By Katie Wilson
Sustainability is the word on everyone’s lips at the moment, but many restaurants in the UK have been focused on this for years.
They might not have been shouting about it, but behind the scenes all the restaurants on this list have been making massive strides when it comes to holding themselves accountable for their ethical and environmental standards.
This great work was recognised in 2021 when the Michelin Guide awarded their first Green Stars to restaurants whose sustainable credentials act as role models to the industry.
From a Michelin star chef leading the way from the Midlands, to the world’s first zero waste restaurant which happens to be in the capital, here are 8 of the greenest Michelin star restaurants in the UK.
Sustainable Michelin Star Restaurants in the UK
Restaurant Sat Bains with Rooms, Nottingham
This Nottingham institution, named one of the best restaurants in the world, has two Michelin stars – and chef patron Sat Bains is a pioneer for all things green.
His restaurant was the first in the UK to install a composting system called ‘Closed Loop Organics’, which reduces food waste by up to 90% and is used to help grow food in their Urban Garden.
They also switched to LED lights and energy efficient hobs to reduce their carbon footprint, and recently began making honey from their own bees.
Tasting menu only. Five course lunch £120pp, 10 course dinner £155pp. Rooms start from £180 a night
Inver Restaurant & Rooms, Loch Fyne
With a Masters in Food Policy and years spent working for sustainable food charities, Inver chef-owner Pamela Brunton knows a thing or two about green credentials.
The zero waste menu is made up of seafood from the loch, meat and dairy from local farms who work for the welfare of the land as well as the animals, and fruit and vegetables from local gardeners.
They also compost food waste, water on-site comes from the surrounding hills and their luxury bothies are built using eco-friendly materials and warmed by air-source heat pumps.
Four course tasting menu £65pp, a la carte menu also available. Rooms start from £225 a night including breakfast
Silo, Hackney Wick
Silo, which upped sticks from Brighton to London’s Hackney Wick in 2019, claims to be the world’s first zero waste restaurant.
Famous for not having a single bin on site, everything that comes into the restaurant is used in full, recycled or made into compost. Even the glassware, crockery and furniture is ethically and sustainably sourced.
Chef and founder Douglas McMaster is on a mission to get others to follow suit and ‘close the loop’ on the food production process. Check out his zero waste cookery school which runs across Instagram and YouTube.
Six course tasting menu £50pp, weekend brunch dishes start from £7.50
The Black Swan at Oldstead
Tommy Banks isn’t just a chef, he’s a farmer who grows his own produce on the grounds of the multi-award winning Black Swan restaurant with rooms in North Yorkshire.
With a business spanning two Michelin star restaurants – Banks also owns Roots in York city centre – he has long been committed to sustainable ingredients, but it’s how far he makes food go that is truly impressive.
From finding multiple ways to re-use produce across both restaurants, to turning eggshells into plant food, or adding nutrient-rich coffee grounds to the soil in the kitchen garden, nothing is wasted.
Tasting menu only. 10-plus courses £125-£140. Room packages, which include dinner and breakfast, start from £240pp
Angela’s of Margate
This Michelin star seafood restaurant just off Margate’s famous esplanade might be small, but it packs a punch when it comes to sustainability.
Serving a daily changing menu depending what is fresh from the boats that morning, head chef Rob Cooper and his team have partnered with a local community garden to turn their food waste into compost.
Much time has been spent ensuring they work with the right suppliers and even the tables are made from recycled plastic.
Daily changing menu. Starters from £7, main dishes £12-21
Where The Light Gets In, Stockport
Where The Light Gets In was the only Manchester restaurant to gain a new star in the 2021 Michelin awards, for its innovative efforts when it comes to sustainability.
Set on the first floor of a former coffee warehouse, chef patron Sam Buckley and his team pride themselves on using locally sourced menu ingredients available that day.
They also recycle their own cardboard and jointly run The Landing, a collaborative community growing space on top of a car park which has a greenhouse and full irrigation system.
Six-course tasting menu only, £65pp
The Ethicurean, near Bristol
Brothers Iain and Matthew Pennington worked with sustainable suppliers on farmers markets before opening The Ethicurean on the site of a beautiful walled garden and orchard overlooking the Mendip Hills in 2010.
The team strive to be as zero waste as possible. All the vegetables for the mainly plant-based menu are grown on site. Any meat served is impeccably sourced and bought whole with a nose to tail approach, and fish is predominantly killed using the more humane Japanese method ‘ikejime’.
As well as their Michelin green star, The Ethicurean has previously been named ‘Best Ethical Restaurant’ by the Observer.
The Ethicurean Lunch tasting menu £55pp, The Ethicurean Experience tasting menu £120pp