Harden's survey result
“Amazing… every time” is still the most typical assessment of this acclaimed Victorian villa – one of the UK’s most renowned eateries – which is very picturesquely situated across the Cam from the Varsity’s boat houses and bordering Midsummer Common. Daniel Clifford and his team deliver “a superb overall dining experience: the number and quality of amuse-bouches, the sourdough bread, each individual course… the service… all of the highest order”. Even many fans feel that the “exuberant bill is hard to justify”, however, and to its critics the “staggering costs” are plain OTT, with toppish wine prices a particular gripe (“some more reasonable ‘house’ options would be welcome”).
It has a very “pretty riverside setting” on the Cam in the midst of Midsummer Common, but that’s not why Daniel Clifford’s Victorian Villa is so often hailed as an “amazing destination”. It’s the “stunning cuisine from start to finish” which creates a “seriously top-notch eating experience” with the only option in the evening being an eight-course tasting menu. However, even fans acknowledge that it is decidedly “not cheap (call your bank manager first)”, and while for most diners “it’s well worth every penny”, there is a significant disgruntled minority for whom the final bill is “way over the top”.
Daniel Clifford’s “haven of calm and delight” occupies a beautifully located Victorian villa bordering Midsummer Common and the banks of the Cam (“lovely river views from the lounge”), and continues to maintain its renown as one of the country’s top culinary destinations. From a series of tasting options (including a vegetarian menu), results from the open kitchen are “adventurous without being silly” and “the theatrical presentation which accompanies each course course truly makes for a meal to remember”, complemented well by a “brilliant choice of wines” and “exceptional service with a smile”. “Excellence doesn’t come cheap” however, and although major disappointments are rare here, mild panic on the arrival of the bill goes with the territory.
“What a revelation to find this gastronomic oasis in Cambridge”; Daniel Clifford’s Victorian villa – “fantastically located” on Midsummer Common, by the Cam – is nowadays one of the survey’s top 5 most commented-on destinations outside London and, with the help of his team and continual investment in the property, it “radiates classy self-confidence”. “An updating of the dining room with an open-plan kitchen has led to a far more relaxed atmosphere”, there’s “an upstairs bar overlooking the river”, and the option to “end with coffee and petit fours in the walled garden” when the weather’s fine. “Superb” staff deliver “a wonderful array” of “spectacular” dishes (plus “well-chosen wine pairings”) “with just the right degree of theatre”, and you choose from a series of “innovative tasting menus, with a choice as to the number of courses”. No prize for guessing the catch! – even fans can choke on the “London prices in the provinces”.
|Wine per bottle||£24.00|
Midsummer Common, Cambridge, CB4 1HA
|Wednesday||12 pm‑1:45 pm, 6:30 pm‑9:30 pm|
|Thursday||12 pm‑1:45 pm, 6:30 pm‑9:30 pm|
|Friday||12 pm‑1:45 pm, 6:30 pm‑9:30 pm|
|Saturday||12 pm‑1:45 pm, 6:30 pm‑9:30 pm|