AWARD winning Juniper is an eccentric hideaway at the Cotswold88 Hotel in Painswick.
Outside it is a traditional Cotswold mansion, but inside it is a kaleidoscope of funky patterns, bold splashes of colour and snakeskin tables.
This contrast of old and new is mirrored in the restaurant’s food – modern culinary techniques and flavour combinations are used to turn classic dishes into quirky delights. Every course is a talking point, from the creativity on the plate to the intriguing combination of flavours.
At the helm of Juniper is talented head chef Curtis Stewart, who at the age of 27 has worked in some impressive kitchens, including Whatley Manor in Malmesbury and Coworth Park, part of the Dorchester Collection.
He said: “I use not so familiar flavour combinations and enhance the diners experience with modern techniques.
“I am also a believer of using the great ingredients we have here in the Cotswolds.”
I had taken along my friend Ben to work our way through the tasting menu and we started with cocktails in the bar with some canapés. We were taken through to the dining room and had our bouches amused with chicken liver parfait and cherry in the shape of ice cream cones.
We then tucked into an elegant starter of veal sweetbread with a well-judged mix of hazelnut, lemon and charred leeks.
A scallop dish followed served with ceviche, salt cod and a harmonious combination of bitter chocolate.
The duck and orange salad was a delicate delight as was the mackerel fish course served with black bulgar wheat, pimento and subtle flavours of fennel.
A taste of the main course followed - a masterclass in mouth-watering tender venison meat teamed with smoked hay essence, malt and braised red cabbage. And when we thought our stomachs couldn’t handle another mouthful, we found room for two desserts - a beautiful chocolate tiramisu and a refreshing carrot and ginger soufflé.
A supremely talented kitchen, an exciting menu and a unique dining experience.
Juniper Bar and Restaurant
Cotswolds 88 Hotel, Kemps Lane, Painswick