3 AA Rosettes


11 restaurants nationwide have been awarded three AA rosettes this January and Cheltenham’s Lumière Restaurant is named among the rosette winners.

The AA announces the winners of its three, four and five rosette awards twice a year, in January and September.

Simon Numphud, the head of the AA Hotel Services said: “The restaurants receiving the multi rosette awards should be duly proud of their achievements. Those with three rosettes are outstanding restaurants that demand recognition well beyond their local area offering sympathetic treatment of the highest quality ingredients with consistent timing, seasoning and judgement of flavour. Around just 10% of the restaurants in our guide have three rosettes or above.”

What the AA say about Lumière;

The discreet frontage is easy to miss on Clarence Parade, but look out for the restaurant’s name etched onto the single window pane. Jon and Helen Howe’s restaurant, with its gently contemporary interior and smart table settings, is one of the town’s most alluring dining destinations, where everything from dynamic canapés (smoked eel and wasabi croquette, say) and breads (check out the amazing brown fig and raisin version) are made in-house. Jon runs the kitchen with verve, delivering a repertoire that reveals classical roots and an up-to-date approach. Every ingredient is on the plate for a reason, with every flavour and texture hitting home, and the food is very prettily arranged, too. A starter of diver-caught scallops, for example, arrives with a lovely glaze in the company of spiced pork belly and orange and star anise purée, while main-course Gigha halibut with oxtail croquette and chanterelles confirms the skilled hand at the stove. Cotswold fallow deer is a seasonal treat served up with heritage beetroots and a sauce enriched with chocolate, and a dessert of damson soufflé has local sloe gin poured into its heart at the table. Helen runs with front-of-house with charm and confidence.

“We’re absolutely thrilled, to be awarded 3 AA Rosettes today, it is a huge achievement for us. It really pays homage to all the hard work that we have put in over the last 7 years and we are immensely proud of our team”.

3 Rosette Landscape

And the Winner is…..




Last night saw the return of the Cotswold Life Food and Drink Awards and it was an evening not to be missed.
The awards are designed to champion and highlight the region’s food & drink industry which includes local producers and suppliers, small farming businesses, chefs, restaurants, pubs and hoteliers and people who care about the countryside and future of our local environment.
Lumiere was up for the Restaurant of the year against two other Cheltenham restaurants; Prithvi a fine Indian dining establishment and Purslane a more sea food led restaurant. Both restaurants are fantastic in themselves and we felt so privileged to be alongside them as finalists.


But the big news is…. We Won!
We wouldn’t be in this position if we didn’t have all of our wonderful suppliers who share such quality food with us and of course you our customers who continue to support us year on year. So Thank You!
We hope that you all continue to share our drive and passion for our food and the industry as a whole, especially here within the Cotswolds.


Food Magazine Reader Awards – VOTE NOW!



The Food Magazine Reader Awards 2014 shortlist have been announced, and we have been named as one of their finalists in their Best Restaurant Category!

In October and November, over 3,000 votes were cast by food readers for their favourite chefs, restaurants, cafes and products in the South West. The nominations have been counted and a shortlist drawn up. In categories where the voting was extremely close, the shortlist has been extended to a maximum of six nominees.

Shortlist voting is now open and will close on February 2, 2014, at midnight. The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony at Yeo Valley HQ on February 24.

food editor Jo Rees said: ‘food readers clearly feel strongly about supporting their favourite local chefs and food businesses, and we’ve been blown away by the number of votes cast in the first round. It’s easy to underestimate how important winning an award like this is to the food businesses involved so we urge South West foodies to push their favourite in the shortlist through to the final three.’

I would like to say a BIG thank you to everyone who has voted to get us on to the Shortlist and we would really appreciate your Votes again to get us through to the final.


Sunday Times Top 100 Restaurants in Britain

Food List

The Food List is compiled for The Sunday Times by UK restaurants guide publisher Harden’s using the reports of genuine diners, who are asked to rate the places they have visited. The List is now in its fourth year, and is based on 80,000 reviews from 9,000 people, including many Sunday Times readers. The Sunday Times’ rankings are based solely on the food the restaurant serves, though the scores for ambience were used in the event of a tie.

We are thrilled to make it into the list again this year, second year in a row, at a fantastic Number 57.

