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Allium, Fairford


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Its about time we had a brief review here of Allium in Fairford. There are threads started by Erica, but none yet from other members of eGullet who have visited.

We went there on Wednesday, a visit slightly delayed by circumstances. On the evening we visited, the 3 course dinner menu and the cheaper Table d'Hote were on offer, but Erica also gave us the option of the Gourmand tasting menu done as a menu surprise. After an agonising 30 seconds we went for the suprise option.

Ordering at the same time as us were a group of Americans who seemed to be using a copy of the Good Food Guide to plan the rest of their trip round the UK. They also seemed to be trying to order a wine which wasn't on the wine list (Erica said her supplier wouldn't let her have it yet) and another which was on the wine list but had gone AWOL from the fridge.

As near as I can reconstruct what we were served, the menu went something like this:

* Cerney Goats Cheese and Peperonata Cone

Served in the bar area, this looked like a miniature ice cream cone, except it wasn't.

* Cauliflower and cardamom soup

The second amuse, served at the table.

* Skate wing, chicken wing, asparagus on spelt risotto

gallery_6638_1334_33980.jpg

It's a tasty and interesting combination albeit somewhat boney. I'm not sure if it is intended to be a pun.

* Foie gras and Carpaccio of Wood Pigeon with pickled vegetables and pea sprouts.

gallery_6638_1334_47215.jpg

Some suprisingly pink pickled vegetables (cauliflower and shallots) here, but a lovely combination of the foie gras and pigeon.

* Sea trout with broad beans, samphire and celeriac puree

gallery_6638_1334_17943.jpg

Nice lemony crust to the trout. Sorry this picture is a bit blurred, the trout must have been moving too fast.

* Rump of hogget with lambs tongue

gallery_6638_1334_19873.jpg

The hogget had much more kick than lamb would have had, but was still tender (I've found mutton can be a bit tough). I can't remember having had lamb's tongue before, but this one was crispy which made a nice contrast to the hogget.

* Artisan British & Irish Cheeses

It is great to find somewhere with a good selection of exclusively British & Irish cheeseboard. By this point we were beginning to flag, so we just had a small selection of cheese and declined the offer of bread or biscuits.

* Pineapple foam with vanilla jelly

* Almond ice cream, poached peach, apricot delice

gallery_6638_1334_45831.jpg

The ice cream stood out in this course: very almondy. The wine in the foreground is Rasteau Doré in a driver sized tasting glass.

* Coffee and chocolates

I'm afraid some of the chocolates defeated us, but we got given them in a doggy box.

Conclusion for eGulletters: if you are in the area, well worth a visit. If you aren't in the area, tough, it is still worth a visit.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Had a superb tasting menu here a few days back. Only the Goat's cheese cone, jelly and foam, and wood pigeon/foie gras combo from Duncan's menu cropped up on our visit. Instead there was a greater focus on fish (easily some of the best I've ever tasted), with a moist ballotine of rabbit satisfying the urge for more meaty goodness. A nicely tart raspberry-based trio of desserts worked wonders after that cheese course too far, while the inspired selection of accompanying tasting wines selected by Erica proved almost as much fun as the food itself.

Allium really seems to excel at cooking that's not overly showy, yet in no way safe or bland. Lots of what Neil Perry would call 'really great produce' cooked in such a way as to make each dish taste of so much more than the sum of its parts. Sitting happily in the near-empty niche that exists between the Cotswolds' megabucks manor house restaurants and countless upscale pubs - though with cooking akin to the former and prices almost the same as the latter - this is a gem.

restaurant, private catering, consultancy
feast for the senses / blog

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  • 1 year later...

We have just found out that we are finalist in UKTV Food's Local food hero competition, so will have yet another camera crew getting in the way over the next few weeks. For more info on the show http://uktv.co.uk/food/localfoodhero

(sorry still can't figure out how to put in a link!!)

