Michelin stars boost UK pub image

By Lesley Foottit

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Great british menu Star Tom kerridge

Tom Kerridge: attracting international attention
Tom Kerridge: attracting international attention
The operator of the first pub to receive two Michelin stars says its award has helped to put British pubs on the international culinary map.

Since Tom Kerridge, chef-proprietor of the Hand & Flowers, a Greene King tenancy in Marlow, Bucks, was awarded two stars in October he has been featured in The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times and been interviewed for Spanish, Indian and German media.

Since gaining the second star the pub has been attracting more tourists, with one diner travelling from Sweden to dine there.
“It’s amazing for British pubs that people are starting to take notice all around the world,” Kerridge said.

“I think people are so interested because this country has a reputation for being rubbish at food — and now people can see we have young chefs who can cook good food in a great environment. We were busy after Great British Menu aired, but this has been mental.”

Customers now need to book two to three weeks ahead for a mid-week table and eight or nine weeks for Fridays and Saturdays. The pub seats 45 and serves between 120 and 150 a day, excluding Sunday evenings.

“I’m incredibly proud of what everyone has achieved,” said Kerridge. “It is great for everybody who works here.

“I think our food stands up to other two-star venues.

“Where we differ is that anyone coming here will feel comfortable, and a restaurant in London may not be so comfortable. We must be the cheapest two-star venue in the world.”

The pub has not changed its prices since gaining its second star and offers a set lunch menu at £12.50 for two courses or £16.50 for three.

The site’s best-selling dish is slow-cooked duck breast with Savoy cabbage, duck-fat chips and gravy (£22.50), which won Kerridge the main course category on Great British Menu 2010. “I can’t take it off the menu,“ he said.

He also won the competition this year with roast hog, salt baked potatoes and apple sauce.

“I think we gained the second star this year because we run a two-Michelin- starred kitchen with front-of-house geared up to being more of a pub environment.

“And it’s also down to consistency, recipes and quality of staff.”

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