Home Estate Planning Michelin Guide 2024: What the awards say about London

Michelin Guide 2024: What the awards say about London

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The Michelin guide for 2024 is out and it’s good news for restaurants in the west end. A total of 15 London restaurants were this week awarded a new star (or bumped up a star) and you could visit them all without leaving Zone 1.

Fitzrovia restaurants Akoko and Chishuru each gained a well-deserved debut star. Both showcase excellent West African fine dining cuisine, something that’s been overlooked in London until the last couple of years. Having eaten at Akoko a few weeks ago I can absolutely vouch for this brilliant little place, which manages to be both exactingly precise and enjoyably laid-back.

The promotion of the universally-adored Gymkhana to two stars – somehow the first Indian restaurant to do so – shows that the Michelin guide is finally willing to lavish its top awards on cuisine from the Subcontinent – I guess 1.4 billion people can’t be wrong. I was also pleased to see Trivet bag a second star – the London Bridge restaurant run by two Fat Duck alumni has been a welcome enclave of no-nonsense British dining since it opened back in 2019 and this cements it as one of the city’s must-visit restaurants.

But beyond this there’s a slightly deflating consolidation of power in and around Mayfair. A third of the new awardees are based firmly within its boundaries, another is next door at Hyde Park, three are in Soho, two in Fitzrovia, with the rest located in Notting Hill (x2), the Strand and Southwark.  A further slight to east London came with the excellent Shoreditch neighbourhood restaurant Leroy losing its star (although the last time I went they did mess up my order, so perhaps standards have indeed been slipping).

Given all the headlines about restaurants being squeezed out of Mayfair and Soho by soaring rents it seems a little counterintuitive to see this year’s new awards consolidated in exactly that area. 

But it’s not that much of a surprise, says the Michelin starred chef Tom Brown, owner of Shoreditch’s The Pearly Queen and Hackney Wick’s Cornerstone.

“At the end of the day, a restaurant opening in Mayfair is going to be backed by someone with a load of cash so you can afford to do something at that level and make it work. With the climate as it is, smaller restaurants are finding it hard to maintain that kind of level, and even to open in the first place. I thought the guide was great this year though, with some restaurants I love getting some well-deserved recognition.”

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