Review on Midsummer House
If accolades are anything to go by, Midsummer House is not only the top restaurant in Cambridge, but is also king of the hill throughout East Anglia. Two Michelin stars testify to the class of the place, and it benefits from a ravishing setting by the banks of the River Cam with secluded gardens full of fragrant herbs and a spectacular view of the river.
Since taking over in 1998, chef/patron Daniel Clifford has devoted virtually all his time to the place: 'it has become my life's work,' he admits. A delightful double conservatory is the focus for things gastronomic, and guests can look forward to top-notch, innovative French food with some classic roots but boundless imagination.
Menus change monthly and dish descriptions make it crystal clear that intricacy and elaboration are the watchwords. Consider, for example, a starter involving seared sea scallops with bay leaves, Savoy cabbage purée, crispy lardons, sauté morels and oyster vinaigrette or maple-caramelised sweetbreads paired with turnip, pistachio, ox tongue and maple jelly.
Main courses also take full account of the sea and the land, spanning everything from halibut with cep tart, roasted garlic, crispy frog's legs, Burgundy snails and garlic foam to poached and grilled Anjou squab with cherries, sweet potato and Valrhona. As a finale, expect to see Moroccan couscous with cinnamon, apple and sultana or mango and passion fruit délice with lychee sorbet and Christmas tree honey.
Multi-course tasting menus add an extra thrill to proceedings and the magisterial wine list pulls no punches when it comes to serious imbibing. Daniel Clifford recently joined the ranks of gastropub-loving Michelin-starred chefs when he opened The Flitch of Bacon in the rural Essex village of Little Dunmow.
Midsummer House is also featured in: Michelin Guide, Good Food Guide, AA GuideRate this Restaurant
Modern French / Mediterranean
Restaurant Opening Times
Lunch: 12.00 - 1.30pm Wed-Fri
Dinner: 7.00 - 9.30pm Tue-Thu (6.30 - 9.30pm Fri & Sat)
Accepted credit cards
Visa, Master Card, American Express