Harden's survey result
“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!”
This wasn’t a vintage year for the Everitt-Matthias’s foodie legend. To fans, chef David remains “the unsung hero of British cooking”, and they report “food that’s always breathtaking, ahead of fashion and trends in terms of influence, and yet for a Michelin two-star not over-priced or pretentious”. Even many supporters would concede that the ambience of this low-key dining room can seem “flat” however, and what is “excellent and understated” service to fans can also seem “unengaging” to the uninitiated. More concerning, though, were the unusually high number of disappointments in this survey when it came to the cuisine – “nothing to actually complain about, but little character or sparkle to match its lofty ranking.”
Le Champignon Sauvage Restaurant Diner Reviews
"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."
"The £28 dinner is a steal. Limited choice but fantastically well cooked."
"Another one of our infrequent visits here and another fine dinner, very precise cooking, presentation and flavours a master class in "fine" dining."
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|