Home | Latest News | Harden’s Guide recognition for Chris Cleghorn at the Olive Tree Restaurant

Harden’s Guide recognition for Chris Cleghorn at the Olive Tree Restaurant

Bath’s only Michelin starred chef, Chris Cleghorn of the Olive Tree Restaurant, situated at the heart of the multi-award winning Queensberry Hotel, has been voted in as the only Somerset-based restaurant in the UK’s top 100 best dining destinations.

The 32nd edition of the Harden’s guide, published this week, is now the only UK restaurant guide sold in bookshops based on feedback from normal diners rather than a group of professional inspectors. A total of 30,000 reports are submitted from a survey of 3,000 diners. Restaurants at all price levels are listed: from street food vendors to the country’s most ambitious dining rooms, with 2,800 restaurants listed in total.

Chris Cleghorn also recently won the Hotel Restaurant Chef of the Year at the hotel industry ‘Oscars’, the Hotel Cateys. He joined The Olive Tree in 2013, with a stated ambition to gain a Michelin Star. His passion and drive to deliver exceptional standards of dining were recognised with three AA rosettes in under nine months and a Michelin Star, awarded in October 2018 – which still remains Bath’s only Michelin Star, only intensifying its shine.

Chris has been at the forefront of championing team and resource management change at The Olive Tree and creating an environment that nurtures talent and success, yet brings a work/life balance. To achieve this in a Michelin environment is exceptional and reflects his truly caring nature. Chris also obsessively investigates the very best of surrounding Somerset and South West producers, only casting the net geographically further when what he is looking for what cannot be found locally.

In line with the current economic challenges, Chris has also developed a range of smaller course number dining options so Olive Tree Restaurant guests can savour the Michelin starred experience with a more sensitive budget in mind.

This approach is very much in line with the Harden’s national poll findings which revealed a growing number of increasingly cost-conscious diners. Peter Harden, who revealed in November that prices at some top UK restaurants have doubled since Brexit, commented: “Value is at the heart of the whole Harden’s survey system, therefore any dip in perception of value-change in the restaurants visited by our diners results in them quickly slipping down the rankings. We all know that high quality food comes at a price and diners are accepting of that but, at the same time, we’re witnessing some restaurants charging staggering amounts that would have been inconceivable in the UK only a couple of years ago.”

Harden continued, “Chefs are faced with a real challenge of where to draw the line and strike that balance in order to fall on the right side of customer perception, especially as the cost of living crisis continues to bite.”

Chris Cleghorn said: “As ever, we’re delighted to be voted in by the diners themselves to such prestigious company with a whole array of UK-wide restaurants across the hospitality spectrum in making the 2023 Harden’s Guide and the much-anticipated Top 100 list. We are continually adjusting our Olive Tree menus and propositions to meet the exact needs of our local and visiting diners. It’s therefore very interesting to note Peter Harden’s comments alongside our showcasing of our recently added ‘THREE’ and ‘FOUR’ course Olive Tree menus.”

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