Although I'd enjoyed a very fine meal at Fischer's Baslow Hall but a few months ago in March, I was slightly concerned when I booked in for a return visit on a mid-October Saturday. The Good Food Guide felt it necessary to downgrade the restaurant from a seven to a six in the 2017 release, including some fairly damning commentary regarding "undercooked chickpeas" and "over-conceptualised desserts". Having promised my mum her first trip to a Michelin starred restaurant as a birthday treat, it was a worry my favourite tyre munching inspectors might have followed suit.
Fortunately, they did not, and Fischer's successfully retained its star for yet another year; no mean feat at a time when several long standing guide members had been stripped of theirs. We were greeted warmly on arrival and shown to a seat in the lounge area; as you might expect, the decor is not modern but it's still a perfectly pleasant place to peruse some menus. My mum is both vegetarian and gluten-free, but with advance notice this didn't seem to have presented any issue to the restaurant and the vegetarian menu was adjusted where required to accommodate this. We enjoyed some decent nibbles and an aperitif to start before being shown through to the dining room.
I would say most of our fellow guests opted for the three course value lunch menu, but for us (of course) the Taste of Britain tasting menu was the selection of choice. After some enjoyable bread (including a gluten-free option), lunch began with a pleasant enough sweetcorn soup. Although not bursting with flavour, it was considerably better than the borlotti bean cappuccino I'd been subjected to a few months earlier, so I really can't complain. After some enjoyable goose liver pate, a refined and accomplished (if a little over-citrusy) John Dory dish followed, before a very tasty plate of scallops and black pudding.
Last of the savoury dishes was the venison and chocolate sauce. I'd enjoyed this hugely on my previous visit however the dish this time had been refined somewhat. Whilst it was still a first class dish, it didn't quite have that absolute knockout combination of flavour and texture I'd experienced last time which was a shame. Nonetheless, it was still a thoroughly enjoyable plate of food. Before dessert came a delightful yoghurt mousse crossover with a supremely done blackcurrant leaf granita; delicious.
Last up was the famed chocolate tree; again a highlight of my previous visit. Where previously the tree lay flat, it this time rose from the plate like a majestic work of art and presentation wise, it was a beautiful looking dessert. Flavour wise it was delicious; perhaps not quite as delicious as the previous incarnation but I'm probably being slightly harsh there, both versions tasted great.
Some enjoyable petit fours (complete with a textbook happy birthday plate for my mum) completed what was a very enjoyable meal. Service throughout was very smooth and far less clunky than my previous visit and despite being the last people in the restaurant some three hours after our lunch began, there was never any rush to move on.
Overall, this may not be an ultra modern fine dining experience with the bell and whistles associated with today's most in demand restaurants, but nonetheless, it's still a splendidly enjoyable place to eat with great tasting, refined food and excellent service.
|Ratings||Michelin Guide||AA Guide||Good Food Guide|
|At time of review||6|