This year the South West is home to eight of Britain’s best 100 restaurants.

1. Gidleigh Park in Devon, run by Michael Caines (Topped the List in Britain too at 1)

2. Restaurant Nathan Outlaw in Rock (4)

3. The Seafood Restaurant in Padstow (49)

4. The Harrow at Little Bedwyn (54)

5. The Bath Priory run by Sam Moody (55)

6. Lumiere  (57)

7. Paul Ainsworth in Padstow (59)

8. Le Champignon Sauvage (64)

This year is the first time 2 Cheltenham restaurants have been included in the list as Le Champignon Sauvage re-enters after last appearing in 2010, to join us.

Editor of The Sunday Times Food List, Karen Robinson, said: “The Food List is essential reading for food lovers. It’s a fantastic achievement for chefs to make it into our top 100, because our scores are based on the reviews of thousands of diners, mostly spending their own money. This makes the Food List an unbiased and definitive guide to the finest restaurants in the country.”


TripAdvisor’s Top 10 Fine Dining Restaurants in the UK – We’re Number 4!!


Lumiere was listed yesterday in the Top Ten Fine Dining Restaurants in the UK by TripAdvisor at Number 4

The world’s largest travel site, announced the winners of its 2013 Travellers’ Choice™ Restaurants awards. The awards honour travellers’ favourite fine dining establishments worldwide, based on the millions of valuable reviews and opinions on TripAdvisor.

This year’s awards spell great news for famed chef Raymond Blanc, whose celebrated restaurant Le Manoir Aux Quat’Saisons in Great Milton has been named the UK’s favourite fine dining experience, and is the only UK restaurant to be named among the top ten favourites in the world and top five favourites in Europe. Second in the UK is Devon’s Gidleigh Park in Chagford which also comes ninth in Europe. Gordon Ramsay’s Petrus in London takes the UK’s third spot and Lumiere in Cheltenham fourth.

“This year’s list of Travellers’ Choice Restaurants award winners proves just how diverse fine dining experiences have become across the UK. Whether you’re as far north as Auchterarder or as far south as Jersey, you’ll be able to find a Travellers’ Choice winner close by,” commented TripAdvisor spokesperson, James Kay.

Travellers’ Choice Favourite Fine Dining Restaurants UK:

  1. Le Manoir Aux Quat’Saisons, Great Milton, Oxfordshire, England
  2. Gidleigh Park, Chagford, Devon, England
  3. Petrus, London, England
  4. Lumiere, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England
  5. Andrew Fairlie @ Gleneagles, Auchterarder, Scotland
  6. Ocean Restaurant, St. Brelade, Jersey, Great Britain
  7. The Ledbury, London, England
  8. Castle Terrace, Edinburgh, Scotland
  9. Maison Bleue Restaurant, Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk, England
  10. Le Gavroche, London, England

As you can imagine the phone has been ringing off the hook, with both bookings and journalists wanting quotes!!

It’s a little bit surreal to be honest with you; It’s such a great honour to receive this kind of recognition, Chefs like Raymond Blanc, Micheal Caines and Michel Roux Junior are people I have looked up to throughout my whole career so to be named alongside them is amazing but I think what’s most important to us about this award is that they are based on our customers reviews. Of course it’s nice to get recognition from inspectors and reviewers, but if the customers are giving positive feedback then to us that is the most important thing.

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We Won! Cotswold Life Food and Drink Awards 2013 Restaurant of the Year

CLFDA Winner logo

Cotswold Life Food & Drink Awards 2013

500 highly esteemed guests, finalists and sponsors joined Her Royal Highness Princess Anne and Cotswold Life to celebrate the 11th Cotswold Life Food & Drink Awards at Cheltenham Racecourse on Monday 1st July. Hosted by Adam Henson and Phil Vickery, the awards celebrated the good and the great from the regions food & drink industry.

Editor, Mike Lowe commented: “We were delighted to welcome as our special guest, HRH The Princess Royal, a Gloucestershire farmer in her own right. I see her decision to fit this event into her hectic schedule as a validation of the food and drink industry in this region, and of the importance of these awards. We are in the fortunate position in this region of exporting more food than we import. Our fantastic, high quality products are in demand all around the world and the Cotswold Life Food & Drink Awards will continue to support our local food and drink community.”