Will keep you posted!

http://www.allium.uk.net

http://alliumfood.wordpress.com/ the alliumfood blog

"Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, champagne in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming - Whey hey what a ride!!!, "

Sarah Poli, Firenze, Kibworth Beauchamp

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We have just found out that we are finalist in UKTV Food's Local food hero competition, so will have yet another camera crew getting in the way over the next few weeks. For more info on the show http://uktv.co.uk/food/localfoodhero

(sorry still can't figure out how to put in a link!!)

Will keep you posted!

Every silver lining has a cloud.... or alot of them- thought you might like to see what Allium is looking like

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/in_pictures/6909754.stm look at picture number four

http://www.allium.uk.net

http://alliumfood.wordpress.com/ the alliumfood blog

"Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, champagne in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming - Whey hey what a ride!!!, "

Sarah Poli, Firenze, Kibworth Beauchamp

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Oh dear, that doesn't look good. Has there been any damage to the restaurant?

3ft in the kitchen and bar- loss adjuster just told us to start ripping out :unsure:

basically the river coln burst its banks and flowed through us until it was redirected.

Edited by erica graham (log)

http://www.allium.uk.net

http://alliumfood.wordpress.com/ the alliumfood blog

"Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, champagne in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming - Whey hey what a ride!!!, "

Sarah Poli, Firenze, Kibworth Beauchamp

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Oh dear, that doesn't look good. Has there been any damage to the restaurant?

3ft in the kitchen and bar- loss adjuster just told us to start ripping out :unsure:

basically the river coln burst its banks and flowed through us until it was redirected.

Ouch! That certainly doesn't look or sound good. Does this mean that you get another enforced "holiday" while they are sorting this out?

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[Ouch! That certainly doesn't look or sound good. Does this mean that you get another enforced "holiday" while they are sorting this out?

the insurance loss adjuster has told us to start ripping out. We've lost the whole of the kitchen and the bar, and we are waiting to hear about the walls and building itself (different insurer) we're hoping that they haven't been too badly affected, but its all a bit depressing at the moment.

http://www.allium.uk.net

http://alliumfood.wordpress.com/ the alliumfood blog

"Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, champagne in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming - Whey hey what a ride!!!, "

Sarah Poli, Firenze, Kibworth Beauchamp

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That's awful, don't you live on site as well? I used to live in a village that flooded, my house was never flooded but we were cut off, and at its worst spent 3 weeks wading through 2-3 feet of water at 7am to go to work. Doesn't do much for morale, especially when you have TV crews parked there wanting quotes, oddly enough i wasn't in the mood for a broadcastable quote at that time of the day.

hope the insurance pays up quickly and you can get opened again.

cheers

gary

you don't win friends with salad

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hope the insurance pays up quickly and you can get opened again.

cheers

gary

Thanks! Yes we do live on site, so its been a fairly miserable weekend all round (especially with a 9 week old baby)

Our buildings insurance guy came today and its going to be at least a month if not longer- all the floors, walls, tiling (new bathrooms 10 months ago!) have to go. On the good side, James gets a new kitchen as its all a right off. :rolleyes:

http://www.allium.uk.net

http://alliumfood.wordpress.com/ the alliumfood blog

"Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, champagne in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming - Whey hey what a ride!!!, "

Sarah Poli, Firenze, Kibworth Beauchamp

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That's really bad luck. Hopefully you'll dry out quickly on that side of Gloucestershire and be up and running again soon.

I'm a bit west and facing up to two weeks without running water. One-pot cooking is becoming my new speciality :biggrin:

hope the insurance pays up quickly and you can get opened again.

cheers

gary

Thanks! Yes we do live on site, so its been a fairly miserable weekend all round (especially with a 9 week old baby)

Our buildings insurance guy came today and its going to be at least a month if not longer- all the floors, walls, tiling (new bathrooms 10 months ago!) have to go. On the good side, James gets a new kitchen as its all a right off. :rolleyes:

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I'm a bit west and facing up to two weeks without running water. One-pot cooking is becoming my new speciality :biggrin:

We do at least have running water!! and we still have a couple of cases left of bottled sparkling water.!!!!

