Once again this was another fabulous visit to the Artichoke which is set in the lovely town of Old Amersham. There’s always a friendly welcome on arrival as there was once more on this occasion. When you arrive the staff will have a nice little friendly chat with you before being escorted to your table. The food created by Chef Patron Laurie & Head Chef Ben has always been excellent and they often change at least one of their many menus which is great especially if your local and a regular diner as there will always be something new for you to try. This is one of the main reasons why we try to visit whenever we can. Another reason is they also have a great young french team of waiters & waitresses who are very friendly , engaging & professional.
Our table on this occasion was right next to the open kitchen giving you a great view and to see all the hard work that goes into creating the fabulous dishes that appear in front of you. While the team of chefs are busy working hard Laurie & Ben are on the pass adding the finishing touches to make sure every dish is perfect before it’s sent out. They have an amazing selection of menus to choose from which caters anywhere from a quick lunch to the Full Eight Course Tasting Menu. We decided to choose the Tasting Menu as it was the most recently changed and full of New dishes.
While enjoying our aperitif the Chiltern Black Ale Bread arrived accompanied with the heavenly Lamb Fat Butter. This was then followed with our Amuse Bouche which was a Cider & Pickled Onion Veloute.
Chiltern Black Ale Bread
Cider & Pickled Onion Veloute
It was now time for our first course the Lyme Bay Crab with Heirloom Tomato , Passion Fruit Dressing & Basil. This was a beautiful dish that really refreshed the palate and a delightful way to start. Our next course was the Wye Valley Asparagus with Lincolnshire Poacher & Nettle Pesto a perfect blend of freshness from asparagus with the creamy texture of the cheese.
Lyme Bay Crab
Wye Valley Asparagus
We then moved on to the next course the Quail Breast served in a Cup & Saucer with Quail Tea , Confit Leg & Mushroom Cannelloni. A very clever dish and full of flavour. It was now time for a fish course the Chalk Stream Trout with Artichoke Barigoule , Almonds , Rye Bread & Brown Butter Hollandaise which was an absolute delight.
Quail Breast with Quail Tea
Chalk Stream Trout
Next to come was the main courses to which there was a choice of two so we decided to have one of each. The first being the Saddle of Scotsgrove Lamb with Lamb Sweetbread , Cream Cheese Tortellini , Broad Beans , Peas , Carrots & Nasturtium. The other main course was a Loire Valley Poussin with Wild Garlic Kiev , Mushroom Ketchup , White Asparagus & Leek. Thsee were two amazing dishes and perfect for spring time.
Saddle of Scotsgrove Lamb
Loire Valley Poussin
Now we moved onto the cheese course which did divide us as it was a Cheese Soufflé with a Stinking Bishop cheese sauce. My wife who loves Stinking Bishop was in heaven but it was a bit strong for me so as much as I tried I couldn’t finish it all.
This was followed by our pre dessert & a delight it was to Gariguette Strawberry with Lemon Verbena Cream , Strawberry Sorbet & Shortbread. This was served with a Strawberry & Cremant Cocktail. We then finished with a stunning Warm Chocolate Tart with Raspberry , White Chocolate & Lemon Thyme Sherbet. If I could have brought some home I would have it was amazing.
Strawberry & Cremant Cocktail
Warm Chocolate Tart
We then finished with Coffee & Petit Fours bringing to an end another fantastic visit to this great restaurant. I would highly recommend a visit not just for the excellent food & service at the Artichoke but also the Old town of Amersham has some delightful friendly hotels where you can stay making it ideal for an overnight stay or a lovely weekend away. I’m definitely looking forward to my next visit which hopefully won’t be to far away.
It all looks superb! I can’t wait to be able to have shellfish and medium rare meat once again!!