An historic Michelin star restaurant has been ‘reduced to ashes’ after a huge fire erupted in its thatched roof.
The Star Inn at Harome, North Yorkshire, has won ‘virtually every relevant industry award’ since the arrival of celebrity chef patron Andrew Pern in 1996.
The restaurant, one of the best known in the north of England, retained its prestigious Michelin star for the 18th time earlier this year.
However, staff were left in dismay after a large fire broke out shortly after 10pm on Wednesday.
Firefighters, who battled through the night to save the 14th century inn, said the blaze spread across its famed thatched roof.
The gastro-pub tweeted on Thursday morning to say it has been ‘reduced to ashes’.
Fire crews on an aerial ladder platform battle to save The Star Inn at Harome after a fire broke out in its thatched roof
Smoke pictured billowing out of the pub’s roof on Wednesday night as as many as nine fire engines attended the scene
The Star Inn at Harome pictured showing its large thatched roof where a fire broke out on Wednesday
The Star Inn at Harome, pictured, has held a Michelin star for 18 of the 25 years chef Andrew Pern has been a patron
A look at the inside of The Star Inn at Harome, in Helmsley, North Yorkshire, where a large fire broke out on Wednesday night
The gastro-pub is one of the most popular in the north of England with its excellent food inside a building that ‘oozes character’
It said: ‘It’s been a long night so far… I’m afraid we won’t be open for a while as we are reduced to ashes with The Star on fire and still burning, residents please call after 9am.’
In a post on Facebook, staff added: ‘We are devastated to let everyone know that there has been a fire in our restaurant and pub that has been burning throughout the night.
“Thankfully no one was hurt and our hotel Cross House Lodge is still fully operational, with food and accommodation for hotel guests.
‘Please do bear with us as we try to navigate a way forward.
‘Unfortunately our internet and phone lines are all currently down, so we are unable to answer phone and email messages at this time. Thank you for all of your messages of support, we are very grateful.’
News of the fire has been met with upset from food loves across the UK.
Zac Berrycloth tweeted: ‘Such a heartbreaking sight to see a stunning historic building ablaze, and literally a star of Yorkshire’s food scene reduced to ashes, the main thing we hope is all are okay.
‘The next thing we hope is that star will shine bright again, it has the best people behind it.’
Food critic Jay Rayner added: ‘Terrible news. Thoughts with you all.’
The 14th century gastro-pub has excelled since chef patron Andrew Pern (pictured) arrived in 1996
North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service said seven fire engines remained at the scene as of 9am on Thursday
The large fire started in the pub’s thatched roof, with crews having to use an aerial ladder platform to tackle the blaze overnight
A spokesperson for North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service said crews were called to the scene at around 10.13pm.
They added: ‘All the occupants of the property were out on the arrival of crews.
‘Crews have been at the scene overnight and at its peak there were nine appliances (fire engines), one aerial ladder platform, one water bowser, one welfare unit and an incident command unit in attendance.
‘Crews worked with main jets and hose reel jets to contain the fire and the aerial ladder platform was deployed to removed thatch from the roof.
‘The incident was scaled back to seven fire engines and the aerial ladder platform at around 5:45am.’
An update at 9am confirmed crews were still at the scene ‘continuing to remove the thatched roof’.
The Star Inn has been a popular restaurant since the 1970s, but established itself as a destination restaurant following the arrival of Mr Pern in 1996.
The building has a number of dining areas and the thatched section houses the ornate Pub Bar, which was the work of prominent craftsman Robert ‘Mouseman’ Thompson.
Michelin’s guide to the restaurant points to its ‘luxurious feel.
It says: ‘This 14C thatched building oozes character with its low beamed ceilings and fires burning in the grates.
‘While the restaurant side has a plush, luxurious feel, it’s still very much the village local and you’ll find the regulars supping on a pint of bespoke ‘Two Chefs’ beer in the characterful bar.
‘This is a place that proudly champions its home county, with fish sourced from Whitby, game from the Yorkshire Moors and vegetables from the kitchen garden, and Head Chef Steve Smith uses them to create rich, gutsy, flavour-driven dishes with a classical base and modern overtones.
‘The wine list, meanwhile, offers bottles from some lesser-known producers and growers.’