“Le Champignon Sauvage in Cheltenham must be one of the most remarkable restaurants
in Britain. For 20 years, it has been run by the chef David Everitt-Matthias and
his wife, Helen, garnering a clutch of top awards - including two Michelin stars
- in the process. ...If you haven't heard of him, that's because he is not making
television programmes or signing book deals or advertising low-fat spreads in magazines.
He's in his kitchen cooking. Every single day. ...Really, these people are saints.
“I had been meaning to visit Le Champignon Sauvage for some time. I kind of kept
avoiding the issue. It has two Michelin stars. It has an 8 rating in the Good Food
Guide. It has four rosettes in the AA Guide. It has been there for 17 years. What
could I possibly say about it that hasn't been said before? And yet, and yet, it
is a good thing to give old-stagers the once-over every now and then, to see if they
are as good as they are cracked up to be. And it was my birthday, and I deserved
a treat. Well, I wanted a treat, at any rate.
And it was a treat. It began as we slithered from the icy street into the cosy warmth
of Helen Everitt-Matthias's smile. It continued as we sat down at our table at one
end of the small dining room, and ended only when we bounced out again, full and
happy, into the slush and ice at the end of dinner. “
“Le Champignon Sauvage features some of the most expansively imaginative cooking
in Britain. The sophisticated array of ingredients and flavours, beautifully resolved
in each dish, none of which are quite like anything else anywhere, would set anyone
right again. For us, choosing it as Decanter/Charles Heidsieck Restaurant of the
Year was as easy as picking up a fork.”
“From the unbelievably warm welcome meted out by joint proprietor Helen Everitt-Matthias
and the imaginative and assured cooking of her husband, David, what's on offer here
is the most individual and extraordinarily pleasurable experience. This restaurant
on its own provides reason enough to get in the car and make off to Cheltenham for
an indulgent weekend.”
“It is one of the curiosities of the British restaurant business that my top tip
- indeed, the place that first gave me the appetite for eating out for a living -
should be both obscure and yet one of the dozen best establishments in the country.”
“Home to classically faultless cooking with a constant ability to surprise and excite.
David's cooking shows superb clarity of flavours drawing on the finest ingredients
and enhanced by very subtle saucing; his particular gift is for accompaniments that
are highly original but always successful because he has thought deeply about the
“David and Helen Everitt-Matthias have developed a little gem of a place, which is
the gastronomic equivalent of perfect pitch.”
Bill Knott, BBC Good Food Magazine.
“One of the best in the country. It's the brilliant, refined take on cuisine de terroir
that makes David Everitt-Matthias's cooking such a draw.”
Caroline Stacey, The Independent.
“David Everitt-Matthias is the kind of two-Michelin-starred chef that the famous
Red Guide had in mind when it introduced its second and third stars 70 years ago.
He's a totally dedicated craftsman, always at the stove and working only with the
best raw materials he can find.”