On the surface, there seems to be a disconnect between a tyre manufacturer and the world’s best restaurants. The Michelin Guide started by brothers André and Édouard Michelin was published to boost car sales and therefore tyre sales and included useful driver information such as repairing and changing tyres and lists of mechanics, hotels and petrol stations.
After the First World War, the guide was updated to include restaurants and as the popularity of the restaurant section of the guide grew, the brothers recruited a team of anonymous inspectors to visit and review restaurants. In 1926, the guide started to award stars for the best dining establishments and in 1931, the hierarchy of one, two and three stars made its debut. Five years later, they published their criteria for rankings:
One Star: A very good restaurant in its category (Une très bonne table dans sa catégorie)
Two Stars: Excellent cooking, worth a detour (Table excellente, mérite un detour)
Three Stars: Exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey (Une des meilleures tables, vaut le voyage)
Here’s our guide to the best Michelin-starred restaurants near the Rathbone.
Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester ***
Alain Ducasse is one of the world’s most decorated chefs. Known not only for his incomparable French cuisine, he has created innovative dining concepts reflecting international influences and has earned a reputation for phenomenal cuisine.
Elegance, luxury and attention to detail are the hallmarks of Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester, where the atmosphere is warm and relaxed. The kitchen uses the best seasonal produce, whether British or French, to create visually striking, refined, modern dishes.Show me on a map
Le Gavroche **
Perhaps the most famous restaurant in London, Le Gavroche is well-known the world over for classical, rich and indulgent French cuisine at Michel Roux Jr’s renowned London institution. The large, smart basement room has a gentleman’s club-like, masculine feel; service is formal and structured but also has old-school charm.
Le Gavroche was the first UK restaurant to be awarded one, two and three Michelin stars. The chef de cuisine is Michel Roux Jr, who took over the reins from his father, culinary demi-god Albert in 1991.Show me on a map
Barrafina in Dean Street is an authentic Spanish tapas bar owned and operated by restaurateurs Sam & Eddie Hart. The restaurant has an open kitchen, a beautiful marble-topped bar where guests can sit and watch the chefs at work and stylish red leather stools.
The a la carte menus comprise authentic regional dishes from all over Spain. There is also a daily changing Specials menu and the succinct wine list features the finest Spanish sherries, Cavas and wines.Show me on a map
Social Eating House *
There’s a something of a Brooklyn vibe to this Jason Atherton restaurant, with its bare brick and raw plastered walls. It’s great fun, very busy and gloriously unstuffy; the menu is an eminently good read, with the best dishes being the simplest ones. Chef-Patron Paul Hood continues to develop dishes closely with Jason, creating his own diverse and contemporary bistro menu that highlights his personal style of cooking.
The simple yet carefully created dishes are complimented by a relaxed and attentive service in the comfortable, humble setting. Inspired by the buzz of Soho, Jason’s vision has been to create a restaurant where diners can eat in an informal and social setting and where the surroundings are as vibrant as the food.Show me on a map
There are Hakkasan restaurants all over the world but Hanway Place was the original. It has the sensual looks, air of exclusivity and glamorous atmosphere synonymous with the ‘brand’. The exquisite Cantonese dishes are prepared with care and consistency by the large kitchen team and lunch dim sum is a highlight.
Executive Chef Ho Chee Boon, a Michelin-starred chef with 25 years’ experience employs traditional techniques and uses fresh local ingredients to ensure his contemporary dishes retain the essence of conventional Cantonese cuisine. With signature dishes such as the roasted silver cod with Champagne and honey to the crispy duck salad, his international expertise creates an impressive epicurean experience.Show me on a map