The results…

Newcomer of the Year sponsored by New Wave Seafood

Winner: Purslane Restaurant in Cheltenham

Highly Commended: Whole Foods Market in Cheltenham, Prego Restaurant in Broadway

Butcher of the Year sponsored by NFU Mutual Cheltenham and Moreton in Marsh

Winner: Andy Creese Butchers in Newent

Highly Commended: Country Quality Meats in Nailsworth, Bath Road Butchers in Cheltenham

Best Local Tea/Coffee Shop sponsored by Cotteswold Dairy

Winner: The Kitchen in Minchinhampton

Highly Commended: Lavender Bakehouse in Chalford, Pepper Crescent in Cheltenham

Best Independent Retailer sponsored by Leapfrog PR

Winner: Sherborne Village Shop, Sherborne

Highly Commended: Primrose Vale in Shurdington, Cotswold Food Store in Longborough

Best Farm Shop sponsored by Field Fare

Winner: Over Farm Market, Over

Highly Commended: Stancombe Beech Farm Shop in Bisley, Butts Farm Shop in South Cerney

Best Farmers’ Market Stallholder sponsored by Bruton Knowles

Winner: Chedworth Farm Shop from Cirencester Farmers’ Market

Highly Commended: Pippin Doughnuts from Stroud Farmers’ Market,
Native Breeds from Cirencester Farmers’ Market

Food/Drinks Product of the Year sponsored by Frobishers Juices

Winner: Centurion Stout, Corinium Ales, Cirencester

Highly Commended: Malaysian Beef Rendang from The Cotswold Traiteur in Moreton-in-Marsh, Blue Heaven Cheese from Woefuldane Organic Dairy in Minchinhampton

Best Local Supplier/Producer sponsored by The Daffodil

Winner: Pancake Farm in Chedworth

Highly Commended: The Artisan Baker in Stroud, Ross & Ross Foods in Chipping Norton

Best Neighbourhood Pub sponsored by BBC Radio Gloucestershire

Winner: The Prince Albert in Rodborough

Highly Commended: The Old Spot Inn in Dursley, The Keepers Arms in Quenington

Best Pub Restaurant sponsored by Tayabali Tomlin

Winner: The Feathered Nest in Nether Westcote

Highly Commended: The Butchers Arms in Eldersfield, The Five Alls in Filkins

Best Cotswold Menu sponsored by Crest Insurance Consultants

Winner: The Golden Cross Inn in Cirencester

Highly Commended: Star Bistro in Ullenwood, The Priory Inn in Tetbury

Chef of the Year sponsored by Bespoke Kitchens

Winner: David Kelman from Ellenborough Park in Southam

Highly Commended: Gareth Fulford from Purslane in Cheltenham, Emily Watkins from The Kingham Plough in Kingham

Restaurant of the Year sponsored by Peter Hickman Hairdressers

Winner: Lumière, Cheltenham

Highly Commended: Le Champignon Sauvage in Cheltenham, 5 North Street in Winchcombe

Hotel Restaurant of the Year sponsored by Hollies Care Centre

Winner: Tudor Farmhouse Hotel in Forest of Dean

Highly Commended: Ellenborough Park in Southam, Calcot Manor in Tetbury

2013 Cotswold Food Hero sponsored by CJ Hole Sales and Lettings

Winner: Charlie Beldam from Cotswold Gold near Broadway

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Trencherman’s Guide Launch & Lunch

ChefsJon & Chris


As you maybe aware, Helen and I have been asked to join the editorial board for the Trencherman’s Guide, now in its 21st year, the annual Trencherman’s Guide is the Holy Grail for the region’s foodie residents and visitors, guiding them to a unique variety of dining experiences, alongside Michael Caines MBE.

There is a strict entry criteria which dictates the select group of establishments included in the annual Guide. Only those achieving consistently high ratings across top international publications including The Michelin Guide, The Good Food Guide and the AA Restaurant Guide are invited to be in the guide. This year a record 122 restaurants and hotels with rooms across Somerset, Gloucester, Dorset, Devon and Cornwall have made it into the Guide, including Rising Stars, showcasing the calibre of the region’s foodie offerings. If you would like your own copy of the guide, feel free to pop into the restaurant and pick one up.

