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Meet the Couple Behind the Michelin Star Restaurant Mýse in Hovingham All images Mýse
Eat and Drink
April 2024
Reading time 5 Minutes

Following the success of their York restaurant Le Cochon Aveugle, Living North meet Joshua and Victoria Overington at their new venture

Within just seven months of opening, Mýse was awareded its first Michelin star. We caught up with the couple to find out more.
Michelin star food

Joshua and Victoria both had an unconventional journey into the food and drink industry. Joshua was on a gap year in Australia when he found his appreciation for cooking. ‘I worked at a call centre and I had no idea what I wanted to do,’ he tells us. ‘When I was in Australia the only job I could get was pot washing. I didn’t really have any life-long dreams of being a cook, it was all just by chance. I started to cook in Australia and when I came back I began work at Pipe and Glass just outside Beverley – then I never stopped. The objective always changed, but at first it was to open a restaurant.’

Victoria’s background is in nursing. ‘I was actually working in the Alps as a nurse when I met Joshua,’ she says. ‘He broke his leg and I ended up looking after him, and that’s how we met. I’d already worked in restaurants and pubs when I was a teenager, and my family are very foodie. When I met Josh and we came back to England, it was obvious that we would try to open a restaurant together. We realised that’s where the passion lies for us. I realised how much I enjoy working with wine and I started sommelier training. It’s been quite a journey!’

Joshua was working as a sous chef at Michael O’Hare’s The Blind Swine in York and when Michael left, Joshua and Victoria jumped at the chance to take over the lease. Michelin-recommended restaurant Le Cochon Aveugle was born, which Joshua modestly describes as ‘a tiny 14-seat restaurant in the centre of York’. But this dining destination grew to be much more than that thanks to their combined hard work and talent. ‘When we opened Le Cochon Aveugle it was a lot more casual but Victoria and I are quite competitive people by nature so we pushed the restaurant further and further until we had a fine-dining restaurant ranked in the top 100 restaurants in the UK [on the Estrella Damm National Restaurant Awards top 100 list and on the Harden’s Top 100 UK restaurants list]. It just sort of happened, it was never really the plan.’

In 2017, Joshua appeared on Great British Menu where he competed alongside Tommy Banks and Danny Parker, and with Le Cochon Aveugle now one of the best restaurants in the country, the couple (with Victoria’s wine expertise) also opened a wine bar, Cave du Cochon.

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In July 2022, Joshua announced the closure of Le Cochon Aveugle and last year the couple confirmed they would open Restaurant Mýse (pronounced 'meez', Anglo-Saxon for ‘eating at the table’) in Hovingham – a fine dining restaurant with rooms, with Joshua putting an ‘elegant spin on traditional Yorkshire cooking’. ‘Obviously it was a massive risk to close two successful businesses down to do this, but we really believed the location and the property was worth it so we took the jump, essentially to try to open one of the best restaurants in the UK,’ says Joshua.

‘Victoria used to work at The Black Swan down the road at Oldstead so we knew the area really well. We’ve always really wanted a restaurant with rooms in the countryside and when we saw the property on the market, we drove from York to Hovingham. It’s a magical drive past Castle Howard. It’s incredibly beautiful. I always say that it’s about the whole experience, and that drive is included. We just fell in love with the property, and the village, and we thought it would really work.’

Transforming the building [formerly The Malt Shovel and The Hovingham Inn] wasn’t going to be an easy task as it was in need of major refurbishment. ‘We could see in the bones of it that it had a huge amount of potential,’ Joshua explains. ‘We basically gutted the whole thing and upstairs really was a shell. Victoria worked on the interior design of the whole building, which was a huge undertaking and took an incredible amount of time and pressure – but she did an amazing job with that.’


Victoria describes the interior as ‘Scandi/farmhouse/Yorkshire with lots of natural wood and neutral colours’. ‘But it’s very warm and cosy at the same time,’ she adds. ‘We’ve got large log fires, brick walls and wooden beams. It’s such an amazing building and it was so great to work with. We were wanting to highlight and really show off how beautiful a building it is, without taking away from that. We want the food to be the real star of the show so the interior really complements that. It was about looking at Joshua’s approach to cooking and applying that to every aspect of the whole project – that impacts where we source all our items from. It’s got a really holistic approach to it.’

