Nothing could be more true for Next Door which has become a hidden gem of a find. James and I met up with our good friends Katy and Max, and we were certainly in for a treat on a school night. The 17th century timber frame building is nestled between two buildings on Frodsham High Street, which reminded me somewhat of Stuart Little’s house. As soon as you walk in you feel like you are being welcomed by a family, the waitors are very attentive and know the menu and drinks back to front with their eyes closed. What was lovely too was that the head chef (and joint owner) came and walked amongst the diners to say good evening; it’s so nice to put a face to the creative mastermind behind what you have eaten.
“In the intimate setting of Frodsham’s old butcher’s shop, Next Door is the product of a marriage between a chef & sommelier”
The walls are painted in a warm stone grey colour displaying low hung modern photographs mixed with pretty, blue vintage plates. The tables are dressed with glass and stone wear which sets off a clean, scandi-chic meets cosy timber-frame cottage vibe, if such a thing exists. Just like the size of the restaurant, the menu is equally as eclectic, but as you know, I am very much a fan of smaller menus, and this restaurant just further proved my theory. The menu changes regularly in line with the seasons’ local produce as well as keeping the locals coming back for more.
The restaurant was celebrating its first year anniversary of being open for business so Katy and I embraced this by indulging in their made up cocktail especially for the evening, ‘Open Doors’ – Prosecco with rhubarb and pink peppercorns, which was even better as it was buy one get one free!
From the attention to detail to the almost too pretty to eat presentation, every course was a triumph and had been so carefully thought through – you could taste every individual element of the dish. There were lots of different ingredients used to make up innovative flavour combinations that really worked, you will want to all try each others’ dishes! I know this may sound strange too, but it all just tasted so fresh, you could really tell the leaves had just been picked ready for your plate.
Between the four of us, I think we pretty much covered the whole menu. I had smoked cod loin and apple to start followed by lamb cooked two ways – my mouth is watering thinking about that lamb confit again. For pudding I had a white chocolate brownie with cream, pistachios and fennel seeds which was served warm and was deliciously gooey. The portion sizes are just enough so that you can comfortably eat three courses and that is definitely worth doing. Inspired by my visit to the restaurant, I have made white chocolate and rhubarb brownies, tune into the blog soon for the recipe!
Please keep your door open for us Next Door, we will be returning soon.