An Amersham restaurant which has won plaudits from across the foodie world has achieved even more critical acclaim.
Artichoke, on Market Square, Old Amersham, was recently voted the 30th best restaurant in the UK in the Good Food Guide (GFG) 2017, achieving a score of seven out of 10 for its food.
Opened in 2002 by husband and wife team Laurie and Jacqueline Gear, the restaurant has continually received praise, and last year was ranked 23rd in the same guide and the year before 28th.
Among its many honours it was awarded a Rising Star in the 2011 Michelin Guide Now and has also been listed in The Sunday Times Top 100 UK Restaurants 2013 and 2014.
Mr Gear, who has worked with celebrated chef Rene Redzepi at Copenhagen’s world famous Noma, called the latest GFG ranking a ‘great achievement’ but said he could not do it without his team.
He said: “Our entire team are delighted with it, and it’s a reflection of the hard work and dedication to what we do.
“To be in the top 50 is wonderful - to be 30th, we’re really chuffed.”
Speaking about the GFG he said: “It’s what myself and my wife used when we were youngsters, when we started to save up our pennies and go out and eat - we used to buy a copy every year.”
Calling it a ‘valuable marketing tool’ and great publicity, Mr Gear said the guide plays an essential role ‘in staff morale and retention’.
Since opening, the restaurant has gone from strength to strength but Mr Gear said he won’t be resting on his laurels.
New ones are springing up all the time which he said keeps the restaurant on its toes, adding that maintaining a high score and ranking is key.
The restaurant has grown from a small team of four to five people nearly 15 years ago to a staff of around 22.
His initial aim was to own one of the best neighbourhood restaurants in the area, and Mr Gear said he is ‘humbled’ to be in the same guide as some of the best in the UK.
He added: “It’s great for our business and our ego but I think I’m just happy in my restaurant.”