Paris House Restaurant
“Impeccable contemporary cooking in a reassembled timbered house” - AA Inspector
Our Inspector's view
The entrance to Paris House Restaurant certainly raises expectations as you pass through the grand gateway and cross the Duke of Bedford's deer park at his Woburn estate to reach this beautiful half-timbered Tudor-style building. It’s all fake, of course: originally constructed in Paris for the 1878 International Exhibition, then taken apart, shipped across the Channel and reassembled here. Inside, it’s another story as the door opens onto the 21st century in refined surroundings of impeccable contemporary taste, complete with modern chandeliers, sleek furniture, and artworks that include a wall of seasonally changing, food-related works. Phil Fanning’s modern British food is equally in tune with both seasons and current thinking, deftly adding his unique stamp to an international cast of ingredients. Dipping creatively into global – particularly Japanese - influences, the output consists of six- and eight-course tasting menus brimful with boldly inventive ideas. Start with perfectly timed brill pointed up ceviche-style with a leche de tigre citrus marinade, green tomato, chilli and sweet potato. Next up, black truffle and Parmesan raise humble gnocchi to another level, then it’s a trip to Asia for succulent pork belly in a pillowy steamed bun, all fired up with gochujang. Timings and techniques are spot on in perfectly executed hamachi (Japanese amberjack), the rich, buttery texture of the fish combined with white miso, sea kale and a virtuoso workout of cauliflower in various guises. Slot in a plate of artisan cheeses as an optional extra, before thrillingly creative desserts bring a smoothly refined finish to a memorable meal. A reinvented carrot cake involving molasses-like kuromitsu sugar, mandarin, and carrot sorbet is a stunner, while white chocolate and hibiscus cheesecake is a dish of impressive intensity. Relaxed, knowledgeable and professional service is at hand to guide you through every stage, and wine pairings are assembled with expertise and imagination.
Awards, accolades and Welcome Schemes
Facilities – at a glance
- Seats: 37
- Private dining available
- On-site parking available
- Wheelchair accessible
- Steps for wheelchair: 1
- Assist dogs welcome
- Closed: false
- Wines over £30: 50
- Wines by the glass: 15
- Cuisine style: Modern British
- Vegetarian menu
Also in the area
About the area
At its most southern point, Bedfordshire is only 35 miles from London Waterloo, so there’s a good reason for the UK’s fifth busiest airport to be called London Luton Airport. The county is one of England’s smaller in terms of area, but more than makes up for it in terms of business HQs and visitor attractions. Among the most popular of these, and among the top attractions in the UK, is ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, founded in 1931, and now covering around 600 acres.
Along similar lines Woburn Safari Park opened more recently (in 1970) and is just over half the size. Fans of old flying machines or cars will enjoy a visit to the Shuttleworth Collection at Old Warden, a tiny village near Biggleswade. Among the oldest examples in the collection are a pioneering French Blériot XI from 1910, and a number of early French and German automobiles from the very late 19th century.
Bedford itself is located on either side of the River Ouse, and has a large Italian population, descended from those who came to work at a local brick factory in the 1950s.
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