Harden's survey result
“Why no Michelin star?” Laurie Gear’s “simply brilliant” fixture in a characterful part of Old Amersham espouses all the values the Tyre Man is supposed to hold so dear. “The tasting menu is a stunning experience” with “first class” cuisine and service highly “professional”. “The open plan kitchen is interesting to watch too”. Gripes? “It can feel a bit squeezed-in at busy times”. And “try to get a table downstairs, you’re more in the action: the upstairs room is a little quiet”.
“Perfect, perfect, perfect!” – “It’s such a surprise to find this gem nestled in Old Amersham”, and Laurie Gear’s “magnificent” establishment on a picturesque Georgian street would enjoy a much higher profile if it were not bizarrely overlooked by Michelin year-on-year. Chef/Patron Laurie Gear’s “complex cooking comes with a very deft touch”: “beautifully crafted, rich, with gorgeous accompanying wine, and delivered by staff who make you feel a million dollars”. “It is incomprehensible that it doesn’t have a star” – in fact some say “it’s worthy of two” – yet a number of fans feel that “the fact that it lacks recognition almost improves it”: “please let them keep missing out, because it keeps the place just about affordable, and we can get a table when we want!”
“I cannot understand why this simply sublime restaurant has yet to achieve a Michelin star!” – inexplicably, Laurie Gear’s “classy” operation in Old Amersham continues to fly under the tyre men’s radar. “Chef Laurie always seems to be in the kitchen, and the entire team provide a genuinely warm welcome combined with professional service” in a setting that’s “very pretty and cosy”. “Fabulous tasting menus deliver so many flavours and textures”…“some dishes are so memorable, and all are delightful”, and it’s good value too – “at the high end of fine dining and the lower end of the haute-type price bracket!”
Michelin’s brazen lack of recognition for this “superlative” venture, in the heart of Old Amersham is beyond comprehension – in fact the debate should not be whether or not it should have a star, but whether or not it should have two. The setting is perhaps “stark” but also “calming” and “romantic”; staff “are on a mission to make your meal enjoyable”; and “wow-factor is the norm” for the food from Laurie Gear’s “technically refined and creative” kitchen, which “displays more than just talent, but also innovation without losing sight of the basics”.
The restaurant was extended into the adjoining building in May 2011, which ironically was the scene of a devastating fire in June 2008, which forced Laurie and Jacqueline to close the Artichoke for 18 months to rebuild the property to its former 16th Century glory. The interior was designed by Fiona Johnston Parke from the Award winning Emily Todd Hunter, who combined the original features of the building with Scandinavian inspired interiors, in memory of Laurie’s time spent at Noma; with muted grey tones and accents of amethyst, which create a seamless, comfortable but stylish extension of the original building.
Now the Artichoke offers three dining areas including a Private Dining Room with its own wine cellar, the Kitchen Dining Room with an open Pass, Chefs’ Tables, and the Garden Room, with a view onto a botanical “living wall” of herbs.
Laurie’s innovative cooking showcases well sourced ingredients, changing with the seasons, using highly dedicated producers. The open kitchen with its willow resin screen offers the opportunity to experience the culinary theatre of the Pass. The collection of expressive menus include an approachable set lunch, intriguing five and six course lunch tastings and an artisan seven course tasting featuring highlights of the main menu. Dishes focus on flavour, presentation and taste combinations, often inspired by time spent with Rene Redzepi at the legendary Noma during the enforced closure.
The notable wine list features forward thinking winemakers and local ales with all tasting menus offering eclectic wine pairings, chosen by Restaurant Manager/Sommelier Matteo Scaccabarozzi, combined with the open pass and the ultimate Chefs’ tables, the Artichoke offers a unique fine dining experience.
|Wine per bottle||£34.00|
Our Private Dining Room
Situated on the first floor, this beautiful self-contained dining area offers a wonderful view overlooking the historical Market Town of Old Amersham.
