho, Blackburn BB6 8BE. 01254 240555
Moor Hall, Aughton
Newly awarded a star in the 2018 guide, some would say the chef here, Mark Birchall, was the man responsible for winning and maintaining the second star at Simon Rogan's L’Enclume. Now out on his own in a large, Grade II-listed manor house near Ormskirk, backed by business partners Andy & Tracy Bell, Birchall has combined a serene dining aesthetic with a delicate, technically-impressive tasting menu using produce grown on site. Birchall also has plans for a dairy (where he'll make his own cheese), a butchery, a bakery and a micro-brewery... oh, and there's rooms too. Confidential review
Moor Hall, Prescot Rd, Aughton, Ormskirk L39 6RT. Tel: 01695 572511
Fischer’s Baslow Hall, Baslow
Rupert Rowley sounds like a Regency rake (forgive our sudden alliteration), but don’t expect too many culinary dashes to be cut. This is accomplished Michelin-ready cuisine grounded in the products of the Hall’s kitchen garden and over 90 per cent of the produce used is British, mostly from Derbyshire. After training with Blanc, Burton Race and Ramsay, Rowley came ‘home’ fourteen years ago to this solid Edwardian country house that looks much older.
Calver Road, Baslow, Bakewell, DE45 1RR. 01246 583259
Simon Radley at The Grosvenor, Chester
In Chester, it's Sticky Walnut which grabs the attention of the Twitterati and the crowdfunders, but this grande dame of hotel restaurants, holding a star for a quarter of a century, sails serenely on, showcasing Radley’s cooking, so accomplished they put his name on the door. Service, bread trolley, wine list are all 'top drawer’. They're big on heritage – our last reviewer Charles Campion found a 'Heritage potato, Loomswood duck ragout, fondant liver and tit bits' “very rich and very satisfying”. Confidential review.
Eastgate Street, Chester, CH1 1LT. 01244 324024
Box Tree, Ilkley
This cottage place (chintz, bone china dogs, framed scenes from Shakespeare) looks much as it did in the camp old days when young tyro Marco Pierre White was blooded in its kitchens, but this Yorkshire national treasure maintains its contemporary culinary edge under the stewardship of serial star holder Simon Gueller. This is down to his knack of hiring chef prodigies to cook alongside him. Food and service remain immaculate. Confidential review.
35-37 Church Street, Ilkley, West Yorks, LS29 9DR. 01943 608484