Kent eatery bags a new Michelin star and there is also another Bib Gourmand awarded

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Ahead of its official release on Friday, October 5, the Michelin Guide to the best restaurants, gastropubs and hotels in Great Britian and Ireland has spoken.

And overall there was good news for Kent.

The high quality of the Sportsman at Seasalter near Whitstable was never in doubt and it retained its prized Michelin star for yet another year. The West House at Biddenden and the Apicius at Cranbrook near Maidstone also retained their own stars for 2013.

New for 2013 was Thackeray’s Restaurant in Tunbridge Wells. Headed up by TV chef Richard Phillips, Thackerays was handed the gong for “very good cooking in its category” of French cuisine.

Phillips said: “Well done to my entire team at Thackeray’s Restaurant, for regaining the star. All your hard work and drive has paid off. Proud of you all, go celebrate!”

Despite Thackeray’s reward, the number of Michelin stars in Kent remains on four again this year after long time retainer and high quality restaurant Reads of Faversham lost theirs in the 2013 guide.

The popular restaurant at Macknade had held their star for a number of years and the news that they had lost out was met with some criticism from Gordon Ramsey’s former right-hand man Mark Sargeant, the owner of Rocksalt in Folkestone. He took to social networking site Twitter to say: “Sad day. Over 20 years with a Michelin star and Reads in Faversham loose theirs. I’m not going to get political but #f**kyoumichelin.”

Elsewhere in Swale, the Three Mariners at Oare was newly added to the Michelin Guide having been awarded the Bib Gourmand. A Bib Gourmand recognises “good cooking at moderate prices” and has often acted as a precursor to being awarded a Michelin Star in the future.The Plough at Stalisfield Green near Faversham were also a new entry into the Michelin Guide, not winning an award this year but getting a mention as a “pleasant restaurant/pub” wth good food. Head chef Alex Widdebank said: “We are delighted to be included alongside so many amazing places.”

In Thanet at Ramsgate, Age and Sons maintained their own Bib Gourmand for 2013 and continue to impress with their good food at very reasonable prices.

Finally, there was one more new comer to the 2013 guide, JoJo’s in Tankerton, Whitstable, for their assortment of meze-style dishes.

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