Thursday, June 23, 2011

Day Four: The Artichoke

Wednesday we went off-schedule.  We spent the day at home watching the kids while my brother and sister-in-law fulfilled some business obligations at Wimbledon (aw, shucks).  Although we had to scratch Stonehenge from our list, it was a bit of a blessing.  It was high time for some down time, and we both ended up inadvertently napping at different points of the day.  We also got to play some wiffleball between downpours.

However, that evening was Miss Chef's big night--reservations at The Artichoke, an up-and-coming restaurant in Amersham, west of London, which is angling for its first Michelin star.  We went with my brother and his 12-year old son, who acquitted himself admirably through an eight-course tasting menu including things like crayfish foam and rhubarb granita.  He even got a compliment from the chef! 

So, without further ado, here is our evening in pictures (non-foodies may enjoy the intro photos).

Entering Amersham.  You can see the village at the base of the hill.  Also, notice everyone driving on the _wrong_ side.

A building across the way from the restaurant, which was much less...historic looking.

The menu.  We did not opt for the cheese course, as we were ready to burst by then. .

Beet & goat cheese course.  Like a circus on your plate!

Seared scallops with pickled, coriander carrots & toasted coconut.  Succulent.

One of the mains: lambe with spelt, radishes & turnip

Fillet of rock salmon on bok choy, with a square of cauliflower mousse and the aforementioned crawfish foam (which hid some surprisingly delicate crawfish tails).

The other main: hazlenut- and truffle-crusted wood pigeon, with more mushrooms and some salsify.

One dessert was peach sorbet with barley and some other stuff I don't remember.  I got the strawberry dessert, whose photo didn't some out so well.

Our reservation time was 7:00, and we didn't leave until after 11:00.  Yeah, we had a really good time.  Thanks to my brother, who drove us all there and back, and allowed us to enjoy the full set of paired wines with each course.

Needless to say, Miss Chef and I slept in a little the next day.


  1. Wow - great photos! But hey - what's this about driving on the wrong side of the road? It looks just fine to me! :-)
    Enjoy Paris you gals!

  2. Yum!! That wood pigeon caught my eye on the was it? What was your fav?

  3. Aww, lovely. You and Miss Chef must have been in heaven.

  4. hazlenut- and truffle-crusted wood pigeon

    I'm drooling just thinking about it.

    Keep the updates and photos coming!

  5. So what was Miss Chef's professional verdict? It all looks amazing - too bad the internet doesn't come with smell-o-rama or taste-o-rama to enhance the experience!

  6. Four hours of that gorgeous food sounds like paradise to me! YUM!

    I'm loving the trip details. THANKS!

    Keep having a grand time! xo jj


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