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AdamLawrence

Le Champignon Sauvage

403 posts in this topic

Jan Moir gets all superlative about this place in this week's Telegraph

A worthy review - if you havent been - go! its that good.

yes, certainly sounds like my sort of place, might have to have to plot a visit to my friend nearby. He's used to my visits with ulterior motives :laugh:

Actually wifey has cottoned on to this too, if she wants me to go anywhere she's realised that tying it in with a decent restaurant is the only way to get me out of the anthony's/number3/star bermuda triangle!

cheers

gary


you don't win friends with salad

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I am a huge fan and when ever I hear bad reports - which do occurr occasionally - I question the sanity of the reportee. David Everitt Matthias is, I think, one of the unsung heroes of the British restaurant world: he's been doing his thing for the best part of 15 years, turning out remarkably intense and earthy yet precise food from a tiny kitchen, with very little fan fare. Ask people to name England's 11 two stars and it's probably the one that will be forgotten. (He recently increased the size of the brigade by 50%; there are now three of them). He likes robust ingredients - slow cooked shoulder of lamb roasted in caul; black pudding; richly smoked bacon; 'risotto' of pearl barley, lovage soup - and combines them  in a way which makes total sense.

His wife, Helen, does front of house with unstudied ease. All round it's what a great restaurant should be.

I'm sorry. I appear to have dribbled into my keyboard.

Couldn't agree more. Even Jan Moir likes it! See here. You'd be hard pushed to find fault. More (if not quite so grand as a mention by Jan Moir) glory for LCS here.

PS: TVR Boy, stop lurking, admiring my lighthouse and sending me text messages so late at night!


Edited by postcode (log)

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“Kind of puts Le Manior to shame” was the general feeling was we drove back from another astonishing meal at Le Champignon Sauvage last Friday. Don’t get me wrong – Le Manoir is a very special place – but the food and service at Le CS really is something different.

While reading the menu – which is increasingly difficult to choose from as too much tempts – some wonderful little cheese choix pastries arrived. Inhaled more than eaten.

“Can we pig out & have two starters – you really have to try the scallops?” This didn’t take much persuasion.

Pre-starters arrived – the fabulous parsnip veloute with peanut foam so highly regarded by Jan Moir plus a fioe gras custard topped with chervil root puree. Unbelievably good – the textures and sweet & salt tastes tangoed beautifully together.

This was followed by another pre-starter – wheat risotto with ceps. Staggeringly good – just beneath the sliced ceps surface was a mound of goats cheese which slowly melted incorporating itself into the unctuous sauce.

Starters of scallops, squid, pumpkin puree and squid ink is a dish that I had last autumn & I have thought of it many, many times since. If this dish were human, I’d want to be its gentleman caller. Two wonderfully large seared scallops with pan fried squid surrounded by pumpkin & squid ink. Roasted pumpkin seeds added to texture & taste. Only the desire to try other dishes stopped me ordering this twice.

For starters #2 we chose different dishes. I had the langoustine tails, with langoustine tortellini and cock’s livers all bound tighter with a light langoustine consommé. Later, David told me that with was still in development and only added to the menu recently. A separate cup of consommé with cauliflower cream (I think) would accompany it. The langoustine were good – but those cock’s livers were quite sublime. They looked like they were a fine mousse of liver – but no – that’s how they come.

Alan had the foie gras, quince and pickled walnuts – perfectly roasted fg with – well salad is hardly a fitting description & construction is too harsh. Very & deeply satisfying.

Main were – roast lamb with crushed jerusalem artichokes – killer sauce. Alan had the roast pig belly with pig check – 5 spice sauce. I’ve had this before – seriously good.

The pre-starter - rose geranium scented brulee with greengage sorbet – poping sugar in the brulee. It’ll be a sad day when this is replaced.

Desserts – surprised we still had room – were – trio of grapefruit (parftait, sorbet & gelee with segments) utterly refreshing. Alan had the burdock mousse - deeply satisfying.

It less than 2 hours from London. You’d be daft to not go.

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*puts down the packet of Quavers I was eating in disgust*

You've spoiled my early morning snack with another fine report of the quaver-shaming food this place. How easy/hard is it to get a table?


