Joel’s Restaurant, Chipping Campden England

In Dining by Susan Watkins

At twilight, we sauntered down the grassy lane toward the town of Chipping Camden.  Our host had given us the run-down on places to eat, and having skipped lunch, we were on a mission to find a special meal on our first night in Chipping Campden.  There were a surprising number of gourmet options in this little village, and we chose Joel’s because of the delicious aromas wafting out to the street from its kitchen.  An intimate establishment located in a vintage brick house in the town centre; Joel’s cuisine is decidedly French/Continental.

The restaurant is famous for its mouth-watering steaks, so after appetizers of Escargot baked in Garlic Butter and a Garden Fresh Tomato and Artichoke Salad, we ordered Fillet Steak au Poivre, a traditional Peppered Fillet steak with a Creamed Brandy Sauce, as well as Fillet of Pork Normande, served with an Apple, Calvados, Mushroom & Cream Sauce.

With every item we ordered, our waiter responded with the quintessential British affirmation, “Oh yes, lovely!”  Indeed, the food was just “lovely” and this place definitely lives up to its reputation!  Just when we thought we couldn’t hold one more bite, along came the dessert tray and we succumbed to not one, but two desserts – a Chocolate Mousse Fresh Strawberries and Cream, and a Crème Brulee with Strawberry Ice Cream.  A walk back through town was in order after such a sumptuous meal, and we passed by houses with thatched roofs and wisteria-covered walls and old shops, churches and homes all built in the signature golden Cotswold stone.