The Michelin Guide has agreed to remove a French restaurant's three-star rating after its owner pleaded to be free of the "huge pressure".

The Le Suquet restaurant in France's Aveyron region has held the Michelin three-star rating for 18 years but owner Sebastien Bras has successfully lobbied for the accolade to be removed from his business.

The 2018 Michelin Guide will be published on Monday (5 February) without Bras' restaurant listed.

Michelin executive vice-president Claire Dorland-Clauzel said it was the first time a restaurateur had asked for their business to be removed from the guide.

"It is difficult for us to have a restaurant in the guide which does not wish to be in it," Dorland-Clauzel told AFP. "It is the first time we have had a public withdrawal of this sort."

Other restaurants have been removed when a head chef retires or if they change the dining concept. There are only 27 restaurants in France that have the coveted Michelin three-star rating.

Bras told AFP in September that he had grown tired of the huge pressure associated with maintaining the rating. "You're inspected two or three times a year, you never know when," Bras said.

"Every meal that goes out could be inspected. That means that every day one of the 500 meals that leaves the kitchen could be judged.

"Maybe I will be less famous but I accept that."

Bras said he sometimes thought about French chef Bernard Loiseau, who was rumoured to have committed suicide in 2003 out of fear he would lose his top Michelin rating. "I'm not in that frame of mind," he said.

Only five restaurants in the UK have won three Michelin stars: Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester and The Araki in Mayfair, Gordon Ramsay in Chelsea and the Fat Duck and Waterside Inn, both in Bray, Berkshire.