A COUNTY has cemented its reputation for fine dining after three restaurants were awarded Michelin star accolades.

The Star Inn, in Harome, near Helmsley, run by celebrity chef Andrew Pern, has regained the coveted award it held from 2002 to 2011, after inspectors found it served dishes with assured flavours and a skilled, classical style.

It was one of only 14 restaurants in the UK to be upgraded to Michelin star status, which is given following numerous secret visits to restaurants by inspectors.

The Star Inn joined North Yorkshire restaurants The Yorke Arms, in Nidderdale, and The Black Swan, Oldstead, near Thirsk, on the list, which both retained the coveted accolade.

The Raby Hunt, in Summerhouses, near Darlington, run by former Barnard Castle School pupil chef James Close and his family, retained its Michelin star and remains the only restaurant in the North-East with the honour.

Italian restaurant Le Langhe, in York, was among ten restaurants in England to be awarded a Bib Gourmand, the guide's award for places offering good food with a price limit of £28 for three courses, which Vennell’s Restaurant, in Masham, retained.

Inspectors said chefs at The Star Inn used "the very best of local produce, including vegetables from its kitchen garden and meats from their own pigs and chickens".

Starters on the 14th Century thatched pub's autumn menu include 'a study of Stark’s Frimlington-grown beetroot with Bobbin goats cheese' and main courses start at £19, with the Black Sheep-braised Gary Verity’s 1,000ft Coverdale lamb shoulder and cutlet, spelt purée, charred leeks, Lowna Dairy curd and wood sorrel.

Mr Pern said: “The Michelin man is smiling again on The Star Inn; it's always a privilege to be involved with such an esteemed guide.

"After three years in wilderness, we are now back in the gang; the world seems a better place today and for years to come hopefully.

"It’s great news for the area too to be recognised for its foodie credentials."

Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said: “Yorkshire is home to some of the country’s best food producers, and for the county to have so many Michelin Star and Bib Gourmand restaurants is tremendous for tourism.”