ONE of the New Forest’s leading hotels was left disappointed after missing out in its ongoing bid to regain a Michelin star.
The Montagu Arms has been seeking to win one of the highly sought-after culinary accolades after achieving one in 2010 and then losing it seven years later.
But when the verdicts were unveiled at a ceremony in London on Monday night, the Montagu Arms was not among those with a star.
At the start of this year former head chef Matthew Thompson left the Palace Lane venue and it brought in Matthew Whitfield, formerly of Eleven Madison Park, the acclaimed three-star restaurant in New York.
There had been hopes of swift recognition after the Michelin Guide tweeted in May from the hotel’s Terrace restaurant, crediting Mr Whitfield for making the dishes “very much his own”.
But despite having brought in expert advisors and making changes to the menu, there was no reward this year.
Andrew Nightingale, general manager at the Montagu Arms, said: “Like any establishment hoping for a star, it’s of course disappointing for the talented Terrace Restaurant team to have not received one.
“Our new head chef Matthew Whitfield’s cooking is exceptional and, since taking up his position in the kitchen earlier this year, he has really worked to fine-tune his menu and this hasn’t gone unnoticed by our guests.
“We’re confident that Matthew and his team will only continue to impress each and every diner that comes through our doors, and fingers crossed for a star next year!”
The nearest Michelin-starred restaurant is the Black Rat in Winchester, which held on to the star it first won in 2011.
Previous Michelin star holders locally include La Poussin from 2001-09, during which time it relocated from Brockenhurst to Lyndhurst.
Gordleton Mill, Lymington, held one from 1997-99, and the Chewton Glen in New Milton boasted a star for a combined 24 years between 1980 and 2005.