Anniversary dinner at Paris House, Woburn

Selection of appetizers at Paris House

This post should come with a warning: it’s very long, and image heavy – but don’t let that put you off!

As soon as we moved, were settled and I had found out about Paris House, I knew I needed to stick it on my wish list and try a taster menu. Formerly a Michelin-starred restaurant, but now with 3 AA Rosettes to its name, it was always going to be a bit of me. I knew it would be somewhere we tried for a special occasion, and not your average Friday night out. So, what better time to book in than our first wedding anniversary?

Unfortunately, such is the demand, we were unable to get a reservation for the end of October and had to wait nearly another whole month… but let me tell you, it was worth the wait! Much like this post…

The seasonal taster menus are six courses, with an optional wine pairing at a supplement. I’m not lying when I say we went all out – not only going for the wine pairing, but the additional cheese course (after seeing the couple next to us indulge) with a port flight to accompany that (each!). We also began the evening with a glass of English sparkling wine to toast, as we enjoyed some bread and nibbles. I ended the meal with a coffee and petit fours, too. So much food (and drink), read on to find out more…

We started with the snacks, which were bite-sized mouthfuls of deliciousness. We had a sausage roll, cheese ball (I don’t think that’s what it was called!) and a homemade breadstick with a cheese dip, topped with sundried tomato and olive tapenade. Not pictured above was the subsequent bread course – fresh sourdough with marmite whipped butter. All absolutely delicious and the mini sausage roll, inspired. The deep-fried cheese balls were incredible and reminiscent of the free snacks you get in Spanish tapas bars. Needless to say, this set the bar for the main event.

Smoked Eel, Beetroot, miso and sesame

Smoked Eel
Beetroot, miso and sesame
(Pansa Blanca, Raventos de Alella, Spain, 2020)

I’ve only had eel a couple of times before (the last being on our honeymoon cruise) and it was so tasty, complementing the flavours of the beetroot tortellini and the dashi well. The dashi was divine – so flavoursome and had that umami taste you’d expect. I loved the slithers of radish which garnished the dish too.

Roast gnocchi, braised oxtail, root vegetables and truffle sauce

Truffle Gnocchi
Roast gnocchi, braised oxtail, root vegetables and truffle sauce
(Kalecik Karasi, Kayra, Turkey, 2020)

We love gnocchi, but never have I had it roasted – nor have I probably had ‘proper’ gnocchi (well homemade, at least). This was a delicious plate of food. The gnocchi had a crisp exterior, was packed full of tasty oxtail, and was covered in shavings of truffle to accompany that luxe, velvety sauce! I would eat it again in a heartbeat.

Roasted scallop, grains & greens, roe emulsion, lardo and BBQ chicken wing

Peri Peri Scallop
Roasted scallop, grains & greens, roe emulsion, lardo and BBQ chicken wing
(Viognien Dindori Reserve, Sula Vineyards, India, 2021)

I was super impressed by the presentation of this dish, particularly the stunning bowl – and this was just as outstanding in the taste department too. Juicy, perfectly cooked scallop meets crispy chicken wing (which just fell off the bone), with a beautiful zing of peri peri and flavoursome emulsion. As soon as I took a bite of all the components together, I was in heaven.

Lamb Pastilla, pomegranate and baba ghanoush

Pastilla, pomegranate and baba ghanoush
(Perricone del Core, Feudo Montoni, Sicily, 2017)

The lamb was melt-in-the-mouth delicious and cooked to my liking. I loved the pastilla too, which reminded me of a spring roll, but packed with middle eastern flavours. The star of the show here had to be the pomegranate pearls that added crunch as well as colour – nuggets of sweetness which went particularly well with the pastilla and baba ghanoush.

Selection of six artisan cheeses and garnishes, with several glasses of port

Artisan Cheese & Garnishes

We ordered one plate to share (as opposed to the sharing plate for two) and I wish I could remember all the cheeses and their garnishes, but sadly I don’t. I do recall them being in order of strength, with the three glasses of port designed to accompany them in that same order. From memory, the honey on the blue cheese was a match made in heaven (who knew?) and I loved the delightful, caramelised pecans.

I will point out that we actually had the cheese course after both puddings, as we didn’t know if we’d be able to manage it as well. But after seeing the plate delivered to the table next to us, had to get involved too! You could also order the cheese without the port, or just choose to have one glass (we went for the three, because, why not?).

Mulled berry & red wine compote, eggnog panna cotta, kokuto sugar

Mulled Berries
Mulled berry & red wine compote, eggnog panna cotta, kokuto sugar
(Moxie sparkling Shiraz, Dowie Doole, Australia, NV)

Wow, what a wonderfully festive (and pretty!) pudding. The meringue sticks were gorgeous – super sweet but quickly dissolving into nothing. I actually demolished this course because I was enjoying it so much. No time to savour the flavour. Panna cotta is such an underrated dessert and the berry compote was *chefs kiss*.

Parsnip cake with walnut, clementine, cream cheese and cinnamon

Parsnip cake with walnut, clementine, cream cheese and cinnamon
(Solalto, Fattoria di Pupille, Italy, 2019)

I’d never had parsnip cake before, but I do love a vegetable cake (carrot, courgette, beetroot… I’ve tried them all). I loved how this was brought to the table and then there was a final flourish – a dusting of icing sugar from a powder puff. The parsnip crisps coated in the sweet icing sugar were scrumptious, but I loved the cream cheese and cinnamon combo. The gold leaf just added to the extravagance of something simple but so delicious.

And the wines? Well, I loved them all and was pleasantly surprised by a few – not least the wine from India, and the red wine from Sicily (I only ever drank white and rosé when we went to Palermo). The favourite hands-down was the sparkling Shiraz. Not only did it go so well with the dessert, but it just screamed Christmas – a real festive fizz if ever there was one. We said about buying a bottle, but that obviously didn’t happen… maybe this year!

I also really loved the dessert wine which accompanied the parsnip cake. I do love a dessert wine and it brought back fond memories of dining at the Eguren Ugarte hotel. Although we didn’t receive it as a pairing, and it wasn’t until the tables around us were served their puddings and paired wines that I noticed we had been forgotten. We ended up having our glasses before embarking on the cheese course! The only negative of the whole evening, though.

I genuinely don’t remember what the petit fours were now – but I just about managed those alongside my flat white, as we waited for the bill and for our taxi to be called.

For a special occasion, I’d highly recommend Paris House, and as the menus are ever-changing, I would return. I joked that if we won the lottery, I’d go once a month! If you don’t think you would commit to as many courses, throughout January and February, Paris House are offering a three-course menu at £49 per person (plus £45 for the wine pairing). It’s only available on Thursday (lunch and dinner) and Friday (lunch) and I’d recommend booking quickly!

Love, Lucy xx

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Love, Lucy xx

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