Midsummer House Restaurant
“Long-established star of the Cambridge dining scene” - AA Inspector
Our Inspector's view
Since Daniel Clifford bought the idyllically located Midsummer House in 1998, he has turned this former private residence into a world class dining destination. The handsome Victorian villa sits on the banks of the River Cam, looking out over the cows grazing on the common. The chic and light-filled conservatory dining room to the rear is a tranquil space, separated from the kitchen by a window, through which Daniel and his head chef, Mark Abbott, can be observed at close quarters. They are supported by a talented team of studious and focused chefs creating elegant, precise and inventive modern British dishes, showcased in a nine-course tasting menu and, from Wednesdays to Saturdays, a more compact set lunch menu. The atmosphere is calmly civilised, an ideal combination of formality and informality. Menu descriptions are concise – even terse – which contrasts with the intricacy of the food. You can be confident that each carefully sourced ingredient is treated with respect and is on the plate for a reason. Clear flavours chime perfectly with the seasons, and an early summer meal might begin with salmon rillette tartlet and pickled cucumber followed by freshwater prawn with gazpacho mousse, sun dried tomatoes and peas. Sautéed duck liver is enlivened by verjus, Comte cheese, home-dried sultanas and walnuts, before you move on to slowly cooked Loch Duart salmon with white chocolate and caviar sauce. Another highlight is a delicate dish of braised Cornish turbot, white asparagus, razor clams and jus de caisson. Next up, a cheese course of Tete de Moine with celeriac custard, grapefruit sorbet and truffle honey that might precede poached kumquat with buffalo yogurt sorbet. Finally, English strawberries with champagne and elderflower might carry you through to coffee and a plate of delicate petits fours.
Facilities – at a glance
Credit cards accepted
- Seats: 45
- Private dining available
- Wheelchair accessible
- Assist dogs welcome
- Closed: Last week April, 2 weeks August/September, 25 December to 8 January
- Wines under £30: 20
- Wines over £30: 945
- Wines by the glass: 30
- Cuisine style: Modern British
- Vegetarian menu
Also in the area
About the area
To the west of East Anglia is Cambridgeshire, a county best known as the home to the university that makes up the second half of ‘Oxbridge’ (the other half is Oxford). As well as its globally renowned educational credentials, it also has a rich natural history; much of its area is made up of reclaimed or untouched fens. These are low-lying areas which are marshy and prone to flooding. The lowest point in the UK is at Holme Fen, which is some 9 feet (2.75 metres) below sea level. Some of the fens had been drained before, but it was in the 19th and 20th centuries that wide-spread, successful drainage took place, expanding the amount of arable and inhabitable land available.
Ely Cathedral was built on an island among the swampy fens, but now sits among acres of productive farmland, albeit farmland criss-crossed by miles of flood-preventing watercourses. Oliver Cromwell was born in Ely, and his family home can still be visited. Cambridge itself is a beautiful and historic city, with any number of impressive old buildings, churches and colleges, and plenty of chances to mess about on the River Cam which gave the city its name.
Places to Stay
Recommended things to do
Why choose Rated Trips?
Your trusted guide to rated places across the UK
The best coverage
Discover more than 15,000 professionally rated places to stay, eat and visit from across the UK and Ireland.
Choose a place to stay safe in the knowledge that it has been expertly assessed by trained assessors.
Plan your next trip
Search by location or the type of place you're visiting to find your next ideal holiday experience.
Read our articles, city guides and recommended things to do for inspiration. We're here to help you explore the UK.