The first time we went to Lumière way back in 2010 (really?), I really didn’t know quite what to expect, having at that point not been introduced to the whole fine dining experience (now wholly rectified).
On our first visit to the restaurant we choose from the menu, 3 courses with canapés, amuse-bouche and sorbet finished with coffee and petit fours.
As this was the first of quite a few visits to Lumière I can’t remember what the canapés or amuse-bouche were, so we will start with the starter which was and has been ever since scallops. Now I’ve liked scallops ever since hand picking and cooking them on a diving holiday to the Isle of Skye. Jon’s recipe takes scallops to a new level paired with crisp Butts Farm pork belly with carrot, orange & anise Puree and cumin caramel, the dish is so ingrained in me that just seeing a picture of it brings the flavours to my mouth.
Next came the sorbet, now if you’ve not had this then you’re in for a treat, if you have had it then you’ve already had a treat. this is Jon’s take on a classic tequila shot, remember salt, tequila, lime well this is a refined grown up version. the salts is a crystallised sheet of salt, followed by a tequila sorbet finished with a lime sphere. The lime sphere is an experience in itself, you have to pop the sphere in complete and then burst it, to find out why you’ll just have to go and find out…
Following on from the sorbet on this first visit I opted for the rose veal with tempura frogs legs, both of which were a first for me. Before you start on the anti veal for animal cruelty reasons, rose veal is different being ethically sound as the calves are fed properly and allowed space to move, if we didn’t eat them they would just be culled at birth and that’s just wasteful. So moving on frogs legs and veal, the veal was sublime so tender and the frogs legs were well frogs legs in tempura batter, this is more of the case that I found them nice to eat rather than the idea that frogs legs would be rubbery and not nice at all.
We’ll skip desert and move on to coffee and petit fours as this is another standout taste that I can still recall. There were (and have been eachtime since) five different petit fours my favourite being blackcurrent and pink peppercorn, the others included mint choclate areo and vanilla fudge.
Somehow I’ve managed to get all the way through dinner without mentioning wines, to rectify we started with a nice glass of Pol Roger Champagne and Muddy Water, it’s a red wine honest and a very nice one at that too.
So that was our first experience of Lumière and we just loved it and keep going back, Helen’s hospitality and Jon’s kitchen creations are perfect. Every time we have been back since we have only had the tasting menu, it just saves choosing and sometimes Jon tries things out on us if we’re very lucky.
Each time we have been there has always been scallops and the ‘tequila slammer’ other than that there have been a number of stand out dishes, Jon can even make fish good enough to eat and I don’t like fish, to the point that the only dish I didn’t like at the Fat Duck recently was the liquorice poached salmon. The canapes also stand out for creativity we’re had popcorn chicken, pork scratchings, scones and squid crackers to mention some of my favourites.
So that’s Lumière owned and run by Jon (chef) and Helen (front of house) Howe, there’s nothing more to say other than if you haven’t been you should go. I’m not the only one who thinks so either they recently were number four on Trip Advisors travellers’ favourite fine dining restaurants — United Kingdom, number 57 in the 2013 Sunday Times top UK restaurants, not to mention Cotswold Life restaurant of the year. We are sure that there is more to come and that a star is only a matter of time.