The news was revealed in an announcement at the IET in London on Monday 3 October.
The 2017 Michelin Guide is the benchmark for the finest food in the UK and the award recognises his acclaimed cuisine in the hotel’s fine dining restaurant The Dining Room, making it one of only 21 establishments in the UK to have attained two Michelin stars.
The award of two stars denotes a restaurant that represents ‘excellent cooking, worth a detour’ and the guide describes The Dining Room as a ‘Smart, sophisticated, three-roomed restaurant in an elegant hotel, overlooking the kitchen garden’ and ‘Original, modern dishes show an excellent appreciation of ingredients and understanding of combinations; cooking is technically skilled and flavours are stunning. Extensive wine list and attentive team’.
In April 2015 Burge took the step to remove the à la carte menu in favour of a choice of three seven-course tasting menus. These comprise the ’Signature Menu’, featuring the classical dishes that have appeared on the menu from the beginning; the ‘Seasonal Menu’ featuring the very best ingredients that are in season from the UK and abroad; and the ‘Vegetarian Menu’ which expresses dishes that are in season and are suited to guests that do not eat meat or fish.
Over the last 18 months the move has proved to be very rewarding for the hotel with positive feedback from guests who enjoy the flexibility to choose dishes off all three menus.
This year Burge has strengthened the brigade of 19 with the appointment of Sam Bowser as Head Chef. Head Pastry Chef, Lee Bamforth has worked with Martin for 10 years and Kris Biggs returns to the hotel this month as Sous Pastry Chef.
Commenting on the news Executive Head Chef Martin Burge said: "I am delighted to retain our two Michelin stars. I would like to pay tribute to my dedicated brigade who have worked tirelessly this year to maintain a menu worthy of this status. For us it’s about a steady progression in creating modern dishes whilst keeping their classic roots. It’s very important we give our guests the depth of flavours in each dish”.
“Over the last year we have developed a number of new dishes. One recent addition to the Vegetarian menu comprises Heritage Beetroot and Horseradish Snow served over dry ice. Whilst popular dishes, such as my Chicory Mousse have featured for a number of years and can be found on my Signature menu, I like the flexibility of the Seasonal menu as this enables me to showcase particular ingredients when at their seasonal best”.
General Manager, Sue Williams said: ”This is excellent news. I congratulate Martin, the brigade and all restaurant staff for another outstanding year’s work. It is testament to their dedication that Whatley Manor is able to achieve such a prestigious accolade”.
Burge joined Whatley Manor Hotel and Spa when the 23 bedroom Wiltshire hotel first opened in July 2003. He went on to achieve his first Michelin star in January 2005, 18 months after the hotel opened, followed by a second star in 2009.
The Dining Room has 40 covers and is open for dinner Wednesday – Sunday. The seven course tasting menu is £116 per person. Wine matching alongside the tasting menu is an additional £70. Le Mazot has 70 covers and is open daily for lunch and dinner. A three-course lunch in Le Mazot costs from £35 excluding wine.
A one-night stay at Whatley Manor costs from £325 for a standard room (and from £350 on a Saturday) including bed and breakfast, full use of the award winning spa Aquarias, inclusive of vat.