Mid Wales

Michelin star for The Checkers restaurant in Montgomery

Stephane Borie, Sarah and Kathryn Francis
Image caption Stephane Borie and sisters Sarah and Kathryn Francis are delighted to win the accolade within months of opening their new restaurant

The owners of a new restaurant in Powys are celebrating one of the culinary world's top accolades.

The Checkers in Montgomery has been awarded a Michelin star just a few months after opening in March.

The new 2012 edition of the Michelin Guide describes it as a "charming 18th Century coaching inn" serving "classical dishes executed with a deft touch".

Head chef Stephane Borie said: "We are over the moon, very pleased."

"We've been in the trade since we were kids, but it's a great acheivement."

Mr Borie trained with fellow Frenchman Michel Roux at the three-star Waterside Inn, Bray, Berkshire, with his partner Sarah Francis, a farmer's daugher from Trefonen, near Oswestry.

Local produce

With her sister Kathryn running front-of-house, they first opened the Herbert Arms at Chirbury, near Montgomery, in 2008 before taking over The Checkers which opened in March.

Stephane said: "It was an old pub which we completely refurbished.

"Because we've been in the area for three years we have a lot of very good customers who come from as far away as Wolverhampton."

Image caption The restaurant uses local produce from the Welsh borders

The trio - who market themselves as "The Frenchman and the Farmer's Daughters" - employ 12 staff and cater for up to 40 diners, using produce from local farms in Powys and Shropshire.

Sarah said: "We both owe a lot to Michel Roux - obviously he's been very influential in our careers and our achievements."

While The Checkers is a new addition, three other restaurants in Wales retain their stars and places in the 2012 Michelin Guide for Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

They are The Walnut Tree, Abergavenny, Monmouthshire; The Crown at Whitebrook, Monmouthshire; and Tyddyn Llan, Llandrillo, Denbighshire.

Ynyshir Hall, near Machynlleth, also featured in the 2011 guide but is not included in the new edition.

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