Modern European·
Gold Award

SquareMeal Review of Artichoke

Gold Award

“Excellent in every way”; “a high-end star”; “a gem outside London” … readers continue to heap praise on husband and wife Laurie and Jackie Gear’s Artichoke – a “small place with a great ambience” that seems to get everything right.

Really confident clued-up staff help things along nicely, the well-oiled open kitchen adds its own entertainment, while the food is reckoned to be outstanding value for the quality on show (not least a three-course set lunch for £30). Laurie’s team are capable of delivering “unassuming world-class dishes” from an ever-evolving repertoire that runs in tandem with the seasons while hoovering up the best from the region’s producers.

Regulars have their own favourites from the line-up: a picture-pretty plate of smoked haddock tartare with Royal Russet apple, radish and “beguiling” horseradish cream; a fat juicy roasted scallop with charred octopus, carrot, sea beet, pork and tarragon dressing; a vivid plate of Yorkshire grouse with blackberries, blackberry sauce and a cornet of foie gras ganache. Our own top picks include dishes from nearer home – notably saddle of Buckinghamshire venison partnered by smoked celeriac purée, a marvellous blue-cheese crumble, poached quince and cavolo nero.

Presentation has “reached new heights” of late, especially when it comes to desserts such as a lemon bavarois with Arbequina olive oil jelly, citrus salad and powdery lemon thyme sherbet, or one reader’s favourite of “amazing” rice-pudding soufflé. Perfectly matched wines top things off admirably, while vegetarians get their own lunch menu and an eight-course tasting menu in the evening to match the meat-and-fish menu – and it’s all brilliant value to boot.

“We keep having to think of special occasions to justify going yet again” admits one fan – but when there’s “fantastic food at a great price served by staff who understand food and wine in a comfortable restaurant” – why wait?

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - Over £80
Modern European
Fine dining, Quiet conversation, Romantic
Other Awards
One Michelin star, SquareMeal UK Top 100
Food Occasions
Dinner, Lunch
Special Features
Vegetarian options
Birthdays, Celebrations, Romantic, Special occasions
Food Hygiene Rating

About Artichoke

Located in the old town of Amersham in Buckinghamshire, Michelin-starred Artichoke is owned and led by Chef Patron Laurie Gear and his wife Jacqueline. They opened the restaurant originally in 2002 with the aim of providing the very best neighbourhood dining experience, a feat largely undertaken by chef patron Laurie Gear and head chef Chris Chegwin. While Laurie runs the kitchen team, Jacqueline oversees the day-to-day management of Artichoke with a strong background in business.  

The restaurant is set inside a 16th century Grade II listed building with many of its original features left intact inside. The style, however, is slightly different to its historic foundations, with the interiors designed by Fiona Johnston Parke in a Scandi-chic style. Drawing on Laurie’s time spent in Scandinavia, expect lots of soft tones of walnut, grey and lilac, with finishing touches including amethyst glass and hand-crafted pottery.  

The menu is modern European in style and uses top quality ingredients that are locally sourced and hyper-seasonal. For dinner, there is only one nine-course tasting menu available while for lunch there is a slightly shorter lunch set menu, ‘Artichoke’ menu or the tasting menu. There are also vegetarian equivalents of all the above. Most start with chiltern ale black bread with malt vinegar and cultured butter while other signature dishes might include mushroom tortellini with fennel, carrot, golden enoki and trumpet mushrooms, roast cornish cod with clams, crisp potato, clam and chervil sauce as well as goosnargh duck breast with duck leg croquette, leek puree and blood orange. On the sweet front, guests are treated to apple tarte tatin with Somerset apple brandy caramel and vanilla ice cream. 

To drink, there is an international wine list that is broken down by region and can be ordered by the glass, half bottle or bottle.


Does The Artichoke have a Michelin star?

Yes, The Artichoke has one Michelin star

Helpful? 0

Does The Artichoke offer private dining?

Yes, The Artichoke has its own private dining room

Helpful? 0

Location for Artichoke

9 Market Square, Old Amersham, Buckinghamshire, HP7 0DF

0149 472 6611


Opening Times

Mon Closed
Tue Closed
Wed Closed
Thu 12:00-16:00
Fri 12:00-16:00
Sat 12:00-16:00
Sun Closed
Mon Closed
Tue Closed
Wed 18:15-23:00
Thu 18:15-23:00
Fri 18:15-23:00
Sat 18:15-23:00
Sun Closed

Reviews of Artichoke

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25 Reviews 

Dr Mohsin Ali FRCP(UK)

26 July 2019   - Verified Diner
Food & Drink 5
Service 4
Atmosphere 4.5
Value 4
Excellent Restaurant

The best restaurant in Amersham and in

its surroundings .


stephen L

03 April 2019  
Really good food, we keep having to think of special occasions to justify going yet again.

Paul A

01 April 2019  
Shamefully underrated by the tyre maker, Artichoke can go shoulder to shoulder with the best, and If there is one thing you can guarantee when you dine at the Artichoke it is that Laurie Gear will serve up a meal that will leave the offerings in many one-star restaurants absolutely standing. This has been the case for many years, and, with its style evolving and advancing on a regular basis, Artichoke continues to be synonymous with high class and delicious fine dining.

Lloyd S

29 March 2019  
The food here is fantastic using the very best of local ingredients. The service is excellent and the location in the small town if Amersham is fabulous.

