Fancy yourself a fine diner? We love organising special evenings out with friends and family, especially when the mutual love for good food is shared. But where, in Winchester, could one go for an evening of exceptional fine dining service, food and beverages?

Let’s talk a bit about the history of Michelin, first. When we hear the word Michelin, our minds head straight to an image of the infamous Michelin Tyre Man, and we think, “well how do tyres and the most prestigious award for restauranteurs have anything in common?”. Most people assume Michelin Tyres and the Michelin restaurant award are 2 separate entities. 

But, they’re really not! The Michelin awards started in the 1900s and was thought up by the Michelin brothers - the same brothers that own the Michelin Tyre company. But why, and what for? They initially published the Michelin guide, which listed a wealth of information for motorists and included where to find the best meals and accommodation whilst the motorists were touring in their cars.

As the business grew, so did the guide, becoming so popular that a charge was introduced in 1920.

By then, the dining element was in such high demand that Michelin decided to set up a team of inspectors whose job it was to visit – anonymously - and rate restaurants on a 3-category basis.

The rating systems – still in place today and with more than a passing nod to its motoring roots - was referred to as ‘Michelin Stars’. 3 stars being ‘exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey', 2 stars being  ‘excellent cooking, worth a detour and 1 star - a very good restaurant in its category’.

You’ll be happy to know, that when it comes to Michelin stars, you have a fairly good range of options to choose from. Read more below on our favourite Winchester Michelin Stars, and how they came to be. 

1. The Black Rat Restaurant

Located on Chesil street at the bottom of the town centre, The Black Rat has recently celebrated their eleventh year since opening, remembering when the building was converted from a pub into a quaint and quirky restaurant. Within 2 years of opening, the team acquired one of the most prestigious accolades in catering, a Michelin Star, opening Winchester up to a whole new world of foodie fanatics and fine diners.

Address: 88 Chesil Street, Winchester, Hampshire. 

Style: Fine modern British dining

Website: Click here

Re-opening: 12th May 2021

2. Kyoto Japanese Restaurant 

Enjoy a culinary journey into the eclectic and exciting cuisine from Japan with Kyoto Kitchen. Their head chef, Shunji Irokawa, comes originally from north Tokyo and qualified as a chef in 1972. He focuses on interesting ingredients, flavours, textures and techniques in the menu, which encompasses both traditional and modern styles. Kyoto also hosts a large selection of cocktails, wines, spirits and of course, Japanese Sake. 

Address: 70 Parchment Street, Winchester, Hampshire SO23 8AT

Style: Classic Japanese food with a modern twist

Website: Click here

Re-opening: 17th May 2021

3. The Chesil Rectory 

Steeped in history, the medieval Chesil Rectory building is now the oldest commercial property in Winchester.  A restaurant for the last 75 years, it was taken over in 2008 by the current team.

Their interior is decorated with vintage chandeliers and beautiful botanical prints, emanating a relaxed, peaceful and authentic charm. The perfect location for lunch with friends, a romantic dinner,  light weekday suppers, business lunches or a mighty Sunday roast.

The Chesil Rectory’s chefs use an abundance of seasonal, local produce from our Hampshire doorstep to create our delicious menus. All the menus feature simple, classic dishes brought up to date with a twist, with plenty of vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options available. 

Address: 1 Chesil Street, Winchester, Hampshire SO23 0HU

Style:  Simple, classic dishes

Website: Click here

Re-opening: 20th May 2021

With fabulous foodie locations, incredible scenery and luxury accommodation just a short trip away, your Winchester Staycation is just a click away.

Book now: South Winchester Lodges Luxury Accommodation