“Everything is outstanding” says fans of chef Daniel Clifford’s landmark restaurant by the river Cam. A 2018 refit has breathed new life into the lovely conservatory-style dining room, where the summery look (floral paintings, patterned chairs etc) chimes perfectly with the views over Midsummer’s gorgeous garden, and the atmosphere is helped along by “perfectly attentive” staff who know how to welcome their guests and foster a genuinely convivial atmosphere. “Precision and all-round excellence” are the watchwords.
Meanwhile, Clifford’s kitchen maintains its reputation for “startlingly innovative” food in the modern idiom. While this is undoubtedly fine dining, it is also recognisably real food, and a quick perusal of the tasting menu reveals a roll call of ‘outstanding gourmet food’ we can’t wait to eat: English asparagus with aerated hollandaise, pickled onions, fresh mushrooms and burnt onions; seared sea scallop with Granny Smith apple, celeriac and truffle purée; glazed chicken wings with smoked eel, sautéed duck liver, celery and nettle; roasted brill with cockles, pickled morels and wild garlic – and that’s only the first half of the eight courses.
Among the desserts, who could resist lemon posset with olive oil cake, mint, and black olive tuile, or coriander white chocolate dome with coconut and mango and jasmine rice? The food is supported by a comprehensive, thoroughbred wine list designed to top off any “special occasion”.
At £135 per person, the tasting menu, admittedly, does not come cheap, but it’s still deemed “totally value for money”; a no choice lunch menu offers a more affordable way in at £50 for three courses, while vegetarian, pescatarian and vegan diets can be accommodated.
Throw in “the perfect service – friendly and polite but not stuffy” and no wonder that readers say that “the whole experience is one I will never forget.”