The Michelin Guide announces 20 new Bib Gourmands for restaurants offering great quality and great value
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Ahead of this year’s Michelin Guide Ceremony for Great Britain & Ireland – which will take place on Monday 5th February at The Midland Hotel in Manchester – the guide has anounced that 20 restaurants have been newly awarded a Bib Gourmand. Named after Bibendum – the official name of the Michelin Man – this distinction highlights restaurants offering great quality, great value cooking.
It’s been a brilliant year for the Republic of Ireland, with five restaurants newly recognised with a Bib Gourmand. Three of these are in Dublin, adding to the city’s already appealing dining scene. This year's selections are pleasingly varied, with culinary influences ranging from Spanish to Indian, although there is a key theme of small plates menus running throughout. As is so often the case, pub dining offers fantastic value for money, with five pubs among this year’s new Bib Gourmands.
Gwendal Poullennec, International Director of The Michelin Guide, commented: “It is a joy to see 20 restaurants newly awarded the Bib Gourmand in the 2024 edition of The Michelin Guide Great Britain & Ireland. These are establishments that deserve recognition for their continued commitment to offering affordable, delicious cooking. The generosity and value for money they offer is wonderful to see during these challenging economic times for the restaurant industry.”
One of the new jewels in the Manchester’s culinary crown is Higher Ground, a great value restaurant run by a trio of friends who provide friendly service alongside a selection of full-flavoured small plates.
Similarly well-priced cooking can be found a bit further south at The Reindeer in Hoveringham, although this time there’s a more pubby slant to the dishes. Time-honoured favourites like fish & chips and venison pie are elevated by the quality of the chefs’ execution.
Great pub dining is also on offer down in Essex at The Three Horseshoes in Fordham. It’s a characterful, rustic place serving dishes that are carefully prepared and attractively presented. Also in East Anglia, but with a different approach, is Lark in Bury St Edmunds, where modern sharing plates are precisely crafted and showcase well-judged flavours.
In London, the new Bib Gourmands have a more global outlook. Les 2 Garçons is a classic French bistro, which recently relocated to bigger premises in Crouch End, where well-loved dishes like French onion soup and steak frites are delivered with a wonderful sense of joie de vivre. Meanwhile, in Notting Hill, Empire Empire offers the cuisine of Punjab and Northwest India through interesting dishes with a real freshness and vitality. Just outside the city, in Old Windsor, you’ll find the smart gastropub The Loch & The Tyne. Part of the Adam Handling stable, it offers re-worked, traditionally based dishes that represent good value, especially when considering its location.
Further away from the bright lights of the capital are the East Sussex pair of Dill and Palmito. The former, in the pretty town of Lewes, serves highly inventive, unique dishes that take influences from around the globe and never feel gimmicky. Palmito, in nearby Hove, has a similarly international outlook, with spice-driven cooking that delivers bold flavours aplenty.
Keeping things coastal, but this time in Cornwall, is The Mulberry in Falmouth. The dishes here are well-balanced, skilfully crafted and a joy to eat.
Staying in the southwest of England, if not quite so south or quite so west, we have The Clifton – a neighbourhood spot for those in the titular suburb of Bristol. The kitchen team serve rustic, generous dishes including some cooked over an open fire.
Another great value inn is not too far away, in the little village of Charlbury on the edge of The Cotswolds. The Bull is run by the team from London’s The Pelican and is a hugely characterful place dating back to the 16th century. Dishes have an understated simplicity, but not at the expense of flavour.
Across the River Severn, diners can find further reasonably priced cooking at Penarth’s Touring Club. It’s a slick, relaxed spot where you can while away the hours with a few drinks and unfussy small plates. It’s run under the auspices of Welsh chef Bryn Williams, and he was partly inspired by the Touring Club Hotel in Patagonia.
On the other side of the Irish Sea, Ichigo Ichie Bistro & Natural Wine in Cork is offering well-prepared Japanese dishes. A new incarnation of the original Ichigo Ichie, this is a more relaxed and accessibly priced restaurant that comes with the bustle of contented diners.
On the west coast, make sure to visit the charming town of Dingle, not least to sample the delicious tapas at Solas. Spanish flavours mingle with Irish produce in dishes that have been given a fresh spin without losing their identity.
More Spanish delights can be enjoyed at Dublin’s La Gordita. The Irish capital has had a good year, with 3 new Bib Gourmands including this lively spot with authentic cooking. Within walking distance is Amy Austin, where the dishes take cues from all over the world and are accompanied by free-flowing wine on tap. Further south, in the suburb of Rathmines, is Lottie’s – a buzzing neighbourhood brasserie serving unfussy dishes packed with flavour.
In Northern Ireland, Home in Belfast has regained its Bib Gourmand thanks to a new chef and some terrific produce. The extensive menus include a host of delicious dishes at an attractive price, accompanied by friendly service and a welcoming feel.
Last, but certainly not least, the MICHELIN Inspectors were impressed by the house-made pastas at tipo in Edinburgh. Options like bigoli cacio pepe or pappardelle with crab and chilli are designed for sharing and served in light, airy surroundings.