Edited by Suzi Edwards (log)

Suzi Edwards aka "Tarka"

"the only thing larger than her bum is her ego"

Blogito ergo sum

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. How easy/hard is it to get a table?

easy - just pick up the phone

seriously, they have been fairly busy recently. This trip was originally planned for february but we had to move it. you could get lucky but 4 weeks or so seems the norm for a weekend. its well worth the wait

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Tony who????

Lovely report, you well fed so and so.

Any plans for a future trip?


Edited by MobyP (log)

"Gimme a pig's foot, and a bottle of beer..." Bessie Smith

Flickr Food

"111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321" Bruce Frigard 'Winesonoma' - RIP

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Went for lunch yesterday, party of 5, tried the set, the carte and two times a vegetarian menu. Superb throughout. As ever, well worth the trip.

Just published interview with David E-M here

Chris..originally borrowed your BPlus award piccy :unsure:

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No probs Marlyn - thanks for the mention!

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David Everitt-Matthias is interviewed by Hilary Armstrong in the 6 April 2005 edition of Restaurant Magazine.

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David Everitt-Matthias is interviewed by Hilary Armstrong in the 6 April 2005 edition of Restaurant Magazine.

Is that your alias Andy? :raz:


"Why would we want Children? What do they know about food?"

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No, I'm afraid I missed out on writing this particular story, which is a shame as it would have provided a very good reason to re-visit the restaurant. Fingers crossed another opportunity may present itself in the near future, but as ever I am in the hands of the editors.

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and it was indeed the Restaurant article that prompted me to go last night. I don't know why the hell it took me so long to catch on that it was in Cheltenham, and therefore only half an hour from Worcester where I have been working for a couple of days every week for the last 2.5 years. think I always assumed it was much nearer London which was very foolish of me! The original plan had been to go with a colleague, but when I rang to book for next week - turns out that they're on holiday next week. I was too impatient and greedy to wait another month - so at 8pm last night, I was being led to a nice window table just for me.

Reading back through the posts last night - many of the dishes have already been described and lauded in much more impressive writing terms than anything I can offer, but thought I'd share my thoughts?

I perused the menu with my tonic water (no, really) and some cheese savouries. The shortbread one was lovely - and melted almost immediately on contact with the tongue - very good indeed. Think the other one was a mini-choux disc with tomato paste and some very sweet caramelised onions. (have to confess it looked like a mini pizza to me - and it was only when I heard the explanation proffered to another table that it all became clear.)

Making the selection was ridiculously difficult - there was at least three starters and two mains that I was genuinely torn between. Starters wise - there was a lasagne of oxtail and lamb sweetbreads with horseradish sauce that particularly caught my eye. But then I would have had to pass on the langoustine dish with tortellini and cock's kidneys (see other posts?) ... decisions, decisions, decisions. (Hadn't caught up with the egullet reviews recently so had forgotten the details.)

Mains - there was a (I think) some seabass with cep gnocchi and carrot and red wine emulsion vying with the Gloucester Old Spot pork belly with pigs cheek, braised with chinese five spice for my affection.

In the end, Helen Everitt-Matthias came to my rescue by confirming that the oxtail lasagne (lasagne of celeriac apparently) followed by the pork would be too hearty courses but the pork was a sort of signature dish. So langoustines and pork it was then. I can always go back!

My reward for all this was a pre-starter of a veloute of bloaters. As in the fish I said? Yes, smiled the waitress. As if I needed to ask - one sniff and the smoky fishness was there in all its glory. I didn't expect it to be quite so hot, so small sips after the first big gulp were the order of the day - which had the advantage of making this glorious creamy concoction last a little bit longer. It was delicious, and I would have quite happily eaten an enormous bowl. Things were looking very promising indeed.

I munched on my bread roll (lovely warm, nay even hot granary roll) as my starter arrived - and for me - this was probably my favourite dish of the night. The flavour of the sauce was fantastic, rich, flavoursome yet still managing to be light. The cock's kidneys were a triumph - kidneys are my least favourite form of offal since I can find them quite tough but as described elsewhere - was delicately mousse like in texture, with a surprisingly understated taste. I thought they must have been poached - but no, apparently, that's how they are. The langoustine (4 whole, and 2 tortellini) were pretty good as well.

and so to my main. The couple next to me seem to be having a tasting menu, which would explain the reduced portion sizes. all this meant I was not prepared for the enormous plate of food which followed! The pig's cheek was my favourite meat - taking well to the spicy flavour of the sticky braise - which I guess also contributed to the impressive sweet sauce on the plate. For me, the pork belly was good - but less stellar than the pigs cheek since it was less tender than I expected - although the flavour was very good.

