The husband and I recently celebrated our third wedding anniversary (leather if you’re interested) and to my amazement my husband started ringing round local michelin starred restaurants (this is most definitely not normal behaviour for my husband and I’m pretty sure this was because he thought it would be cheaper than buying me something along the ‘leather’ theme). After much deliberation of locations, menus and wine list prices and slight commiserations at booking too late to go to our absolute favourite local, Langar Hall, we hit a stroke of luck by managing to snap up the last remaining table at a newly opened restaurant that came highly recommended and was supposedly tipped for amazing things, John’s House. I have to admit, I was a little sceptical but thought what the heck, it’s a luxury to have the night off! (Plus my fave Boden Lille heels got another outing 😉 )
My gosh was I wrong.
Set in a beautiful and sympathetically renovated cottage set back from the main street and with a private parking area for patrons, the first impressions were very, very good.
Our reception from front of house Martyn Pepper was the perfect balance of warm, professional and polished. We were led through to a cosy but effectively furnished sitting room where we enjoyed drinks, perused the menu and were treated to the most delicious amuse-bouche of tomato macaron (sorry, too hungry, I didn’t manage to photograph before eating), duck parfait cone and finally goats cheese and pea.
We had no hesitation in choosing the tasting menu and when our table was ready we were led upstairs through to a surprisingly spacious room with vaulted ceiling and exposed beams. The lighting was a little bright for my liking but I would eat every meal by candle light if I had my way. Even though the room was small the tables were well spaced so there was no awkward earwigging, thank goodness!
There was no delay on the first course being delivered – Seared beef fillet, brown shrimp, lemon butter and crispy quail egg. Delicious! Although I thought the lemon butter tasted more like butterscotch but that was definitely no bad point.
Course two – Raw Devonshire scallop, oyster cream, horseradish and wild fennel. This looks as beautiful as it tasted.
Course three – Tom’s heritage potatoes, broccoli, truffle and cheddar sauce. This I could have had a lot more of.
Course four – Lightly salted fillet of Cod, passion fruit, curry spices and brawn. The Cod was cooked to perfection and passion fruit worked amazingly with the saltiness of the Cod.
Course five (seriously filling up by now!) – Stonehurst hogget, feta, courgettes and burnt tomato ketchup. They definitely saved the best main for last. Staggeringly delicious.
Course six – A welcome palette cleanse of sweet pea cream, iced coconut and water mint.
Course seven – Macerated strawberries, yoghurt custard, strawberry sorbet and marigold. Well by this point I was fit to burst, thankfully the sorbet was so light and fresh.
We then headed back downstairs where we relaxed into armchairs and enjoyed coffee and petit fours.
The food was truly delicious, well considered and beautifully delivered and I am not a bit surprised that last week John’s House was awarded their first Michelin star, the only restaurant in Leicestershire to hold one!
Once past the front of house the service was friendly and efficient however they did lack a slight finesse that the front of house has in buckets. We felt that they were a little slow on topping wine up and noticing when the water jug on the table was empty but that really is nitpicking and I suppose it all lends itself to a more relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere. We were also pleasantly surprised by the sensibly priced wine list.
The verdict? We had an incredibly relaxing and enjoyable evening and would return in a heartbeat. My advice to you is to book and book now!