The hospitality industry has been hit harder than most others over the last 12 months.
But even though we can’t eat out at the moment, the prestigious Michelin Guide is still recognising brilliance throughout the industry.
The Michelin Guide 2021 was released last month – and it included several destinations within a short drive of Stoke-on-Trent.
Some are even open now for takeaway only.
Only the finest restaurants are included in the guide – and the best among those are awarded stars.
With no shortage of great places to eat out, it’s no surprise that many destinations made the 2021 guide.
Read on for Michelin’s picks for the best places to eat in Staffordshire and Cheshire.
The George, Alstonefield
Set in a picturesque village in the Peak District, The George is one of Staffordshire’s standout restaurants.
The guide says: “Expect to rub shoulders with locals and walkers alike at this sleepy village’s welcoming pub.
“Concise menus offer a good range of dishes with well-judged combinations and a modern edge. Most ingredients come from within 15 miles, including fruit and veg from the garden and rare breed meats.
The Duncombe Arms, Ellastone
This edge-of-village pub with rooms is gorgeous inside and out, with just the right balance of old and new charm. And the food is fantastic.
The guide says: “A stylish dining pub owned by the Hon. Johnny Greenall and his wife – a descendant of the Duncombe family.
“There are several cosy rooms to choose from, each with their own identity, and menus mix pub classics with more ambitious restaurant-style dishes. Luxurious bedrooms overlook the countryside.”
The Boat Inn, Lichfield
This restaurant selling dishes with a modern twist is widely acknowledged as one of the best in the country.
The guide says: “This old roadside hostelry was once backed by a canal and its walls are filled with black and white photos of the area’s locks. Refined modern dishes are colourful and eye-catching, and the chef likes to make local, organic ingredients the stars of the show – including their home-raised chickens and pigs.”
The Red Lion, Bradley
Selling traditional grub, pubs don’t come much better than this.
The guide says: “If you’re travelling the M6, divert off to this village pub, where you’ll find an airy bar, a conservatory, a snug and a dining room hung with photos of the pub through the ages.
“Menus offer plenty of choice, with hearty, flavoursome dishes ranging from sticky braised beef to curry-spiced salmon Kiev.”
99, Station Street, Burton
The guide says: “Amongst the vast brewing towers of Burton-on-Trent, you’ll find this bright, boldly decorated neighbourhood restaurant run by two experienced locals.
“They make everything on the premises daily and showcase regional ingredients; don’t miss the bread and butter pudding.”
The guide says: “‘All flavour, no pomp’ is the tagline at this relaxed, warmly run restaurant – and that’s exactly what you’ll get.
“Sit in the boldly decorated first floor restaurant or book a seat at the chefs table to be close to the action. Attractively presented modern dishes are sure to satisfy.”
Church Inn, Mobberley
The guide says: “Sit on the terrace of this 18C brick pub beside the bowling green to take in lovely views of the 12C church. It’s a cosy place, with traditional furnishings, lots of snug corners and flickering candles.
“Menus offer plenty of choice, from pub classics to more sophisticated restaurant-style dishes.”
Da Noi, Chester
The guide says: “Da Noi is an intimate place in the heart of the city, where the staff do everything they can to please their guests.
“The chef, a native of Italy, offers freshly made, authentic Italian dishes which follow the seasons. Every dish has a suggested wine pairing, with a mini wine flight offered at lunch.”
The guide says: “This personally and passionately run bistro is named after its owners, Joe and Ben. The light, simple décor mirrors the style of cooking and the monthly menu offers tasty, well-judged dishes.
“They serve breakfast, lunch, coffee and homemade pastries and, from Wednesday to Saturday, intimate candlelit dinners.”
Next Door, Frodsham
The guide says: “Their family butcher’s two shops down has been going for three generations and supplies all of the meats for this charming restaurant.
“It sits within a characterful 17th century timbered house and features a series of low-ceilinged rooms and a lovely internal courtyard. Dishes are modern, well-crafted and tasty.”
Simon Radley at Chester Grosvenor
The guide says: “Stylish bedrooms, a buzzy lounge and a lovely spa hide behind this 19C hotel’s grand black and white timbered façade – along with a stylish cocktail lounge, an impressive wine cellar and Simon Radley’s classically elegant restaurant. The height of luxury and sophistication, this is a beacon in northwest England, and is the place to come when celebrating a special occasion.
“Simon celebrated 20 years at the helm in 2018 and his Head Chef Ray Booker has been here almost as long. Their confident cooking shows great respect for top quality ingredients, bringing together clean, clear flavours in sophisticated dishes that display interesting, innovative modern touches.
“Presentation is elegant and the bread trolley is a feature. The extensive wine list offers a good range of price options and the service is formal and highly detailed.”
Upstairs at the Grill, Chester
The guide says: “Smart restaurant offering prime quality steaks – including porterhouse and bone-in fillet or rib-eye; the 5 week dry-aged cuts are from premium Welsh beef. Eat in the moody cocktail bar or downstairs amongst the cow paraphernalia.”
The guide says: “Close to the city wall, behind a narrow terrace, is this cosy, characterful little tapas and wine bar, which comes with a lively buzz.
“A friendly team serve the generous, tasty dishes; accompany them with a glass of sherry or rioja. They don’t take reservations, so arrive early.”
Chef’s Table, Chester
The guide says: “Follow a narrow passageway near the cathedral to arrive at this cosy, intimate bistro with a laid-back vibe and a loyal local following.
“Dishes are vibrant and eye-catching with appetising aromas. Mediterranean and Asian influences characterise the main courses, while desserts are staunchly British.”
The guide says: “This small, intimate establishment with high level seating is more than just a wine bar. Charcuterie and small plates sit alongside some more substantial dishes on the appealing menu – and are a perfect match for the organic and low-intervention wines.”
The guide says: “This cute little restaurant sits atop the historic city walls. It’s simply furnished, with good eco-credentials, and plenty of reclaimed timber and fauna on display.
“Unfussy vegan dishes have subtle Asian touches, and fermentation techniques create some interesting flavour contrasts.”