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Paris House was transported, timber by timber, from the French capital to grace Woburn Park more than a century ago, and now sits resplendent – a genteel oasis overlooking lush green acres and
grazing muntjacs. Following a shake-up, chef Phil Fanning and his wife now own and run the place, but little has changed as regards the restaurant or its Michelin-starred food. The dining room
oozes civilised class without pomposity (thanks to some kooky artwork and crazy red chandeliers), while the kitchen works its masterstrokes across a series of tasting menus (including one dedicated
to Bedfordshire produce). It’s a fascinating hotchpotch of contemporary European themes, trad British parodies and leftfield riffs – from ‘MK17 snail garden’ (gastropods with chicory, onion and
local herbs) to rhubarb with ginger and custard via pan-fried hake with squid ‘noodles’, gnocchi and herb emulsion or featherblade and cheek of Ibérico piglet with honey, mustard and cauliflower
cheese. Serious wines at serious prices too.
Having checked in, we headed just round the corner for lunch at Paris House. It’s the only Michelin starred restaurant in Bedfordshire and an utterly spectacular building. Built in 1878 for The Paris International Exhibition by William Cubitt & Son, it was based on the half-timbered architecture of the Cheshire region of England and erected in prefabricated sections. The 9th Duke of Bedford saw it and liked it so much he had it dismantled after the exhibition and shipped piece by piece to the grounds of Woburn Abbey. You enter the grounds of Paris House via this impressive stone gate.
More from Wonderful Weekend in Woburn »
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