Husband and wife team Laurie and Jacqueline Gear, opened the restaurant in 2002, with a mission to deliver the highest level of food and service consistently. The kitchen team is led by Laurie, who is largely self-taught and has spent time in many prestigious restaurants, while Jacqueline oversees the front of house, bringing a warm welcome to local customers and newcomers alike.
The restaurant was quick to achieve acclaim and has continued to do so – awarded Two Rosettes by the AA, Two Couverts in the Michelin Guide, top score for cooking in the Hardens Restaurant Guide, UK Best Dish 2007 in Restaurant Magazine.
Devastatingly, the restaurant was forced to close for 18 months in June 2008 due to fire damage from a neighbouring premises. During this closure period, Laurie worked at the world-renowned Noma in Copenhagen, where he was deeply inspired by Rene Redzepi. Rene’s approach was as much about innovation as technique - something Laurie brought back to his newly refurbished restaurant when the Artichoke eventually reopened in November 2009.
In May 2011, we expanded into the adjoining building which ironically was the scene of the original fire, and now have beautiful new additional space featuring a state of the art open Kitchen with its own dining room and an upstairs Private Room with its own Wine Celler.
Interior design by Fiona Johnston Parke from the award winning Emily Todd Hunter combines the original features of the 16th century building with inspiration from Laurie’s time in Scandinavia to create a seamless, stylish and comfortable extension of the original building.
Since reopening, The Artichoke has been named ‘Best New Entry’ in The Good Food Guide 2011, and was awarded a ‘Rising Star’ in the 2011 Michelin Guide to Great Britain and Ireland as well as being named 35th in The Good Food Guide’s ‘Top 50 UK Restaurants 2013’ and 52nd in The Sunday Times ‘Top 100 UK Restaurants 2013’.
Laurie is also very proud to be guest chef to the Amersham Life Series Magazine and writes a monthly recipe feature.