Harden's survey result
“Shame on the inspector who was responsible for removing one of this outstanding restaurant’s stars” – fans are still scratching their heads about Michelin’s October 2018 decision to demote David & Helen Everitt-Matthias’s famous venue to a single gong. To be fair, the “somewhat suburban” décor has always grated with some diners here, as have odd incidents of “stuffy service”. And our own survey has seen a rise in minority reports of “well-cooked but unexceptional” cuisine (with a slight hit to its ratings as a result). And yet, for the most part, feedback on this “calm” and “low key” dining room just outside the city centre – where David is, famously, always at the stoves, with Helen front of house – remains a rhapsody of praise: “a one-off passion project from husband and wife team demonstrated in every superb and gimmick-free dish” – “a masterclass in ‘fine’ dining with very precise preparation, presentation and exciting flavours” that’s “expertly and efficiently run both front of house and in the kitchens”. (“It is the yardstick against which we measure everything else: we visit four or five times a year despite it being a six-hour round trip – it’s worth the price, and why they lost a star is a total mystery!”)
“I always visit 3-4 times a year. I’d go more often if it was not a 300 mile round trip!” – David & Helen Everitt Matthias inspire huge loyalty amongst their large fanbase, who appreciate “the hard work and support given by their teams in the kitchen and front of house” at a venture just outside the city centre where, famously, Le Patron is always at the stoves. The “unfailingly spectacular” food is “the traditional cuisine that dreams are made of”, and many diners note that “the prices here still represent wonderful value for the quality offered”. The cooking is complemented by “an extensive wine list (spanning a wide choice of countries, but with a particularly great variety of reasonably priced French vintages)”, presided over by “Helen, who discreetly runs front of house with her young team like clockwork”. When it comes to the room it’s… “pleasant”. Fans say: “to me, the calm space adds to the pleasure – I’m still surprised that some find it dull”. STOP PRESS – in October 2018, Michelin took away their second star as they launched the Michelin 2019 guide. There’s nothing in our diner survey to support this.
“Husband and wife have yet to miss a service” at this “sophisticated” and pioneering 30-year-old near the town centre, long renowned as one of the UK’s top culinary destinations. For its large fan club – foodies especially – it’s a “yardstick by which all else is measured” thanks to the dedication of chef David Everitt Matthias and his “wildly inventive” cuisine (which, for example, included foraged ingredients long before the current vogue for them); plus the “always interesting wine list”, about which his wife Helen is “exceptionally knowledgeable”. The ambience of this “self effacing, restrained and quiet” venue can – especially at lunch time – be somewhat “iffy” though; and ratings here nearly slipped due to a couple of unusually duff experiences reported this year.
“Genuine food served by genuine people” is the essence of the ongoing success of the Everitt-Matthias’s foodie legend – “celebrating 30 years next year, from a husband-and-wife team who have never missed a service… if the restaurant is open, they are always there”. It’s “a two-Michelin-star restaurant which has never rested on its laurels, with David’s dishes constantly evolving and wowing guests and critics alike” (“foraging has become the norm these days, but David was doing it years before the rest caught up”) and Helen’s service coming with “total knowledge of the food and wines”. The “pleasant” but low-key room is perhaps the weakest link, but “don’t we make our own atmosphere? It was an amazing experience!”
Le Champignon Sauvage Restaurant Diner Reviews
"Service attentive and knowledgeable, lots of intermediary courses, and portion size spot on."
"Delightful evening meal. We went for the a la carte. A really great choice of courses. The amuse bouche were flavoursome as was indeed the whole meal."
"First time here, and absolutely delighted. We were already knocked out by the canapes and the amuse-bouche even before we started on our Lunch. We were both very impressed. Fantastic food and good, discreet service. The room is fine, unless you are really looking for something spectacular. Wine List is interesting for French wines, and reasonably priced, but rather thin outside France. We were very pleased with a fairly priced bottle of Crozes-Hermitage. Altogether, a delightful, slow paced lunch, ended with a surprisingly small bill for the quality of the food and wine - incredible value."
"As always, the cooking is inventive and the service attentive. Superb food, gimmick free. Very good wine list with some nice half bottles. The room is great - calm, and quiet enough for easy conversation. I don't understand the low ratings - what do people want? Plate smashing? The loss of a Michelin star speaks to the decline of Michelin; the restaurant is as wonderful as ever."
|Wine per bottle||£26.00|
24-28 Suffolk Rd, Cheltenham, GL50 2AQ
|Tuesday||12:30 pm-1:30 pm, 7:30 pm-8:30 pm|
|Wednesday||12:30 pm-1:30 pm, 7:30 pm-8:30 pm|
|Thursday||12:30 pm-1:30 pm, 7:30 pm-8:30 pm|
|Friday||12:30 pm-1:30 pm, 7:30 pm-8:30 pm|
|Saturday||12:30 pm-1:30 pm, 7:30 pm-8:30 pm|