The only Bath restaurant to hold a Michelin star keeps prize

A Bath restaurant has retained its Michelin Star for the third year running.

The Olive Tree Restaurant, set within the Queensberry Hotel, has been awarded the prestigious prize yet again.

The star was awarded to head chef Chris Cleghorn back in October 2018 after many years of hard work, creativity, dedication and faith and it remains Bath’s only Michelin Star.

Mr Cleghorn, 36, has been The Olive Tree’s head chef for eight years, having joined after working with some of the UK’s best-known chefs, including James Sommerin and Michael Caines.

He said: “It is almost impossible to put into words what it means to me as a chef to be recognised by Michelin yet again with a star for The Olive Tree.”

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Mr Cleghorn added: “The last twelve months have been incredibly difficult for the industry all round, we have had to close three times, furlough staff and continually adapt to the ever-changing Covid requirements, so this feels even more significant.

“Then, as is well known, we had an extremely unfortunate fire which took out our kitchen!

“So yet again, this reward reflects the years of dedication and hard work that we have all collectively, and continually, put in behind-the-scenes to create our own individuality on the UK restaurant scene.”

Michelin is a globally-recognised brand and the UK and Ireland are home to just 180 Michelin star restaurants – 158 hold one star, 20 have two and seven hold three. The Olive Tree is now the only restaurant in Bath, and one of only 118 outside London, to hold a Michelin star.

Raw Orkney Scallop, horseradish, pink grapefruit and dill
(Image: Mark Cleghorn)

Mr Cleghorn continued: “Looking to the future, when it is safe for us to reopen, the team and I want to enjoy what we have achieved, but at the same time we will continue to evolve every single day.

“We want to push ourselves all the time, creating outstanding menus and memorable experiences that our guests can enjoy, working with our exceptional local suppliers and their excellent produce. We never rest on our laurels.”

Despite the tribulations of 2020 the independent hotel and restaurant has received a host of prestigious industry recognition, including the accolade of Independent Hotel of the Year at the industry ‘Oscars’, the 2020 Cateys Awards.

Now the team can toast another success for 2021 after officially retaining their Star within the Great British and Ireland Michelin Guide 2021.

Laurence and Helen Beere, who own The Queensberry Hotel, have aid they are “immensely” proud of their chief.

Since their recruitment of Chris over eight years ago, they have consistently backed his vision and travelled every occasionally-arduous mile with him.

Mr Beere said: “We are immensely proud of Chris and the whole of our team within The Olive Tree for yet again being recognised in the prestigious Michelin Guide.

“After what can only be described as ‘a bit of a time of it’ for us, receiving this amazing accolade provides a real boost for all of us.

“Despite the challenges the restaurant team has faced this year, Chris has led them through with the most relentless commitment and for that, we are eternally grateful.

“We are very much looking forward to reopening our doors and for all to enjoy the utmost quality and finest experience of our Michelin Star-awarded establishment.”

Laurence and Helen bought the Queensberry Hotel and Olive Tree in 2003 following a career with The Savoy and Cliveden.

For the past 18 years, the couple has worked relentlessly to create the four-AA-star, 29-bedroom property, investing a substantial £1.3m in the last four years to place it continually at the forefront of the boutique hotel market in Bath.

During that time, the Beeres have battled the recession, the pandemic as well as a major fire during the first lockdown.

To find out more about Bath’s only Michelin star-awarded restaurant, The Olive Tree Restaurant, visit the website here.

Somerset Live Bath