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Le Champignon Sauvage


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My girlfriend and I are going to the Champignon on Saturday. Didn't realise there was a tasting menu... Any tips on getting offered one if there's not one?

Very excited about going; your meal sounded fantastic

Adam

There isn't really a tasting menu (although I think they are planning a proper tasting menu in the new year): for now it's up to David if he decides to offer something over the standard menu. I believe he does read this forum, but I don't think he ever posts to it, or if he does I don't know under what name.

Don't worry about it: the standard menu is pretty fantastic too.

Oh, one other thing: make sure you are hungry when you go; the portions are always extremely generous.

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Don't worry about it: the standard menu is pretty fantastic too.

Oh, one other thing: make sure you are hungry when you go; the portions are always extremely generous.

whoops - sorry - should probably have been more awake when posting. think a tasting menu is coming soon for all ... I was just extremely lucky and very grateful!

fully agree with both the points above. In fact, from memory, when i looked at the ALC - every single one of the starters, mains and desserts appealed to me!

Am sure you'll be well looked after ...

look forward to hearing feedback ..

Edited by YKL (log)
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fully agree with both the points above.  In fact, from memory, when i looked at the ALC - every single one of the starters, mains and desserts appealed to me!

Am sure you'll be well looked after ...

I fully agree with that. Choosing from the ALC at LCS took me an age, I just couldn't reject anything or plump for the obvious star dish as they all shouted eat me :biggrin:

They also were wonderful in creating a special menu for my wife who is vegetarian, possibly the only meal we've eaten out in which she didn't feel a second class citizen. Must remind her of that so we can go again.....

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Had a fantastic meal last night. No tasting menu, but we did get an extra course "with the compliments of the chef", which was lovely.

A wonderful meal started with a palate cleanser of white bean veloute with lemon foam.

Onto the meal proper - I had the scallops with cumin foam, cauliflower puree, sorrel and raw cauliflower. The sweetness of the scallops was beautifully enhanced by apple. Loved it.

The other half had zander with cockscomb. Only had a bit of it, but it was delicious. Really meaty fish with the saltiness of the cockscombs.

We got the extra course of cod cheeks with veal, served with chickpeas and a peanut foam. This was a divine combination, one that I very nearly ordered as a starter anyway.

Mains for me was roe deer with beetroot, horseradish and some other things that I can't remember off the top of my head. This may rate as the best main I have ever eaten in a restaurant. An enormous portion of perfectly rare deer was set off with the sweet beetroot and the gentle heat of horseradish. I could have eaten it all day.

Katie went for chump of lamb with jerusalem and globe artichokes, liquorice and almonds. Again, superbly cooked meat, set off with the nutty jerusalem artichokes.

We asked Helen to select a range of cheeses for us and had some lovely and interesting choices. Also got to have Stinking Bishop which has become a firm favourite of mine. I was very impressed with the crackers that are clearly made by the restaurant. They really set off the cheese.

By now, I was close to exploding, but pushed on with dessert.

I had the chocolate delice with salted caramel, which was amazing. The rolo description doesn't explain just how gorgeous this dish is. Couldn't finish it though which still pains me as I'd love to finish it now!

Katie finished her meal with caramelised brioche, pear in caramel and milk jam ice cream. This was beautiful - a perfectly cooked pear and the slightly sticky brioche.

Helen was trying to make us explode by this point with the huge array of petit fours that came with coffee. Couldn't attempt them so took them home. Just about to eat them now :smile:

We chatted with Helen for ages whilst waiting for our cab. She was lovely and gives the place a real personal charm.

So thanks to David and Helen for such a great meal and I'd certainly go back.

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  • 2 months later...

Finally went there last night. I've been putting this off as I figured it could become a habit and I think I was right. The other half said as we were leaving 'when can book to come again?'.

I don't know what else to add to the other posts as they were all spot on. I'm not a big fan of 'fine dining' as I tend to show myself up by spilling wine, dropping food down myself, using the wrong knife and fork etc but this is a really relaxed atmosphere and the little things were obvious - unobtrusive service, the wine and water left on the table for you to pour yourself and there are not armies of waiters watching you and waiting for your glass to empty so they can fill it.

It took us a lonnng time to decide but we had...

A pre-starter of salt cod in olive oil with garlic cream and garlic foam which was a real wake-up call for the taste buds. Then we had cod cheeks with veal breast, chickpeas and a peanut foam and a cannelloni of kid, goats curds and a land cress puree.

This was followed by an amazingly intense crab risotto with seabass fillet

For mains we went for chump of lamb with jerusalem and globe artichokes, liquorice and almonds and the roe deer with beetroot and soured cabbage.