And if all else fails, theres a damp cellar of wine to get through!

Edited by erica graham (log)

http://www.allium.uk.net

http://alliumfood.wordpress.com/ the alliumfood blog

"Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, champagne in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming - Whey hey what a ride!!!, "

Sarah Poli, Firenze, Kibworth Beauchamp

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  • 5 months later...
going for lunch tomorrow for a first visit - any updates on the 2006 reports on what to try?

All guidance gratefully received.

You don't need much guidance: just choose whatever you fancy from the menu, or ask Erica what's nice. If I was choosing from the menu on the website, the "Assiette of Lucy Muller’s Texel Hogget" sounds good.

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I think i'm gonna have to drop in sometime in the new year and give it a try, as soon as i get back to Ross. I'm staying with the family in Kent at the mo, where good food is nowhere near as prolific as it is on the other side of the country, IMHO.

Elliott

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  • 3 months later...
  • 1 month later...

Just got an email on the Allium mailing list:

Allium in Fairford has been awarded the title of Which? Good Food Guide South West Restaurant of the Year.

Elizabeth Carter, Editor of The Good Food Guide, said: 'Allium is a well deserved winner of the regional award. James Graham is something of a food crusader, championing high quality local produce on regularly changing, seasonal menus and delivering some fine and original cooking with a proper appreciation of the importance of flavour.'

Recognising excellence and good service at independently owned restaurants, pubs and cafés across the country, the award included a public vote which received over 20,000 entries. 'We know from the feedback we receive throughout the year that people feel passionately about great local restaurants, and this award is an opportunity to give them recognition,' Elizabeth Carter added.

Allium will be featured in the 2009 edition of The Good Food Guide and will now compete with nine other regional winners for The Which? Good Food Guide Restaurant of the Year award, which will be presented at a ceremony on 17 June 2008 at the British Museum.

I think those of who have visited Allium will agree that this is well deserved.

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:wub: Shucks.......thank you.. :biggrin:

http://www.allium.uk.net

http://alliumfood.wordpress.com/ the alliumfood blog

"Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, champagne in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming - Whey hey what a ride!!!, "

Sarah Poli, Firenze, Kibworth Beauchamp

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Nice mugshot in the glos echo today, well done again.

:blink: Yikes thats from a while back!!

Thanks!

http://www.allium.uk.net

http://alliumfood.wordpress.com/ the alliumfood blog

"Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, champagne in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming - Whey hey what a ride!!!, "

Sarah Poli, Firenze, Kibworth Beauchamp

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  • 1 year later...

Sometimes I think that I eat for Britain, in fact, my wife will testify that large parts of my day are spent reading about food, what to eat, where to eat it ,buy it, etc, etc.

Which brings me to Allium.

Most of our summer weekends for a number years (until recently) were spent whiling away time in the Cotswolds in one or other of its beautiful villages, however Fairford was not amongst them (except for the Airshow)

That said Allium jumped out at me from the Good Food Guide fairly recently as a "when in the area sort of place"

Now having said that we never did get around to a visit, but have waited in vain for someone to post on this thread, a recent review.

Trawling through the weekend newspapers, as you do, a review on Allium appeared, but, not just any old review, a paticularly negative, some may say nasty review of same.

Now I'm bemused and confused, how on earth can a restaurant gain a highly creditable six in the Good Food Guide yet it is so badly criticized?

Has anyone been recently who can even things up so to speak, surely it can't be as bad as Mr Walsh makes out.

Reports most welcome.

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/food-and-drink/reviews/allium-1-london-road-market-place-fairford-gloucestershire-1823685.html

Edited by david goodfellow (log)

"So many places, so little time"

http://londoncalling...blogspot.co.uk/

@d_goodfellow1

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