In conjunction with the prestigious Charles Heidsieck Champagne House and wine merchants Liberty Wines, we are delighted to introduce Charles Heidsieck Champagne to our Private Dining Room packages at The Artichoke.
Charles Heidsieck is one of the great names of Champagne and produces some of the finest Champagne wines...
Started in 1851, the foundation of its modern fame rests on the work done by winemaker Daniel Thibault, whose style has come to define ‘Charles’. Thibault died in 2002 and was succeeded by his assistant Régis Camus. Between them they have won the ‘Sparkling Winemaker of the Year’ at the International Wine Challenge an unrivalled 13 times. Thierry Roset is the current Chef de Cave, working with Camus. He has been with the house for more than 20 years and continues the approach that has driven their success - the relentless pursuit of quality. The base wines are made from a selection of the region‘s best vineyards. Charles Heidsieck benefit from the largest collection of reserve wines in Champagne.
Our exquisite Private Dining Room comfortably seats 10-14 guests creating a memorable and intimate atmosphere for those extra-special occasions. Designed with luxury in mind, the elegant setting is synonymous with the high quality of Charles Heidsieck Champagne.
With its flexible layout, and dedicated waiting staff, the Private Dining Room is idyllic for a unique dining experience, corporate business lunch or special family celebrations. Tailored menus and strikingly backlit with its own chilled wine cellar will ensure all personal choices are catered for. To create the perfect, relaxed and enjoyable experience, flowers and decorations can also be sourced for a personalised dining package.
We have specially devised four dining options for our Private Dining Room to allow you to truly relax and enjoy your private dining experience all served with a chilled glass of Charles Heidsieck Champagne straight from our exclusive Wine Cellar.
*Tasting Menu Package
- to celebrate the ingredients of the season and accompanied by a collection of delightful wines.
champagne upon arrival, tasting menu with wines to accompany, sparkling and still mneral water, coffee / tea and infusions served with handmade petit fours
£135.00 per person £95.00 per person without the matching wine flight
*Lunch Tasting Menu Package
- five course lunchtime package including a glass of champagne upon arrival, sparkling and still mineral water, coffee / tea and infusions served with handmade petit fours
£78.00 per person £60.00 per person without the matching wine flight
*Prestigious Tasting Menu Package with exclusive wines - price upon request.
*Three Course a la Carte Menu Package (choice of three dishes per course)
with a complimentary amuse bouche and pre dessert
- to include a glass of champagne upon arrival, sparkling and still mineral water, coffee / tea and infusions served with handmade petit fours
£75.00 per person
(optional wine pairing also available - for this option pre-orders of dishes are required)
English and French cheeses selected instead of dessert come at a £3.50 supplement
- as an additional course £11.50
As with all of our Menus a 12.5% discretionary service charge will be added to the bill.
Please, note there is no room hire charge, but a minimum of ten guests.
Further, there is also a minimum spend required for a Friday and Saturday evening.
Please, note that a deposit is required to reserve the Private Room, which is non refundable with less than one month's notice for cancellation. With less than one week's notice the full package will be payable.
Please, contact our Private Dining Coordinator Johanna Schachner to discuss your requirements and availability on 01494 726611 or e-mail : email@example.com
Artichoke Restaurant Diner Reviews
"A very pleasant Tuesday lunch with friends. Tasting menu and wine flight."
"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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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 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"
"Are standards slipping a little? Not quite as wowed by our August 2018 visit, with a much less appealing menu. My wife overall was disappointed, although 2 of my 3 dishes were high quality. Service was a little haphazard. So very good rather than exceptional, but will give it another chance, let's see!"
"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."
9 Market Sq, Amersham, HP7 0DF
|Number of Diners:|
|Tuesday||12 pm-3 pm, 6:15 pm-11 pm|
|Wednesday||12 pm-3 pm, 6:15 pm-11 pm|
|Thursday||12 pm-3 pm, 6:15 pm-11 pm|
|Friday||12 pm-3 pm, 6 pm-11:30 pm|
|Saturday||12 pm-3 pm, 6 pm-11:30 pm|