This was our fourteenth visit in the last three years to the Artichoke and in that time have become good friends with owners Laurie , Jackie and head chef Ben. So therefore when the announcement came on Monday 7th October that they they had finally earned the distinctive honour of holding a Michelin Star ⭐️ I couldn’t have been more pleased. The food here has been so consistent and we’ve even noticed that on our last three or four visits this has definitely risen to the next level. The imagination and creativity using excellent local produce in order to put these fabulous dishes in front of their customers is amazing. Their front of house team has also been very good over the years which is now under the leadership of manager Jerek. Once we heard the exciting news we really couldn’t wait to pay another visit and luckily that happened to be yesterday. So on a nice bright saturday we headed from east to west and enjoy another nice afternoon in the lovely little town of Amersham. As soon as we entered the restaurant you could still clearly see that everyone was still on a high from receiving the fantastic news. So after our nice friendly welcome we was escorted to our table in front of the fabulous wine rack which obviously used to be a fireplace. While we were given the menus to look through they poured us a glass of complimentary champagne as part of them celebrating the achievement with their customers. There are five menus to choose from the Lunch , A la Carte , Lunch Tasting Menu and a short six course and long eight course Tasting Menus. We decided to choose the eight course tasting menu as since it had been a few months since our last visit all the dishes were new.
We started with the fabulous Chiltern Black Ale Bread which this time came with a Bee Pollen Butter. This was followed by a delightful little Amuse Bouche of Taramasalata , Cucumber & Kohlrabi to cleanse the palate before we moved onto our first course a Seafood Ravioli with Pumpkin Veloute & Sea Herbs. The next course was definitely one of the highlights a Truffle Choux Bun with Lincolnshire Poacher , Cep Ketchup & Salsify and with the mixture of hot and cold this dish was stunning.
Black Ale Bread & Bee Pollen Butter
Truffle Choux Bun
We then moved on to our next course of Pan Fried Duck Liver which together with Poached Quince & Spiced Bread was a little taste sensation. This was followed by the Atlantic Halibut with Squid , Mussels , Seaweed and a beautiful Shellfish Miso.
Pan Fried Duck Liver
Now it was time for the main course to which their is a choice of two a Venison Saddle smoked with Douglas Fir and served alongside Venison Salami , Beef Dripping Potato , Red Cabbage & Beetroot and the other a Chalgrove Estate Partridge with a Black Pudding Tartlet , Morteau Sausage & Golden Raisins. Both dishes were amazing but I have to say my choice of the Partridge was without doubt the highlight of the day.
Chalgrove Estate Partridge
During our little rest before we moved onto the next course it was nice of Laurie & Ben to come over for a quick chat and therefore gave us the opportunity to personally congratulate them on their prestigious award. Now we moved onto the cheese course a delightful little combination a Panna Cotta of Blue Murder with Roasted Walnuts , Black Figs , Apple & Celery. This led us onto a delicious palate cleanser of Poire William Sorbet with Poached & Pressed Pear a mixed seed Tuille & Vanilla Cream Cheese.
Panna Cotta of Blue Murder
Poire William Sorbet
Now it was time for dessert which was a very good Blackberry Baba with Somerset Apple , Brandy Ice Cream & Sorrel. This was paired with a Familia Castano Dulce Monastrell 2016 sweet wine with flavours of Plum Jam & Dried Figs which was nice & light and therefore a perfect match. We then finished with a coffee & Petit Fours to end a fantastic lunch.
Castano Dulce 2016 Manastrell
So another fabulous lunch at the Artichoke is brought to and one in which I’m looking forward to repeating again in the near future. It really is worth making the the trip to this great little town of Amersham and enjoy for yourself a fantastic dining experience at this amazing restaurant. Even if you can’t make it for lunch you could stay overnight in one of the hotels on the opposite side of the road.
Congratulations once again to all the team at the Artichoke on receiving a Michelin Star ⭐️