By Alison Hardie
THERE are more restaurants in Britain claiming Michelin star status than ever before, with 15 stars added this year.
Some 122 establishments from the Channel Islands to Fort William now boast the top honour. In Scotland, the restaurant at Glenapp Castle in Ballantrae, Ayrshire, joins The Kitchin in Edinburgh as a recipient of a new Michelin single star.
Graham Cowan, the owner of Glenapp Castle, said: "Being awarded the star was a surprise, but we couldn't be happier.
"It is a fantastic award for our head chef, Matt Weedon, and his team, who have proved you can take superb local Ayrshire produce and transform it into Michelin-standard food."
The award also caps more than 12 years of hard work by Mr Cowan and his wife, Fay, since buying Glenapp Castle as a virtual ruin in 1994 to transform it into a luxury 17-bedroom hotel.
There are now eight restaurants in Scotland with one Michelin star, while Andrew Fairlie at Gleneagles Hotel in Perthshire retains his two stars.