The Coombe's Spitalfields restaurant wins 2023 MICHELIN Welcome and Service Award

By Emily Mullen

March 28, 2023 at 10:07am


Irish hospitality has received some long-overdue recognition at the prestigious Michelin guide awards

Dublin 8-based Spitalfields was awarded the Welcome and Service Award at the Michelin guide UK and Ireland awards, which took place on March 27th 2023.

The manager of the Coombe-based restaurant-come-pub Declan Maxwell and his team were presented with the prestigious award at the event hosted in Silverstone Circuit in Northamptonshire, UK.

"Ireland is known for its warm hospitality and this year’s award goes to someone who upholds and enhances that reputation," a representative from the awards said, "whether a local in for pint, or a visitor coming for a 3-course dinner, Declan makes everyone feel genuinely welcome. His enthusiasm for this small but busy pub is unwavering and contagious."

Spitalfields was amongst five hospitality teams across the UK and Ireland which received what the Inspectors classified as a  "special" award, given to highlight "exceptional people and remarkable teams" that succeeded in impressing them over the past year.


Success of Spitalfields

"We have kept it as the old pub so the people that have been drinking there for 45 years and then we have the restaurant and we have married them both together," speaking on stage while collecting the award, Maxwell attributed the success of Spitalfields down to old fashioned hospitality. "What I tell waiters when they are working with me or they are just starting out, I always say "you should treat customers like you are inviting them into your house for a dinner party. You have them there you are looking after them, you are offering them friendly service and apart from the welcome, there's always someone to say goodbye at the end of the night," he continued.


Irish award winners

Spitalfields wasn't the only Irish hospitality business to leave the room in the Silverstone Circuit smiling, with two Cork restaurants receiving the coveted Michelin star. Dede restaurant in the scenic Baltimore, West Cork was one of only three restaurants to be awarded a second Michelin star this year. Run by the eponymous Ahmet Dede, the inspectors were blown away by the outstanding Turkish cuisine served there and described the spot as a "true destination restaurant". While Terre restaurant in Cork's Castlemartyr Resort, also won a Michelin star, with the inspectors noting that "the chef’s international travels inform his refined and striking dishes."

While the Mentor Award was presented to Michael Deane of the Belfast-based Eipic, who is described by Michelin inspectors as "never one to stand still, as his group of varied restaurants would testify. Many of the chefs who have passed through his kitchen owe him a debt for the skills, the values and the professionalism that he instilled in them. His name is synonymous with quality restaurants and he is a true figurehead in the industry."

International Director of the MICHELIN Guides Gwendal Poullennec commented on this year's awards, "Great Britain & Ireland continues to impress with the sheer variety of its MICHELIN Stars. Whether diners are looking for somewhere formal or casual, historic or new, there is a MICHELIN Starred establishment for them. In every region of Great Britain and Ireland, you can now find hugely talented chefs calling out to gourmets with their exquisite and accomplished cuisine. To have 20 new One MICHELIN Stars and 3 new Two Stars in a year where the hospitality industry has faced so many challenges, is an extraordinary achievement."


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