IT'S the award all chefs crave ... and when lockdown ends (and restrictions are lifted) foodies won't have to travel far to find a gastronomic experience.

Of the five three star restaurants, 20 two star restaurants and 155 one star restaurants in this year's Michelin guide, we have picked out a handful which are not far from Blackburn.

This year's awards are actually last year's awards - the announcement was shelved in October 2020 because of the pandemic.

And very few restaurants lost their awards.

The new list was announced online last night.

It was thought that judges would be kind in light of the unprecedented struggle the hospitality industry has faced.

And indeed that turned out to be the case with only six operational restaurants losing a star.


READ: Michelin-star boost for East Lancs' fine-dining restaurants


A lot of the judging for the list had taken place before coronavirus. In fact, inspections started in August 2019.


Where: Manchester

Mana became Manchester's first Michelin star restaurant for many years in 2019.

It is well worth a trip (when lockdown ends, of course).

Moor Hall

Where: Aughton in Ormskirk

Two stars


Set in a grade II listed building steeped in history dating back to the thirteenth century, the site was acquired by Andy and Tracey Bell in 2015 and has since undergone a major renovation and refurbishment.

Chef Mark Birchall's menus showcase his own style of modern British cuisine wherever possible using produce grown on the 5 acre Moor Hall site or from local suppliers.

The restaurant is one of three new two star restaurants in this year's guide.


Where: Blackburn

One star


Described as 'elegant, stylish and sophisticated', the restaurant has views of the garden and hills of the beautiful Ribble Valley.

Northcote menus are by executive chef Lisa Goodwin-Allen with wines selected by Craig Bancroft.

A spokesman added: "Fine dining with professional but true Northern hospitality."

The dress code is smart and informal but the restaurant does not allow sports wear, ripped denim or shorts.

White Swan

Where: Fence in Lancashire

One star


Among one of three pubs in England entering the guide with one star for the first time, staff say it's a 'small menu but it's proper'.

A spokesman added: "The White Swan in Fence is a local pub that serves food, Timothy Taylors award winning real ales & wines so fine that you will probably do a little dance of delight when you sample them.

"For us, it's about just doing everything the best we can - sending out the best food; pouring the finest drinks; making people feel at home - ultimately sending you away as happy as we can."

Chef Tom Parker is at the helm of this one.


Where: Birkenhead

One star


Created with a theme of natural elements inspired by the shoreline, chef

Marc Wilkinson and the team say they strive to create a relaxed and less formal approach to service offering guests a warm welcome and a personal touch, while giving a professional and yet unobtrusive experience.

A spokesman added "Each season in nature offers a subtle guideline to give him direction and inspiration drawing out the finest ingredients and nuances that reinforce the seasons, which is translated through his cuisine."

The restaurant is open for dinner Wednesday to Saturday and for lunch on Sunday.


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Simon Radley at Chester Grosvenor

Where: Chester

One star


This restaurant has held a prestigious Michelin star since 1990, in good company beside 4 AA Rosettes, an AA Notable Wine List Award, recommendations in the Waitrose Good Food Guide and recognition as 'Best Hotel Restaurant' at the European Hospitality Awards.

Simon joined the team at The Chester Grosvenor in 1986 and apart from a few years gaining experience in London, has been at the helm of the operation for more than 20 years.

His food stems from a classical French training but he says has a firm stamp of the north west.

A spokesman added: "He championed regional produce a long time before it became en vogue, preferring a personal relationship with producers and a control on the quality of his ingredients."

READ MORE: Seven of nation's top 50 restaurants just a short drive from Bolton