This year the publishers have also integrated dining vouchers into this year’s guide, enabling diners to save money while still enjoying the culinary creations of the region’s finest chefs, so there’s no excuse not to get out there and try them out.

Of the region and guide, Matthew Fort, restaurant critic and food writer, said: “Is there a region more blessed than the South West? I think not. I’ve caught prawns at Salcombe, and fished for bass off Lyme Regis and trout in the streams of Wiltshire, doubled up Double Gloucester in Stroud, drunk too well of Somerset cider, spread Dorset butter on Cornish saffron bread, feasted on the finest lobsters in the land in Dartmouth, devoured sweet crabs at Rock, put away pilchards in Newlyn and chewed over rich Red Devon sirloin running with juices. It is therefore no wonder the South West has produced and nurtured a treasury of chefs of the highest calibre.  And this is what the Trencherman’s Guide is all about. It’s more than simply compendium of top places to eat all over the South-West. It is a celebration of great British ingredients turned into great British food by great British chefs.”

Trencherman's Cover

The one of highlights of being invited to be apart of the Trencherman’s Guide has to be the bi-annual lunches, a group of chefs are invited to a stunning venue to cook a course each for the Trencherman’s guests, it’s a great chance to network, talk to suppliers and catch up with friends; This one was no different.

The lunch was hosted at Fifteen Cornwall and the guests were treated to a stunning 5 course lunch, crafted by Andy Appleton of Fifteen Cornwall; Chris Eden of Driftwood Hotel (Portscatho, Cornwall),  James & Chris Tanner of Tanners Restaurant & Barbican Kitchen (Plymouth), Daniel Moon of Stone Easton Park (Nr Bath, Somerset) and me.

Trencherman's Chefs 1

When I volunteered my services for the event, I failed to take into account the distance from our restaurant in Cheltenham to Watergate Bay in Cornwall but it all turned out well in the end… As I needed my boys for service and Helen needed Harriet’s company for the lunch itself we decided to make a staff weekend of it. So we packed everything into the cars from a sleety Cheltenham and set off only to be greeted with the most stunning sunny weather in Cornwall when we arrived. We even managed to squeeze in a trip to Rick Steins Seafood Restaurant, all in the name of staff training of course!




The boy did good – Chef V Chef 2013!


The results from the Bath College Chef V Chef competition…. Lewis won the Under 23 Competition! Well done Lewis, we’re very proud of you.

Here’s the Bath College Press Release with all of the details!


Chefs felt the heat of the kitchen as they tried to beat the clock to whip up the meal of their lives.


The young hopefuls put their speed, artistry and creativity to the test in the Chef v Chef competition at The Shrubbery Restaurant at City of Bath College.


The prestigious cook-off, which is in its eighth year, saw 11 chefs going head-to-head to try to reach the top of the gastronomic pecking order.


They had two-and-a-half hours to impress the judging panel with their individual menus of a main course and a dessert using a supplied list of ingredients.


TV celebrity chef Martin Blunos, Jonathan Newberry from The Valley Smokehouse in Bristol, and Scott Lucas from The Craft Guild of Chefs marked each competitor for hygiene, presentation and working methods.


But it was Lewis Dixon from Lumiere in Cheltenham and Steve Whittaker from Graze in Bristol who stomped to success to be named the culinary champions.


Lewis, who won the under 23s category, said it was his first competition so he hadn’t known what to expect and really didn’t think he would win.


He said: “I was really nervous, but I have learnt so much.


“It was a great experience and to be judged by such great chefs is an honour, it was also really great to be able to speak to them afterwards and get some feedback on my dishes and how I could improve them in the future.”


Under 23s competitors also included James Allen, Bishopstrow House and Spa, Warminster; Nicholas Benham, The Fox, Broughton Gifford; Andrew Campbell, Royal Crescent Hotel, Bath; Paul Goulding, Stanton Manor Hotel; and Hayley Smith, The Bath Priory Hotel and City of Bath College apprentice.


It was the second year in a row that Steve walked off with the over 23s first prize, but he insisted he preferred “simple, straight forward food rather than fancy gastro food.”


He said: “I feel very pleased that I’ve won twice, it feels really good, it’s given me a massive confidence boost.


