Review of 'Next Door'

20231220_222143.jpg Every year I select a restaurant for our wedding anniversary. It is always something interesting and different from wherever we have been before. It also tends to be quite nice, if I say so myself. Since moving to Cheshire I have been on the look out for nice restaurants to visit and this year my search revealed “Next Door” located just south of the Mersey on the small “Main (High) Street” of Frodsham. You would be forgiven for walking past this small unassuming restaurant that takes over the ground floor of two adjacent properties complete with wonky woodwork. The restaurant boasts of being a blend of good food and good wine with chef patron Richard Nuttal and wife/sommelier Vicky.

Our anniversary is on December 20th which always makes finding a restaurant always a bit tricky coming so close to the holidays. For “Next Door” it just happened to fall on a Wednesday which, throughout December, featured a tasting menu of five courses and matching wines for £95 (£80 without wine). Good timing then.

Parking at the restaurant for the 7:00 pm meal start was easy with plenty of on-street spots available around the restaurant. We were welcomed into the small restaurant which feels more like a rather busy home. The low-ceilinged interior was tastefully decorated for the holidays and we were shown to an adjacent room with only three tables (one table had another couple at it while a larger table had a party of 8 for the evening). The meal started at the same time for everyone with drinks first poured along with an insightful introduction to the vintage by Vicky to our entire room then a short time later the course would arrive for us to try. Between courses we were given about 15-20 minutes to absorb what we had eaten (and finish our drinks).

My companion opted for the wines option but I, a non-drinker, confined myself to non-alcoholic drinks on the menu, specifically a rather nice “G, C and T” ginger-infused cocktail (£6.95) along with a large bottle of Blu water for the table.


Just after our arrival we were given some lovely, warm, bread rapeseed and poppy seed buns with two quenelles of butter: One with fermented tomato and the other with salt.

Heritage Carrot and Ancient Grains (Soup)

Our first course was “Heritage Carrot and Ancient Grains” soup. The soup was incredibly carrot-y, packed with flavour with a small amount of chewy “ancient grains” in the middle of the bowl. Very good indeed. My companion's accompanying drink was “Horst Sauer Scheurebe Spatlese” which was her favourite of the evening - She is quite picky and does not like a strong alcohol taste. In this case she said it was very, very drinkable.

Hispi Cabbage with Cured Back Pork, Onion, Sage

The “Hispi Cabbage with Cured back Pork, Onion and Sage” was interesting if slightly underwhelming in flavour. The cabbage was milk fermented and tasted for all the world like sauerkraut, wrapped around a filling where I failed to get any real flavour of pork, onion or sage, so overwhelmed were my tastebuds by the cabbage.

Roast Cod with Parsnip, Rosemary, Sprout Tops

Next up, the “Roast Cod with Parsnip, Rosemary, Sprout Tops” consisted of a small piece of tender cod perched on top of a small quantity of cabbage sprouts and enveloped with a creamy sauce crowded with a parsnip crisp. Very soft with a mild flavour that was very much in balance with all of the ingredients. The sprouts, detractors will be happy to hear, were perfectly cooked and also very mild.

Wild Venison with Preserved Padron Pepper, Mint + Leak

The main course was “Wild Venison with Preserved Padron Pepper, Mint and Leak” - A small piece of deliciously tender and perfectly cooked venison crowned with a few preserved Padron peppers (not spicy in any way) alongside a small piece of leak and a blob of beautiful creamy sauce. Again, no huge flavours but each ingredient was treated with huge respect, cooked perfectly with delicate sauces. The leak had a slight bit of charring adding a slight acidity and welcome texture to the dish. On the side was a small bowl of spiced, minced meat topped with some crisps which I have to say had a wonderful, full flavour compared to the venison. Delicious.

Winter Spiced Parfait

Vicky told us to expect the final course to be mince pie in all but name but I did not find it that harsh. “Winter Spiced Parfait with Raison, Cranberry and Ginger” was had a soft sponge topped with a round, crunch sugar tweel topped with a quenelle of “winter spice” parfait. Quite tasty with a nice mixture of texture though by the time we received our portions they were very melty, melty.

At more than £200 for the two of us including a 15% tip (which we added ourselves when given the credit card machine) it was quite an expensive meal but each course was prepared with great attention to the ingredients and consideration to the flavours though none of the flavours were overwhelming (except, perhaps, the fermented cabbage). When you also consider that each course included a good sized glass of wine (at least for one of us) I think the price is not hugely unrealistic.

The staff were very welcoming and willing to talk about any aspect of the meal, and always with a smile on their faces. Very professional and pleasant at all times.

A wonderful, if slightly pricey, meal of top-quality ingredients and a sommelier that really knows her stuff. The flavours do not exactly smack you in the face but are delicate and well balanced. The portion sizes are small but here the focus is on flavour, not quantity so best enjoyed slowly, savouring each morsel.

Rating: “Really good but I have some issues”

Review Date: 2023-12-20

Cuisine: American/British

Address: 68 Main St, Frodsham, Cheshire WA6 7AU ENGLAND

Location: Cheshire (England) - Frodsham



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Telephone: +44 (0) 1928 371053