We then moved on to the enormous cheese selection. We were very restrained and just chose three, all of which were fabulous.

On to dessert and we had a pre-dessert of geranium brulee with a sorbet and popping candy and then I had to have the chocolate delice with salted caramel (which lived up to expectations and I have strict instructions that I must now try and make it) and the pine kernel parfait with lemon curd.

Finally finished this off with coffee and petit fours.

We asked for wines to be chosen for us and we had some great recommendations including a sherry with the chocolate delice.

An absolutely faultless meal with fantastic service. Really worth a visit (or two or three or four..) and the lunch looks like fantastic value.

Edited by Richard_D (log)
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I went on saturday feb.17th for a birthday lunch kindly provided by my girlfriend ("Hey babe, I've booked us LCS up in Cheltenham...it's your present to me for my birthday"), and had a great time.

We were amused to see foie gras protestors outside the Blanc brasserie, and so decided to have the foie, lamb's tongue and walnuts starter to commemorate their efforts. Normally we both order different dishes each for every course but neither of us could say no to the foie. I was impressed by the generosity of the servings, it's the first time I've been able to get properly stuck into the stuff without having to portion out modest nibbles.

Forgot to mention, the amuse was butternut squash veloute with almond foam. Although I didn't taste much off the foam the veloute was like pouring gold down my throat. Nice, in other words.

For main, I had the lamb, jerusalem artichokes, liquorice...the liquorice and artichokes were a great combo, and I had that lovely sensation of a new taste lighting up a previously dark part of my brain. The girlfriend had pigeon (i think) with lentils, lardons and water chestnuts and the poor thing could barely finish half her meal due to the entree onslaught. I helped best as I could and was astonished at how piggy the lentils tasted - in a good way!

I was torn between the infamous cheese board and dessert, and ended up running with the cheeses, most of them on Helen's recommendation. The petit fours did a good job of 'dessert replacement'. I was stuffed and while rolling through town afterwards I felt like one of those geese whose engorged livers I had feasted upon.

It was all seamless, tasty stuff, the service was perfect - professional but warm. If I had any quibbles, it's the lack of a tasting menu. I wanted to try everything on the menu and it's beyond torturous keeping to an entree and main.

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  • 3 weeks later...

In town you could give Lumiere (click) a try, probably the most ambitious restauant next to Champignon but obviously not in the same league. Otherwise it depends how far you want to travel as you are at "the gateway of the Cotswolds" and there are a ton of great places to eat in the surrounding area including Bibury Court in Bibury (aroundf 20 miles away) or 5 North Street in Winchcombe which is about 7 miles out of town.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Dinner, March 24

I’m sitting with a copy of Essence thinking that at last I’ll be able to give more accurate descriptions of David’s food – but oh, no – nothing that’s simple. These are all new dishes with one exception – the always special pink geranium scented brulee with popping sugar – the one dish he can probably never replace.

Deconstructed salt cod brandade in a glass – salt cod & caramelised onions at the bottom; layer of potato puree with garlic foam on top. First I tasted the potato and garlic foam & thought, stop here – it was amazing with just those two elements – but when the cod & onion were added to the mix it gave an extraordinary other dimension.

Scallops with pan fried squid with peas, peanuts, pea shoots, pea puree and pea foam accompanied with deepest drizzles of squid ink. A treat to look at and eat.

Roast slab of foie on top duck heart & cockscomb – accompanied with edamame (I think) and tiny morels. Astonishingly good combination between the foie and duck heart slices.

Kid cannelloni – shredded kid (braised for a long, long time, I guess) with slices of celeriac used instead of pasta; goat curds; land cress puree and the deepest, stickiest reduction you can imagine. Very, very satisfying.

Roe deer, two ways, with beetroot; sauerkraut; salsify; ceps; beetroot puree; red wine (or was it port?) reduction. First time I’ve ever had pickled cabbage that I’ve actually enjoyed – the pickling here was done so delicately; would never have guessed cabbage had such subtle and agreeable flavours.

Rose geranium scented burlee with mango sorbet

Dessert – homage to the use of molasses and caramel – ice cream, parfait, bergamot infused cream all stunningly constructed with molasses and oat puree.

Dessert 2 – chocolate and black olive tart; olive infused ice cream (I think) and chocolate jellies. The tart was similar to a chocolate fondant expected it was a tart rather than cylindrical in shape – truly sumptuous & indulgent.

Petit fours – look amazing but I only saw at a distant as I had to refuse being so unbelievably stuffed

David arrived with the perfect antidote to my being over stuffed – a bottle of calvados and good conversation. Shame I only ever seem to meet him after consuming a bottle of wine. Amongst other things we talked about the last book – my mistakes, how to correct etc. and that a second print run has been requested for Essence – excellent news.

