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A Star is Born

 

Bath’s Olive Tree restaurant is awarded a Michelin Star in the brand new 2019 Guide.

Many years of hard work, creativity, dedication and faith came to fruition at a ceremony on October 1 at the BFI IMAX in London, when The Olive Tree was awarded its first Michelin Star.

Michelin is a globally-recognised brand, its awards long considered the Oscars of the restaurant scene. The UK and Ireland, all told, are home to just 180 Michelin Star restaurants, 155 hold one Star, 20 have two and five hold 3. The Olive Tree restaurant is now one of 97 outside London to hold a Michelin Star, and one of only 15 new names to be added to this sought-after and truly stellar list.

Chris Cleghorn is 33 and has been The Olive Tree’s head chef for five and a half years, having joined after working with some of the UK’s best chefs, including James Sommerin and Michael Caines. The award of the Star is testament not just to his skills and creativity, but to the hard work, tenacity and leadership he’s shown in the kitchen for all this time.

Chris said:
“It is almost impossible to put into words what it means to me as a chef to be recognised by Michelin with a Star. This has been an incredible journey, but this reward reflects the years of dedication and hard work that we have put in to create our own individuality in the UK restaurant scene.

Looking to the future, the team and I want to enjoy what we have achieved, but at the same time we will continue to evolve every day creating menus and experience that our guests can enjoy.”

The Star tells the story of Chris’s talents and tirelessness, obviously, but it’s also evidence of the backing and faith of Laurence and Helen Beere, the couple who own The Queensberry Hotel, of which The Olive Tree forms such a crucial part. Since their recruitment of Chris over five years ago, they have consistently backed his vision and travelled every sometimes arduous mile with him.

Laurence said:
“We are immensely proud of Chris and the whole of our team. The last five years since Chris joined has been a tremendous and challenging journey. For Helen and I this is an incredibly important milestone for our business and we are truly grateful to Chris for his dedication and relentless commitment to quality and the experience for our guests to enjoy.

As the only Michelin Star restaurant in Bath we are also very proud to be part of the fantastic vibrant food scene of this great city and we are looking forward to the exciting developments that we have for The Queensberry Hotel and Olive Tree Restaurant.”

Laurence and Helen bought the Queensberry Hotel & Olive Tree in 1998 following a career with The Savoy and Cliveden. Since then they have been carefully curating the hotel and restaurant in their own eclectic style, championing independence, local suppliers and high quality, and bringing relaxed informality to this boutique hotel and fine dining restaurant to make it accessible to all. The award of the Michelin Star is clearly a crowning glory and a landmark achievement for all concerned, but no one who knows Laurence, Helen or Chris would expect it to mark an end to their ambitions …