Lloyd S

05 December 2018  
Food & Drink 5
Service 4.5
Atmosphere 5
Value 5
Fabulous Festive Sunday Lunch
It was nice to return to the Artichoke which we have had the real pleasure of visiting a few times now and which is set in the delightful little town of Amersham. This is a fabulous restaurant run by Chef Patron Laurie and along with head chef Ben they produce some fantastic dishes. They also have a very friendly and professional Front of House team who really look after you throughout your stay. Our visit on this occasion was for the first of this years Christmas Sunday Lunches something they do every December. You always receive a lovely welcome when you arrive and on this occasion it was no different. We were then shown to our table which was actually the one we generally sit at and which gives you a good view of the open kitchen. While we looked at the menu we were given a nice surprise in being presented with a complimentary glass of champagne. You have the choice of three menus the A la Carte , Lunch Tasting Menu and the Full 8 Course Tasting Menu. It was the latter which we decided to choose. We started with some Chiltern Black Ale Bread with Lamb Fat Butter this was followed by a fabulous Amuse Bouche a Smoked Celeriac Veloute. Our first course was a delightful Isle of Skye Scallop with octopus , heritage carrots , pork & shellfish reduction. Followed by a fantastic Roasted Salsify with black truffle & creme fraiche dressing , toasted hazelnuts & radicchio The next two courses were equally as amazing with the first being a Pan Roasted Foie Gras with agen prune , malted almonds & puff pastry. This was followed by a great take on fish and chips. It was a fillet of Halibut with apple mussel & cider sauce , triple cooked chips & sea beet just devine Now it was time for the main course to which you are given a choice either the Venison or Partridge. We decided to have one of each. The Saddle of Venison came with a venison sausage , red cabbage purée , beetroot , potato , flowering sprouts , onion & bacon crumb & a sloe gin sauce. While the Partridge was accompanied by black pudding , morteau sausage , parsnip , kale , raisin purée , chestnuts & pear. Both of these dishes were simply amazing We then had a cheese course but with a difference as it was a Vacherin Cheese Soup this came with quince compote , spruce powder & fruit bread. This was a very clever dish and absolutely delicious We then finished with desserts with to which we started with a fabulous Rum Glazed Pineapple with candied red chilli , pistachio pastry cream , meringue & Szechuan pepper ice cream. This was followed by a Dark Chocolate Ganache with cherries , buttermilk ice cream & salted caramel ricciarelli. We then finished with coffee and petit fours which really rounded another truly fantastic lunch. During this time we were joined for a chat by owner Laurie. It's always nice to talk to ether the owner or the chefs when you visit a restaurant as you really get a feel for their passion and dedication that goes into every plate of food. This is definitely a restaurant I would highly recommend and don't worry if you think it's a little far to travel for a lunch as there are plenty of places to stay which are all quite reasonable and just a short walk away. I'm certainly looking forward to my next visit in the not to distant future

Paul A

04 September 2018  
Food & Drink 5
Service 5
Atmosphere 5
Value 5
As brilliant as usual
Seasonality appears to have taken pride of place over local sourcing and provenance of ingredients, but happily there still some chefs who manage to combine both factors and at Artichoke this is certainly the case. The tasting menu no longer offers a choice of main, which always seemed to us something of a throw-back, and every course was in perfect harmony with the rest to make up an extremely well-balanced ensemble. Super home-made focaccia and whipped butter preceded a chilled melon soup amuse-bouche which set us up for some brilliant, tenderly charred octopus, with oyster leaf adding a touch of minerality to the dish, and this was followed by poached, charred and pickled elements, in particular some beautiful beetroot, contrasting with green vegetables and brought together by a super dill emulsion. Outstanding foie gras with tayberries and toasted rice for the crunch brought us to a fish stew (or bouillabaisse) with classic fish, brill and John Dory, highlighted by pickled fennel, saffron potatoes and an excellent rouille. The main dish was local duck which exhibited exemplary flavours and was notable for its black garlic dressing. Three desserts may seem a bit much, but each contained just enough perfection to make you want more. Macerated blueberries with an excellent digestive biscuit crumble, an accent of lime, and viola leaf chiming in with white chocolate mousse brought us swiftly on to one of the all-time ultimate indulgences of strawberries and chocolate, lavender meringue, strawberry crème pâtissière and buttermilk sherbet strawberry soup. We finished up with a feta medita, the stupendous baked apricot backed up by intriguing puffed mustard seeds. If there is one thing you can guarantee when you dine at the Artichoke it is that Laurie Gear and Ben Jenkins will serve up a meal that will leave the offerings in many one-star restaurants absolutely standing. This has been the case for many years, and, with its style evolving and advancing on a regular basis, Artichoke continues to be synonymous with high class and delicious fine dining.

Burt O

24 April 2018  
Absolutely fantastic food, great atmosphere and fabulous hosts Graham and Gary. We have always had delicious meals here, whether we are sitting in the bar area or the the restaurant. Supported by the locals, but people come from all over becaus of the great reviews.

Christopher B

27 March 2018  
An obvious vote, really, but with new kitchen team now settled in the food is now stellar.

Harriet C

27 March 2018  
Worth the long trip.

Paul F

21 March 2018  
Beautiful setting, gracious service.
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