“I believe in making the best out of any ingredients, but it wasn’t easy as the other competitors were so good.”


The 28-year-old admitted he had been “a little nervous” but said the secret to his success was to repeatedly practice before the competition.


He said: “It is difficult to do it all in the time limit, but it was all about being organised and pushing myself.”


Also competing in the over 23s category were Christian Abbott, Brace & Browns, Bristol; Martin Blake, Homewood Park Hotel, Bath; Christian Orner, Le Petit Chou Fleur Fine Cuisine, Bournemouth; and Marcin Piecha, George and Pilgrim Hotel, Glastonbury.


Former City of Bath College catering student Christian, 29, said it was good to return to the kitchen where he had started out and he would benefit from the judges’ feedback.


Judge Jonathan Newberry was full of praise for the competitors saying working against the clock was “much more difficult than it looks”.


He said: “The competition was very close as the standard was so high. It was a great experience for the chefs and will help boost their careers.”


Steve Benison, Catering lecturer at City of Bath College, said the competition promoted culinary excellence by giving chefs the chance to put their innovative kitchen skills to the test.


He said: “This competition brings to the forefront all the potential stars we have in restaurants in and around Bath. It puts us on the culinary map.”


City of Bath College students also played a part in the culinary challenge as they helped competitors prepare their dishes.


Rosie Debens, Catering and Hospitality Level 1 VRQ student at City of Bath College, said: “The chefs didn’t know our kitchen so we were finding whatever they needed. There was also loads of washing up to do!


“It was a bit frantic but a great experience as we learned so much from watching them at work.”


To enter the competition, chefs within a 50 mile radius of Bath city centre were invited to submit their menus. The cook-off between finalists and awards ceremony took place at City of Bath College on February 7.


Both winners were given £250 cash, a week’s work placement at a top Michelin-star restaurant and a bottle of champagne.

Number 37!!

This is probably our greatest achievement to date. We were downloading The Sunday Times Food List after service at 2am, we had received a telephone call a couple of weeks before hand informing us of our inclusion in the list and a request for some photographs, but we had no idea of our place.  As Helen skipped through the first couple of entries, I told her to start at the other end and work backwards, hoping that our entry would reach close to the top 60. You can only imagine our surprise as Helen turned the page onto Number 37 to see my smiling face starting back at us!

This was the press release;

Lumière named as a New Entry in Sunday Times’ Top 100 Restaurants

Lumière restaurant in Cheltenham has made it into the top 100 UK restaurants in the Sunday Times Food List, in association with Hardens, as the top new entry outside of London.


Congratulations to Jon Howe and Helen Aubrey who have added another accolade to their ever-growing collection – Lumiere has been named as the top new entry outside of London in the Sunday Times Top 100 Restaurants in the UK, gaining a new entry at 37.


Lumière, run by Chef Patron Jon Howe and his partner Helen Aubrey, is one of 25 new entries to make it into the Sunday Times Britain’s Top 100 Restaurant list, replacing some of last year’s stars.


The Sunday Times Food List – published in full on Sunday, 28 October – ranks Britain’s top 100 restaurants by the quality of their food. It is compiled together with the Harden’s restaurant guide and based on 75,000 reports from regular diners.


Jon said: “Making it into the Sunday Times Food List 2012 is a wonderful accolade especially as it comes from the customers who enjoy our fine dining year-round in the restaurant.


Jon said: “Lumière specialises in modern British cuisine, using seasonal and local produce as much as possible. We have a lot of support locally, things are going very well and I’m optimistic that the we can continue to build on our excellent reputation and further raise the profile of the restaurant.”


Helen Aubrey said: “This is a magnificent tribute to Jon and our dedicated team. I’m delighted that so many of our customers have judged our food to be superb and have shared their views.


Karen Robinson, Editor of The Sunday Times Food List said: “You have to be spectacularly good to make it into the Sunday Times Food List.” “Whoever is in or out, up or down, that decision is made not by picky critics or anonymous lone-dining inspectors; these restaurants have risen- or fallen- on the assessment of thousands of diners spending their own money and eating out for their own enjoyment.”


Lumière is open Tuesday to Saturday for dinner and Wednesday to Saturday for lunch with two courses at lunch from £22 and dinner from £42.