9 Market Square, Old Amersham, AMERSHAM, HP7 0DF
Laurie and Jacqueline Gear's property has occupied its prime spot on the market square since the 16th century. It has lots of period charm, of course, some less than precise angles, and the smart paint job and simple, classy signage suggest there's something interesting going on within. And there is! The building was damaged by fire in 2008 forcing it to shut for 18th months, but time spent by Laurie at Noma restaurant in Copenhagen, plus expansion into the next door building (ironically where that fire actually started), has resulted in inspiration all round, from the interior design, to the style of cooking. The decor element combines original features such as the huge open fireplace and oak beams, with designer chairs, walnut tables and modern art. The three dining areas look contemporary and stylish, one of which is home to the open kitchen, bringing even more life and energy to the space. When it comes to the cooking, organic, free range and foraged ingredients lead the way, and the wild food is tamed by a chef with a skilled hand and a keen eye for detail. There's a tasting menu (with wine flight), a veggie version, plus a carte that might begin with caramel-smoked Stockenchurch Farm duck breast, served up with a liver parfait, confit leg beignet, passionfruit jelly and pistachio. This is dynamic stuff, contemporary, full-on and expertly crafted. Next up, roast loin of Cornish cod comes with oxtail and celeriac parcel, lovage pesto and horseradish cream. Desserts are no less creative and appealing; a plum galette, perhaps, with almond purée and almond ice cream, or go for French and English farmhouse cheeses with hand-made crackers. The Artichoke is a class act, and that goes for the wine list, too, with its well-chosen bins covering the globe in style.
Tel: 01494 726611
Please quote 'The AA'.
Send an email
Days closed: Sun-Mon
Dates closed: 1 wk Xmas & Apr, 2 wks Aug/Sep
Cooking type: Modern European
Chef: Laurie Gear, Ben Jenkins
Number of seats: 48
Accessible for wheelchairs.
Steps for wheelchair: 1
Vegetarian meals available.
A La Carte Dinner Main Course from: £22.50
Prices are for guidance only. Please check when booking for current rates.