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“Without doubt exceptional food...”
Review of Midsummer House

Midsummer House
Ranked #3 of 689 Restaurants in Cambridge
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: French, European, British
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: View, Romantic, Local cuisine, Special Occasion Dining, Business meetings
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, After-hours, Full Bar, Private Dining, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Description: With its divine location right on the River Cam, Midsummer House is among East Anglia���s best restaurants. Once you���ve finished punting down the river and taking in the sights and sounds of the beautiful university city of Cambridge, pay Midsummer House a visit. Relaxed and elegant, with a sunny conservatory and perfect al fresco dining for warm summer evenings, this modern British restaurant offers a wide range of creative dishes with a sophisticated touch learned by Chef Patron Daniel Clifford throughout his years in Britain and France���s best restaurants. Passionate about ingredients, Clifford even uses the harvest from Midsummer House���s own 80 year old apple trees in his cookery.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
129 reviews
87 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 107 helpful votes
“Without doubt exceptional food...”
Reviewed 7 August 2014

Started with sublime amuse bouches - 5 in all, melt in the mouth amazing. We ordered the 5 courses, all small portions but exceptional especially the quail ravioli with pea puree (lovely suprise inside, I won't spoil it for you!) so strange that they serve lovely homemade bread in very large slices! Food outstanding, my only comment would be that that the first course of crab was the same size if not smaller than an amuse bouche and for the main course lamb, it would have been nice to have another tiny cutlet rather than just one. Finally, we did not order coffees (though we did order several glasses of wine and champagne), so we did not get any chocolates (they have an amazing looking box which i did not unfortunately get to view under the lid), and they served what looked like amazing fritters... would have been nice to offer us!. On paying the bill, between the four of us, we were presented with 2 little boxes containing 2 little chocolates in each - rather mean I thought, either one each or don't bother! The restaurant is very comfortable and pleasant decor. Service was efficient however it was impersonal and uninterested which is sad given the amazing passion that must go in to producing such exceptional cuisine.

  • Visited August 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Nevines
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Norwich, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
77 reviews
31 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“One of the best meals ever!”
Reviewed 5 August 2014 via mobile

Went for the seven course taster menu but as we also had added to this three superb 'amuse bouches' and at the end of the meal fritters (yes, fritters and absolutely gorgeous too) and chocolates it was more like a ten course one! (We added the cheese course too).

Absolutely fabulous food, delicate flavours, creative combinations, extremely fresh and beautifully presented. Lovely little extras with clear attention to detail with complimentary crockery and cutlery that just made the full experience so much nicer. All served by a friendly and attentive staff without making us feel at all pressured at any time.

We went for the accompanying wine option too and enjoyed the restaurants choice of wines which complimented the courses served. Just lovely.

One of the best meals we have ever had. Restaurant in a lovely setting, with a very nice lounge area (if you get there early enough to have pre- dinner drinks or coffee etc. - we didn't arrive early enough to enjoy this) and nice loos (always important!). Contemporary decor and again layout has been thought about with only a few tables in the centre of the restaurant and lots if space between tables. Noticed later arrivals were on the centre tables so if you don't like this and prefer to be by a wall/window book for a start before 8pm.

We will certainly be coming back and highly recommended.

Visited August 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank debw23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nottingham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
110 reviews
49 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
“Very good, but now WOW! for the price and the fact it has 2 stars”
Reviewed 5 August 2014

Really nice setting and great venue, however we were slightly underwhelmed. we arrived 10 minutes early and they didn't seem to know what to do with us. I think all the tables outside were taken, so we were shown straight to our table. it would have been nice to have a pre-dinner drink not sat at the table. there seemed to be plenty of room in the lounge upstairs. service was pretty good, especially from the northern irish chap, cant recall his name. he was excellent, helpful, informative and friendly. the sommelier was disappointing, when presented with on of the wines on the taster menu, just to be told it was a Hungarian red from 2011 was a bit lacking. more detail on the flavours and why the wine was chosen would be useful. we felt we had to keep asking for water for the pregnant lady in our group. not overly attentive at times.
onto the food. we had the 10 course taster and with these types of things you cannot like all the dishes. several were not to our taste for various reasons, but I personally felt there was no wow factor. you expect to be blown away by the food in a two star restaurant when you are paying these prices, but it was a bit of a let down. I have eaten in Michelin star places before and enjoyed the food more.
if you have the money then its worth a visit but we were just ever so slightly underwhelmed by the experience

