Cambridge’s classic fine dining restaurant has celebrated more than two decades in the sun
Daniel Clifford’s smart restaurant located in a Victorian villa on Midsummer Common on the banks of the River Cam is unlike any other in the country. For a start, if you choose to stroll there across the common you’ll likely have to contend with the free-roaming cattle which, if they aren’t sitting around in the sunshine, are helping themselves to the flowers of Midsummer House’s front garden.
But that’s just the start. The two Michelin-starred restaurant, which in 2018 celebrated its 20th birthday, has long been considered one of the best in the country thanks to Clifford’s unflinching dedication and ambition to create a dining room that can hold its own on the global stage.
This has meant recent changes to further push the envelope, including the bright dining room having been given a complete overhaul, the installation of a brand-new kitchen, a new bakery and an enlarged cellar that now holds almost 1,000 different wines. However, the biggest changes have been on the plate, with Midsummer House’s menu more ambitious than ever before with Clifford becoming increasingly inventive with flavour combinations.
Standout dishes from the eight-course tasting menu include glazed chicken wings, smoked eel, sauteed duck liver, celery and nettle; and lemon posset, olive oil cake, mint, black olive tuile, although Clifford likes to mix things up. One dish he won’t touch, however, is his scallop, truffle and apple made with apples grown on trees in his walled kitchen garden – the one the cows can’t get at.