Helen was, as ever, radiant and managed front of house making it all look quite effortless

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  • 1 month later...

Surprise birthday lunch yesterday

Nibbles – wonderful little choux buns with cheese centres

Starter of wild garlic risotto with pan fried langoustines decorated with wild garlic flower buds – it had an intense yet fresh green colour. Certainly a lot more delicate in flavour than the ingredients suggest.

Foie gras pan fried with confit duck leg with ginger parkin (i think that was it – but old English ginger cake/biscuit thing which took me by surprise) sauce and parkin crumbs – outstanding combination between deep think ginger concoction and soft foie gras.

Pork belly & scallops: the belly was braised for 4 hours with skin pan fried afterwards to an absolute crispy perfection & the belly left meltingly delicious (recipe is in the book). To accompany it was scallops, peas, peanuts, pea puree and foamed peanut sauce. I can’t get over just how good this dish was - hit the right buttons on every level.

How to follow that – well, he did, and masterfully so. Red mullet with pickled mooli, carrots and carrot puree. The carrots were gently poached in verjus then quickly caramelised. Wow – almost as good as the pork belly but had bigger impact as it was so unexpected. You could tell the pork belly was going to be good when you tried to cut it & you could feel just how crispy the skin was. But – a carrot in a haute restaurant always seems out of place, a little too pedestrian perhaps – but here it had taken it to another level entirely. And it was balanced so well by the meatiness of the mullet – a truly wonderful & surprising combination.

Next was pigeon, white asparagus, pickled walnuts (i think) all accompanied with one of the most delicious reductions only a true professional can muster. I normally avoid pigeon as it can be very gamey and tough – but here is was wonderfully understated and delicate in flavour

The assault continued with lamb, sweetbreads, almonds, smoke onions and smoked onion puree with another outstanding sauce scented with liquorice.

By now we really were beginning to flag – but the kitchen wasn’t and out came a most beautiful dish on camomile (i think) jelly, with vanilla panna cotta layered on top. Above that was fine dice of marinated pineapple and pineapple sorbet. I was truly delicious and scandalously indulgent.

Next up was chocolate & olive tarte with milk ice cream. There was a particularly love touch: the ice cream sat of some crumbs and popping sugar.

Thankfully the kitchen saw the red flare and stopped sending out dishes – just a well – we probably would have exploded, M. Creosote like.

When David came of the kitchen for a quick chat he presented me a bottle of verjus as birthday present. A very big thank you .

The lovely Helen was as marvellous as ever. I recall Andy Lynes describing her sometime ago as “Harley-Davison cool” – well, after finding out what she up to this week coming – you’ve no idea how accurate that description was. Helen, have a great day out!

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Does anyone know when the Champignon Sauvage will be closed in June?

Duncan has promised to take me there for my birthday, but the website mentions a closure in June, unfortunately without specific dates...

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Does anyone know when the Champignon Sauvage will be closed in June?

Duncan has promised to take me there for my birthday, but the website mentions a closure in June, unfortunately without specific dates...

They are closed for 3 weeks in June - can't remember if David said they were going in 2 weeks time or 3. Just call

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  • 2 months later...
Does anyone know when the Champignon Sauvage will be closed in June?

Duncan has promised to take me there for my birthday, but the website mentions a closure in June, unfortunately without specific dates...

We eventually got le Champignon Sauvage mid July.

David offered to cook for us, so although we were shown the menus, this was just for show; we just had to pick some wine and then sit back and receive course after course of sublime food. Also another highlight of the evening was being able to sit and chat with David after the meal: it really is great to talk to someone so enthusiastic about his food and cooking.

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  • 1 month later...

Here's the meal that I enjoyed back in July - some of this is off menu:

Amuse, Vichyssoise of lovage, salt Pollock mousse, olive oil poached Pollock.

Seared scallop, Jerusalem artichoke puree, globe artichokes.

Cornish lobster , cauliflower puree,raw cauliflower, hickory smoked almonds and bladder campion.

Line caught sea bass, squid trotter and tomato confit compote, sea purslane.

Kid cannelloni, land cress puree, goats curds.

Wood pigeon, warm salad of turnips,seared brisket and Hereford snails, hazelnut emulsion.

Cinderford lamb, pea puree, peas, onion braised with eucalyptus.

Rose geranium scented rice pudding, English raspberries,

lemon verbena ice cream.

Molasses parfait, bergamot cream, orange and liquorice sorbet.