  • Visited July 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank jimmypeck
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Windsor, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
93 reviews
41 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 129 helpful votes
“The perfect restaurant experience”
Reviewed 3 August 2014

My boyfriend and I ate here last night (Saturday 2nd August) and enjoyed the best meal we've had in Cambridge, if not the UK.

I booked 5-6 months in advance and could then only get the 6.45pm slot which actually worked out well because there are so many courses to enjoy we then weren't eating too late. We were there for an enjoyable 3 hours.

We arrived around 15 minutes early so were invited up stairs to enjoy a drink and sit outside on the sun deck and take in the views. We were also able to enjoy the first 2 out of 3 canapes up there.

The restaurant has an extensive wine and champagne list at varying prices so there should be something for everyone. My boyfriend and I have differing preferences when it comes to wine so we ordered wine and champagne throughout the meal by the glass which suited us perfectly.

Having been invited back downstairs to our table the real magic began. We had our third and final set of canapes and then enjoyed the 7 course menu. All the dishes looked and tasted amazing with the Beetroot course adding a little bit of theatre to the evening which we both enjoyed.

My favourite course was the Beetroot while the other half loved the Crab dish and the Lamb dish. We also both raved about the Lemon Posset dessert.

After dinner we then returned to the bar upstairs where we enjoyed coffee and freshly baked pastries with apple sauce and creme anglais for dipping. Home made chocolates presented with the bill to take home were also a nice touch.

I can't finish this review without giving a shout out to all of the staff who made our dinner memorable. We were really well looked after - you don't just have one waiter/waitress and I have no idea how with so many members of team things run as smoothly as they do but it just worked - everyone was brilliant. A special mention to the French lady who served a number of our dishes and the Irish guy who is probably reading this review in bed first thing this morning :-) Thanks for making our visit a memorable one.

When you've been looking forward to eating somewhere for so long and its reputation is so strong I'm always worried about being disappointed but Midsummer House more than lived up to its reputation and we can't wait to return.

It was also nice to see Daniel Clifford popping in and out of the kitchen, its nice to know the head chef, who's celebrity appears to be rising is still in the kitchen!

  • Visited August 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank clmswallow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level Contributor
34 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“A superb treat. Relax and enjoy”
Reviewed 3 August 2014

There are some rather critical (some what I would deem snobby) reviews out there about Midsummer House but the basic fact remains that the food is marvellous, wine sensational, service very good - not uncomfortable or pretentious - and it's a wonderful treat that I would recommend to others.

I couldn't have managed 10 courses so was pleased we went for the 7 course taster. That's recommended for cheese lovers as you can add the cheese as your eighth course more comfortably. We had the recommended wines to accompany the menu too. Definitely do this if you are drinking! There were some beautiful fragrances and flavours from wines around the world I wouldn't necessarily had picked from a wine merchant but will now. Of courses they are perfectly matched to the dish and really set it off.

My husband's favourite dish was the lamb chop. That was my least favourite, but I could still appreciate it's flavours and construction. That's the subjectivity of food and given the taster menus will change according to season, i find it a bit pointless to pick menus apart dish by dish so won't say more. Suffice to say there was plenty I liked, loved and was wowed by, namely the quail and lemon posset.

All the tables are nice and received the same attention, but I think sitting in the conservatory probably has the edge, so an earlier table will get you in there. We were a later service starting at 8.30pm.

Price - yes it was expensive by normal standards when you say 'shall we go out for dinner tonight' and it was probably a smidgen overinflated even for what we expected - the Cambridge tax perhaps. But for us, it was as a special treat for a birthday and worth it.

If you can go, take the opportunity.

  • Visited August 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank EmskiLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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