After such gluttony, it's surprising to imagine that I had room for dessert, no? Ah well, I like confound expectations in that way. The Trio of Pink grapefruit desserts was preceded by the pre-dessert of rose geranium scented cream, and greengage sorbet. The sorbet was absolutely delicious, and the space powder topping on the cream was a fun touch. I now want to know where you get such popping sugar!

Of the trio - the parfait was my favourite because I think it was the most successful at keeping the sweet and sharpness that I love in grapefruit. The jelly was a close second though, but the sorbet didn't do it for me. Maybe I had been spoiled by the greengage.

Tea and P4s to follow .... which rounded off a very pleasant evening with some very good food. The bill with a reasonable tip for the smooth friendly service was £60 - and I think I got fair value. and I intend to go back ....

Yin

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and closed for 6-7 weeks too if anyone was thinking about going...


you don't win friends with salad

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and closed for 6-7 weeks too if anyone was thinking about going...

That's all right - we're booked for lunch on Saturday :biggrin: .

Does anyone have experience of getting a taxi there from the station? Such as will they know the restaurant by name, or do we need to give them the address?

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Contrary to the rumours, people don't actually get less intelligent the further out of the M25 cordon you go.

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Contrary to the rumours, people don't actually get less intelligent the further out of the M25 cordon you go.

How about finding out some facts before jumping to conclusions? I live well outside the M25 mess - as you would realize if you had bothered to do any research!

The question was actually a serious one since I have had problems in the past with taxi drivers who apparently don't know local restaurants...


Edited by JudyB (log)

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and closed for 6-7 weeks too if anyone was thinking about going...

That's all right - we're booked for lunch on Saturday :biggrin: .

Does anyone have experience of getting a taxi there from the station? Such as will they know the restaurant by name, or do we need to give them the address?

The centre didn't look big so you'd hope they would know. Having said that, I seem to remember reading somewhere that locally it's also known as the champion sausage - which amuses me far more than it should!!

Hope you enjoy the meal

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You can walk it from the station in 10-15 mins.

I have a report with pics to post, after a great meal, but am waiting for Suzi to return from conquering america to do so (as she has the rest of the pics). Apologies to D E-M.


Edited by MobyP (log)

"Gimme a pig's foot, and a bottle of beer..." Bessie Smith

Flickr Food

"111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321" Bruce Frigard 'Winesonoma' - RIP

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You can walk it from the station in 10-15 mins.

Thanks Moby.

We were considering walking at least one way, but it all depends on when the train actually arrives and what the weather is like.

Just at the moment it is hard to tell whether it will be pouring down or bright sunshine - more probably both!

(The train timetables aren't much more convincing either since we seem to be in limbo between the old and new timetables, so we *think* we know when we will arrive but it is hard to be entirely certain).

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The restaurant has been in the same location for maybe 15 years and Cheltenham is not that big a town, you shouldn't have any trouble with taxi drivers knowing where it is.

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Is the expansion a gearing-up for a third star?


Allan Brown

"If you're a chef on a salary, there's usually a very good reason. Never, ever, work out your hourly rate."

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My understanding is that waiting lists, especially at weekends, are getting longer and longer so the restaurant is turning away business. David has put up with a less than stellar kitchen for the last 19 years and the dining room was in need of re-decoration. The next door premises became available and they have decided to expand. I think they are taking on one more chef and one more front of house to cope with the larger dining room.

I wouldn't be surprised if all these physical changes were accompanied by some tweaks to the food, considering the additional preperation area and the extra pair of hands. But I don't think David is the type of chef to go chasing his tail after another star, although I'm sure he would be totally delighted if he did get one. The investment makes sound business sense. He doesn't want to squeeze money out of his punters (hence the very reasonable menu prices and the frankly ridiculously cheap wine list) so the only way to increase his turnover is to get more people in the place.

It will be interesting to see if he does put his prices up. I bet his bank manager thinks he should, and I really don't think anyone is going to begrudge him a few extra quid. How many two Michelin star restaurants do you know that charge eleven quid for house white.

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i can't think of many restaurants, full stop. That charge £11 for house wine nowadays.


you don't win friends with salad

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