It was certainly one of the best meals I've had so far this year and may well end up as No 1 of 2007. David E-M is in a class of his own in my opinion and as gingerchef says, somehow he just keeps on getting better all the time.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Another outstanding meal but this time we went at lunchtime. The temptation of the a la carte was too much so we skipped over the set menu.

Lots to recommend but the highlight for me was the salted chicory root parfait with bitter chocolate sorbet. I'm not normally a dessert person but the sorbet was brilliant and I could have eaten a bucketful. Yet again I stared at the wine list agog at the (extremely low) prices.

Quick run down of the dishes......

Cheese gougeres

Squid and Gloucestershire Old Spot Pork

Foie Gras, ham hock and Guinea fowl terrine

Scallops with roasted globe artichoke and jerusalem artichoke puree

Pigeon - can't remember what with as I was too busy eating my.....

....Dexter rump with aubergine and salted oranges (I think salted oranges are much nicer than salted lemons)

Muscovado parfait with bergamot cream

Salted chicory root parfait with vanilla rice pudding and bitter chocolatte sorbet

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  • 3 months later...

The grass is always greener!! I would love to go to Le Champignon Sauvage, and many others, bit of a trek for me though. But I know I have a few places near me people dawn sarff would love to visit too!! I'm thinking of starting taking trips out to places though. I would like to visit Purnells in Birmingham, I'm just under 2 hrs from Birmingham, so can easily get there for lunch. I just need to have a look for train times to Cheltnenham now!!!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Am reaching halfway through my alloted three score years & ten in May and have emailed David & Helen for a table to mark this, oh so, inauspicious event.

(just realised I haven't achieved anything significant since Graduating!!!!!! Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuunnnnnnnnnnnnnk)

Anyway (staying positive) read the thread thus far, but want to know how to get the most out of the meal at LCS; lunch or dinner recommended, is there a tour of the menu, what's fantastic as opposed to just very good etc, etc?

And what about Cheltenham, where are the wine shops, cheese shops, good butchers?

And then the negative...... ........I return to Blackpool, a year older. Maybe get some botox, a new shirt, face lift perhaps .........loose the misanthropy. Never!

“Do you not find that bacon, sausage, egg, chips, black pudding, beans, mushrooms, tomatoes, fried bread and a cup of tea; is a meal in itself really?” Hovis Presley.

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And what about Cheltenham, where are the wine shops, cheese shops, good butchers?

new wine shop has just opened opposite Queens Hotel - quite ambitious range, not sure it'll last long.

cheese shop (singular) near Everyman Theatre - good(ish)

no good butchers.

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Am reaching halfway through my alloted three score years & ten in May and have emailed David & Helen for a table to mark this, oh so, inauspicious event.

(just realised I haven't achieved anything significant since Graduating!!!!!! Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuunnnnnnnnnnnnnk)

Anyway (staying positive) read the thread thus far, but want to know how to get the most out of the  meal at LCS; lunch or dinner recommended, is there a tour of the menu, what's fantastic as opposed to just very good etc, etc?

And what about Cheltenham, where are the wine shops, cheese shops, good butchers?

And then the negative......  ........I return to Blackpool, a year older. Maybe get some botox, a new shirt, face lift perhaps .........loose the misanthropy. Never!

And what about Cheltenham, where are the wine shops, cheese shops, good butchers?

new wine shop has just opened opposite Queens Hotel - quite ambitious range, not sure it'll last long.

cheese shop (singular) near Everyman Theatre - good(ish)

no good butchers.

As algy said, theres the new wine/spirits shop at the bottom of montpellier, basically opposite brasserie blanc. I quite agree about not lasting, i don't know that theres a big enough market for it. It used to be a bloody good patisserie, was quite annoyed when it changed. And very true about cheeseworks, there isn't another basically, but its ok, its bloody good.* see note

As far as butchers is concerned, the only one of note is Watts, which is what DEM uses. Its pretty decent, ive used it before, very nice guy too. Theres also one down the road from LCS on Suffolk Road in Tivoli, which isn't bad. Theres no butchers that are really excellent or distinctive, but there are a number of decent ones. Other than that, there isn't actually a lot worth seeing. Bath Road isn't bad, theres a very good cafe called Jacks. And i think theres a chocolate shop towards the end of road, towards Leckhampton.

If youve got time, you might want to pay a visit to Lumiere, it had a particularly good review from Jay Rayner, but is soon closing.

* the cheeseworks, which is run by a guy called Ben that was on Masterchef last year, is selling the shop as a business, so it will remain a cheese shop, but whether it will be much good, who knows. Time will tell, I certainly hope so, the only other source of cheese is the supermarkets.

Hope that helps.

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