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London's got some shiny new Michelin stars. So what?

Written by
Tania Ballantine

So 2017's Michelin Guide has just been unveiled, with some shiny new Michelin stars awarded to London restaurants. Should you go rushing to get a table at these newcomers? Probably not, says Time Out Food & Drink Editor Tania Ballantine. 

Celeste at The Lanesborough

I’ll be honest: I’ve not been since the 2015 refurb, but based on previous visits, it’ll be polished and hotelly. Tweet us your thoughts on this one please!

The Five Fields

The kind of place you take your mother-in-law (when she’s paying). Full of well-heeled Chelsea types of a certain age. Set menu now £60 for three courses.

Five Fields


The most interesting place on the list of newbies. I only gave it three stars but then heard they’d taken a lot of the criticism on board (good on them for that) – feedback since has been good. Locals, your thoughts?

The Ritz

If your granny is in town, don’t take her here for lunch or dinner, but for afternoon tea, which is undoubtedly one of the fanciest and finest in London.


There’s no doubt that Adam Byatt can cook. But Bistro Union, his casual neighbourhood hangout, just down the road, is so much more relaxed – I’d rather spend my money there. As for ‘smart’ food in Clapham, the fact that Trinity gets a star but The Dairy does not is, to me, pretty damning evidence of how out of touch Michelin is.

Trinity, Clapham

The Veeraswamy

The oldest Indian restaurant in London. So why give the star now, Michelin? Or were you after a token ‘exotic’ menu to show that you’re not just about posh French and contemporary European? (And if you’re just in the mood for giving stars out to upmarket Indian restaurants, why have you never given one to Cinnamon Club, which might be full of politicians but set the bar for curried game many years ago? Eh? Eh?)

The Ninth

Jun Tanaka is a talented chef but it’s the humble food he’s created for Street Kitchen that is, in a funny sort of way, his true legacy. It’s more pioneering, more memorable and much more kind to your wallet.


We were confused about whether Pidgin has actually earned a star at all, since chef Elizabeth Allen has just left the team. But the restaurant gets to keep its star after all. For what it's worth, I loved it. 

There’s hope for Michelin yet – the Bib Gourmand list (a notch ‘down’ from the stars and rarely mentioned) reads uncannily like Time Out's 100 best restaurants, from Bao to Barnyard to Copita, from Palomar to Primeur.

So maybe ignore the stars list and book into a Bib Gourmand restaurant. (Or, better yet, just listen to us instead.) 

Read the full list of Michelin star restaurants in London.

Read the 100 best restaurants in London according to Time Out.

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