As the temperature drops and the days grow shorter, restaurants across the United Kingdom prepare to unveil their seasonal menus. For many a food fanatic this time of year is a time to indulge and, for those in Surrey and south west London, there’s plenty of culinary excellence to be found on the doorstep.
When it comes to food, there are no two words more synonymous with indulgence and excellence than ‘Michelin star’. Earlier this year, the Michelin Guide announced their list of restaurants worthy of the accolade in 2023. In total 187 eateries across the UK have been awarded at least one Michelin star, with 21 new restaurants awarded the coveted culinary honour this year.
Surrey boasts four Michelin star restaurants, with one new restaurant scooping the award in 2023, The Tudor Pass in Egham. An intimate, gastronomic restaurant with just seven tables, tucked away in the five-star Tudor estate of Great Fosters, near Windsor. Beyond the borders of Surrey, three restaurants in West Sussex boast Michelin stars, with Ben Wilkinson at The Pass in Horsham also a new entry in 2023. Meanwhile, Hampshire boasts 14 Michelin star restaurants and there are a staggering 74 in Greater London.
In this article we uncover the Michelin star gastronomic gems right here on our doorstep, including; The Tudor Pass in Egham, Ben Wilkinson at The Pass in Horsham, Sorrel in Dorking, Latymer in Bagshot, The Clock House in Ripley, Dysart in Petersham and Woven by Adam Smith a little further afield in Ascot.
Set in the charming Tudor building of five-star hotel, Great Fosters, The Tudor Pass is an intimate, gastronomic restaurant with only seven tables! The reimagining of an icon, The Tudor Pass is a new chapter in the storied history of this special restaurant, named so to celebrate the unique interactive service style diners can expect – without the noise of an open kitchen – where Executive Head Chef Alex Payne and the team finish your dishes at the table.
The Tudor Pass is a new entry onto the list of Michelin Star awarded restaurants this year, with the restaurant open for less than a year before scooping the prestigious accolade. We spoke with Alex to find out more about The Tudor Pass and what makes menu and experience worthy of a Michelin Star, and certainly a visit!
“Gaining the Michelin Star here at The Tudor Pass within 6 months of opening was fantastic and something myself and the team were elated about. We worked extremely hard to achieve it and I was delighted that all of our hard work got the recognition it deserved.
I didn’t grow up interested in food or wanting to be a chef, it was a career I fell into. I failed college (through no fault but my own) and whilst pot washing in a local golf club I got asked to work full time in the kitchen. As soon as I started working in the kitchen, I knew it was the career for me. It was competitive, fast paced and I loved it. Being very ambitious at a young age I moved to London to work at The Savoy. After a couple of years, I moved out of London and went into Michelin Star restaurants, which is where I fell in love with fine dining.
Our uniqueness here at The Tudor Pass is from the interaction between our chefs and guests, as the chefs serve and present every dish at the table. There is also I hint of playfulness in the menu and there could be interesting flavours or food that you might not have ever tried.
You can expect to have classic flavours using modern techniques and luxurious ingredients with a hint of fun! There will also be a play on Deja-Vu.”
Ben Wilkinson at The Pass, Horsham
Reopened in 2022, The Pass is an intimate 28-cover restaurant led by Head Chef Ben Wilkinson. Ben is previously known for his work at The Cottage in the Wood, a Michelin starred restaurant in the Lake District. Overlooking the kitchen, guests have the opportunity to truly experience the craft, with thoughtfully curated tasting menus coming to life before their eyes, featuring seasonal, British produce as the highlight of the plate.
Having previously brought a Michelin star to the restaurant in the Lake District, Chef Ben Wilkinson has repeated the feat this year, having only taken over at South Lodge Hotel’s flagship restaurant in 2022. We asked Ben what it was like to have secured a star once again, this time at The Pass.
“Since joining The Pass last year, we’ve been delivering a Michelin starred dining experience to all of our guests, so we are delighted to have been awarded with such a prestigious achievement which the team and I can all shout about.”
Awarded its Michelin Star in 2021 following the appointment of Head Chef Steve Smith, Pennyhill Park’s Latymer, offering the flavour of refinement, has retained its star for a third year running. Renowned for his modern British cooking, founded on using the finest seasonal ingredients available to drive flavour and texture, Smith is widely regarded as one of the most inventive and talented chefs of his generation. Smith has held a Michelin Star for the last twenty years and five AA Rosettes.
Having worked in some of Europe’s best kitchens, Chef Steve Drake opened Sorrel in 2017 and was awarded a Michelin Star the following year, together with the AA Restaurant of the Year Award. Steve is no stranger to culinary accolades, having first rose to prominence when he won the Roux Scholarship – widely considered the most prestigious, and technically challenging, competition in the UK. Sorrel has also been shortlisted for GQ Restaurant of the Year, longlisted for the World Restaurant Awards and recently received its fourth AA Rosette recognising it as ‘among the top restaurants in the UK, where the cooking demands national recognition’.
The Clock House Restaurant is housed in a beautiful Georgian building in the centre of Ripley High Street. Managing Director, Serina Drake has created a stylish, contemporary, luxurious space. The 30-seater dining room, along with a private room seating 10 guests, offer a relaxed dining experience. Head Chef, Luke Spier, who has previously worked for Gordon Ramsay and Simon Rogan, brings his own unique style of cooking which he describes as ‘Modern British’ but with a love and influence of Nordic methods of preserving, using amazing seasonal ingredients and simple techniques.
Located opposite the Petersham Gate of Richmond Park, Michelin Star restaurant The Dysart is a world class culinary delight worth discovering. A family owned and run restaurant in an Arts and Crafts building with large windows and rustic tables. Managing Director, Barny Taylor and Head chef, Kenneth Culhane, have worked together for a decade alongside a highly passionate, ambitious, skilled team of chefs and front of house staff, to create an exquisite Michelin Star fine dining experience.
Woven by Adam Smith, Ascot
Woven by Adam Smith offers diners an unforgettable culinary experience in a stunning space overlooking 240 acres of picturesque Berkshire parkland. Adam’s menu offers a tapestry of familiar flavours reimagined in unexpected ways, combining the classics with modern touches and layers of personal experience. The finest produce from Britain’s famed larder acts as inspiration for the seasonally changing menus and two floor-to-ceiling wine cellars hold a unique curation of bottles. Just six months after opening, Woven by Adam Smith was awarded its first Michelin star.