In truth, it’s an architectural misnomer: Tudor in style and Parisian in derivation, it was originally built for an exhibition titled Rue des Nations (Streets of Nations) in 1878, where it served as a beacon of English design. After the Duke of Bedford laid eyes on it, however, it was swiftly dismantled, the parts shipped over the Channel and rebuilt on his Woburn estate – where it stands today.
Its history as a restaurant is equally rich. Once the home of Peter Chandler, the Roux family’s first British apprentice, the restaurant continued its tradition of fine cuisine by installing Phil Fanning as Head Chef in 2010 - who quickly won back the Michelin star Chandler had originally earned almost twenty years prior.
Phil Fanning bought the property in 2014 and has since rung the necessary changes to bring Paris House up to date, without disrespecting its fine history.
So service is friendly and welcoming rather than stuffy and pretentious, and the kitchen now draws on Bedfordshire’s artisan suppliers – with whimsical names like Willy Thrale (Honey) and Mrs Middleton’s Oils (Rapeseed oil) – to bring a localism to Phil Fanning’s diverse cuisine.
Expect the reimagining of age-old dishes like Lancashire hotpot (braised lamb neck with gels of the cabbage and cockle variety) and Ham, egg and chips (potato foam, poached ham hock, pineapple crisps). Fanning deals primarily in tasting menus, which can be enjoyed in a private dining room or even in the kitchen itself - on the Chef's Table.