Belfast eatery The Muddler’s Club has become the third Northern Ireland restaurant to receive a Michelin star.

Led by head chef Gareth McCaughey, it joins Ox and Deanes Eipic in the city in being awarded the prestigious honour for excellence in dining.

The winners were unveiled at special launch event at The Hurlingham Club in London.

Inspectors heaped praise on The Muddler’s club’s use of homegrown ingredients “to create original dishes of balance and poise” and the introduction of their own special menu.

Speaking at the awards ceremony, Gareth McCaughey said it was “absolutely brilliant” to receive the award.

“I can’t actually believe it. It’s a third Michelin Star for Belfast and it’s the first time it’s happened, so happy days,” he said.

On introducing their special menu, Mr McCaughey explained: “We just decided at the start of the year we weren’t going to give any customer that came into the restaurant a menu. So it was really down to us to work out their dietary requirements, allergens  – it’s been fun.

“It’s been really good. People just embraced it straight away and we just got on with it. People trusted us to make the food and it’s worked really well. It’s been absolutely brilliant.”

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