After considering a few options, we decide to book a table at the Midsummer House restaurant in Cambridge. There are several very well known options in London but with Cambridge so close, spending the extra time making the journey into London seemed unnecessary. Plus, Midsummer House is said to be one of the Top 10 restaurants in the UK. So it seemed like a good choice!
Many top restaurants have very strict booking policies which involve calling as soon as lines open on a particular day and hoping for the best. Booking a table at Midsummer House is much more straightforward and I had no trouble reserving a table a few months in advance.
As soon as we arrived we were quickly welcomed in out of the cold, with one person ready to open the door, one to take our coats and one to show us to our table! Throughout the evening the service was impressive and consistent but also friendly at the same time.
So, onto the food. As we there in the evening we had a choice between a 7 course and a 10 course menu. As we hadn't tried this type of dining before (and in the interests of our finances!) we opted for the 7 courses. Apologies for the photos, the lighting was quite dim and I was trying to take photos with my phone without be too obvious about it. So, we had...
Smoked haddock, potato, pickled onion and caviar (no picture)
Celeriac baked on open coals, hazelnut, hollandaise, celery and wood sorrel
Sauteed duck liver, gingerbread, pear and chicory salad
Sauteed scallop, Granny Smith, celeriac and truffle (no picture)
Roast loin of pine smoked venison, cannelloni, apple and elderberry puree
Aerated pear, blueberry, white chocolate
Passion fruit, yoghurt, dark chocolate
That wasn't all we got though. Before the first course arrived we were presented with a small plate of appetisers (including an amazing "bubble" of potato crisp filled with sour cream). This was then followed by another small dish containing little duck filo pastries and finally two balls of ham hock covered with fried onion strings (I'm sure they described these much better!).
Then each course began to arrive. Each time we were provided with a full explanation of what we had been given and often final flourishes (sauces etc) were added at the table. My unexpected favourite was the celeriac that had been roasted on hot coals, which was sliced open and served at the table and then topped with hollandaise sauce that had been "frozen" in liquid nitrogen. Amazing.
We decided, again in the interests of finance, to forego the cheese course. A decision we regretted when we had to listed to other tables being presented with and talked through an amazing selection of cheese. Next time!
Finally, or so we thought, we had the two delicious desserts, but again though this wasn't quite the end. We were offered tea or coffee etc and P decided to have a port. I made the impulsive decision to have a hot chocolate which turned out to be a virtual bath of rich, thick hot chocolate topped with marshmallows. And then they brought us even more food! Firstly, a dish of the lightest doughnuts you ever ate, accompanied by a salted caramel sauce and a creamy, custardy sauce to dip them in. Again, amazing.
An then, finally, a large wooden box on a stand was brought to our table and opened to reveal a vast selection of chocolates from which we got two choose six to share.
Thanks to the hot chocolate I was very full by this point but luckily they were happy to box mine up for us to take home with us.
This really was a truly amazing meal from start to finish and one day we'll definitely go back. I just won't have the hot chocolate!