As a produce-led restaurant, Joshua says it’s about finding amazing produce and showing it off. ‘We try to concentrate on local produce where we can, whether that be local meat and game or veg,’ he explains, and when they do source from a little further afield they always focus on regenerative farming and sustainability. ‘It’s around 12 to 16 courses depending on the day and what comes through the door that particular day. How I describe it is “grandma cooking, cooked by a chef”. I want you to taste things and them remind you of Sunday dinner or cooking at home, but in a fine-dining setting.

‘One of the dishes we’ve done from the very beginning is ox cheek which we braise in local ale and then dip in Yorkshire pudding batter and serve it with fermented cucumber ketchup. It sounds sort of “cheffy” me saying it like that, but when I was a kid I grew up having Yorkshire puddings before the Sunday roast, and in Yorkshire traditionally you have what’s called Yorkshire salad, which is pickled cucumbers in malt vinegar with a bit of sugar and onion. So we’ve taken some inspiration from a childhood memory and since we’re based in an old part of Yorkshire, we get a lot of a certain generation coming to eat that and having that same memory that I had. It’s about that nostalgic experience whilst eating.’

It’s that down-to-earth approach combined with fine dining that has attracted so many diners to Mýse, and within just seven months of opening the restaurant was awarded a Michelin star. ‘I’ve always said that I wanted this place to be one of the best in the UK and it was always the aim to try and win a star. But we’re incredibly shocked and a little bit humbled to be able to do that in seven months,’ Joshua says. ‘We didn’t really expect to be able to do it in the first year. It was more of a year two or three plan, so be able to do that now… it’s all still just sinking in.’

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As a restaurant with rooms, Mýse promises diners a whole experience. ‘Our rooms are located in the property itself so diners can come and join us for dinner, and then literally stumble up a few steps to bed afterwards,’ Victoria laughs. ‘We’ve got three very spacious, comfortable rooms all with super-king beds and ensuite bathrooms and they’re a similar sort of style to the restaurant.’ Unsurprisingly, they’ve been proving popular with guests. ‘We knew from the start, being in such a rural location and a destination place to dine, that having rooms would be the key to getting people out here to dine with us and that’s absolutely been the case.’

They pair well with Mýse’s masterclasses too, which are currently fully booked. ‘We’ve done a game and butchery one and bread making,’ says Joshua. ‘It’s something we did at our previous restaurant that went down really well. It’s quite a cool thing, especially at Mýse, because a lot of people come to eat on a Saturday night, stay over, then have a cooking class the next day. It’s really good fun. I’m hoping to do a few more this year but it depends how busy we are, and how many we can fit in. We’d quite like to do one that involves cooking over fire.’ For now Joshua and Victoria are concentrating on building their experience – one that diners will be keen to tell their friends about, and that they can’t find anywhere else.


Your favourite ingredient?
Joshua: I really like cooking with small game birds, like grouse or pigeon. It seems like a pretty vague answer but in the game season it’s pretty exciting because we might have a dish planned but the actual protein might be mallard, pigeon, grouse – it changes on a daily basis.

Your food guilty pleasure?
Joshua: I have lots! I’m a massive fan of pizza. Victoria and I (although we haven’t been for the last two years) go regularly to Corsica, which is a part of France but it’s very Italian-style food (being very close to Italy) so we’re big fans of the pizza there.

Your drink of choice?
Joshua: I’m going to go for rosé I think… Since we met in the Alps and have gone on holidays to Corsica and the south of France, we drink a lot of rosé. Victoria is quite well-known in the wine world for her rosé expertise and pairings.
Victoria: Rosé gets a bit of bad rep, being the wine that’s often left out, but I actually think if you source and find well-made rosés that have a bit of texture to them then they actually are really good to pair with food. That’s our go-to for easy drinking if we need to wind down after a long day but also we’ve been sourcing some really amazing rosés and actually they’re probably the more exciting wines on there right now, that’s something I’m a big advocate for.

To find out more and to book a table and a room, visit

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