Another fittingly luxurious part of the 10 in 8 group, set in a beautiful old house in expansive green grounds, is Paris House. Built in timbered mock-Renaissance style in Paris itself and then shipped to the UK (bit by bit), it was reconstructed in Woburn Park and enjoyed a vividly colourful history before becoming a restaurant in the early 80s. Rather less run-of-the-mill than most, we think.
Having bagged a Michelin star since being taken over by 10 in 8, it’s become known for a distinctive blend of old and new – in keeping with the building’s theme of carefully reconstructed retro, the food on offer here revisits old British classics and gives them an innovative gourmet twist.
Although the restaurant states its intention to make ‘retro classic’ food there’s plenty of modernity on offer here, with the dishes reflecting current trends and tastes as well as following the seasons in order to get the best available produce. So, unlike other establishments which consider themselves fun and quirky because they once put egg and chips on the menu, you’ll find real classics here – bouillabaisse, paella, shepherd’s pie, peach melba – given new leases of life through innovative additions to the dishes, and impressively presented.
There’s a menu du jour available which takes key ingredients and adds plenty of surprises: rabbit comes in a cannelloni, with pickled mushrooms and the animal’s pan-fried kidneys, while sole could come wrapped in squid and ink pasta with brown shrimp and herb ‘bubbles’. The shepherd’s pie is served with sweetbreads, a current ‘ingredient du jour’, and made from braised neck of hoggit. And foie gras - pan fried and served with sweet wine jelly - comes with curried brioche, while paella takes the form of prawn-stuffed rabbit and braised rice. Vegetarian and ‘chef’s table’ options are also available – the latter putting you in the kitchen, in the thick of the action.
Phil Fanning has had a meteoric rise. A finalist in the BBC Junior Masterchef 1997 competition, Fanning went on to work at Danesfield House, The Compleat Angler and The Vanilla Pod.
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Awards & accolades
The Michelin Guide
One Michelin star