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Allium, Fairford


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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?

I've read enough negative reviews of places like El Bulli and The Fat Duck in my time to know the answer to the that one.

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

It's not. Far from it. Maybe I'm biased, as Allium has become close to a regular place for me over the last few years, but that's because I'd rather eat there than any other restaurant in this part of the country. There are few places (anywhere) that offer the same blend of nose-to-tail cooking (really getting maximum flavour from good suppliers) with just the right amount of invention and - recently especially - a surprising lightness of touch. Had a meal there a couple of weeks back that certainly eclipsed experiences at other local Egullet favourites like The Champignon Sauvage and the mystifyingly Michelin-starred Wheatsheaf, or even Hibiscus back in the Ludlow days.

Sticking in the knife in in a way that suggests he'd made up his mind about the place before he ate a single bite, and pointless whining about cheese trolley positioning aside, it's worth noting that John Walsh rates Chris Horridge as 'close to genius'. Make of that what you will.

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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?

I was also surprised, after all wasn't this the weekend to dish it up to John Burton-Race with both Coren and Rayner having a go. Odd. Maybe the Indy mislaid the memo.

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