Updated 12/01/21 with the confirmed date
Every year, the awarding of Michelin stars is pretty much the biggest event in the London restaurant calendar. There's plenty of evidence that Michelin itself could be more in-tune with the modern dining scene but, when the awards season gets underway, nothing gets more attention than this. This year, however, with everything up in the air from Covid things had to change. This will be the first time in ages that the awards have had to be moved.
Here's what you need to know.
When will the 2021 London Michelin stars be announced?
The date for the announcement will now be 6pm on 25 January 2021. It was originally to be held in October 2020. As Gwendal Poullennec, International Director of the MICHELIN Guides explained: "Moving the publication and launch from our usual October date will not only allow time for the hospitality industry to get back on its feet, but will also let us prepare a full and comprehensive guide for our readers.”
They may have ever so slightly overestimated the "back on its feet" part of that statement - but the awards are definitely going ahead on that date.
Where is it taking place?
The event location has moved quite a bit. It was originally planned to take place at the Camden Roundhouse, then moved to The Dorchester. But, given the travel restrictions in place, it's now going to be streamed online from France. We'll have to see if they manage to get any special guests in by Zoom.
How can I watch the event?
It's always streamed online. As soon as we know where this is streamed, we'll add the details here. Be warned though, there's a lot of preamble to the event which takes over an hour. But maybe the online-only aspect of the announcements will curtail matters a little?
We'd also highly recommend watching the Michelin chat on Twitter during the awards so that you can join in the joy/incredulity in real-time.
Do the chefs know in advance if they've won a star?
Normally, all invitees to the event who already have a star will be retaining theirs, but most of the restaurants who will get shiny new stars will only find out at on the day. As there are no invitees this year, all bets are off. But we'd expect that Michelin are well aware that removing stars in the current climate would be a very poor look for them.
The only exception to advance notification is if they award three stars. That announcement has such an impact on a business that they usually get a little heads-up.
How many stars are usually awarded?
They award stars for all of the UK and Ireland during the same event - but for London, and based on the past three years of awards, we'd normally expect 6-10 restaurants to get new stars. In 2020, six restaurants were awarded stars, including a new three-starred restaurant. See the new London Michelin stars for 2020 here. You can see the reaction to the announcement here.
This year... who knows. Many restaurants that opened since the last awards really haven't had the time to bed in, let alone give the inspectors time to visit. So this year may be all about rewarding older restaurants - and maybe we'll see some deserving restaurants like Claude Bosi or Core by Clare Smyth get their well-deserved third star.
Which London restaurants currently have a Michelin Star?
In London, there are 67 Michelin starred restaurants in London. There are three 3-star restaurants, 10 2-star and 54 1-star. See the full list of all London Michelin-starred restaurants.
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