The Ethicurean has a tranquil bliss which feels many multiples away from the eleven miles it stands from Bristol. Perched up on the hills between Wrington and Redhill it bends towards the long, walled gardens creeping down from the road, along the edge of the ex-orangery it protects. From the car park at the bottom of slope you are presented with a shed of produce from inside the walls; kales and beetroots and flat varieties of squashes that should be treated like courgette. The last chillies of the summer, along with peppers dulled a little by the cold, drizzly days, each to be paid for by an honesty box. From there it is the walk back up the path through the gardens, past the orchards and the poly tunnels, the lines of brassicas, under the archway and up to the restaurant, which looks back out across the garden and over towards The Mendips. The restaurant is gorgeous; bleached walls decorated with dried flowers and gardening tools. It very much exists within its own terroir. It is a celebration of the seasons. Of the South West, and of Somerset.

Knowing that the kitchen works with what’s in the garden and nearby, we have fun trying to second guess what will be served over the ninety minutes we are there, though this matters little given that almost all of it is fantastic. Sourdough and a focaccia both utilise grains from nearby are excellent, with a yeasted butter that I find hard to love and thankfully don’t need much of with the olive-oil-rich focaccia. We hold some of the bread back for a starter that will absolutely make my Best Of list at the end of the year. Broccoli, some charred, some raw, in a basin of goats’ milk butter emulsion cut with lovage oil. There is the tenebrous quality of black garlic to give it shade and fried nettles for a slightly bitter, grassy note. It has total understanding of how ingredients combine, a little like my early visits to L’Enclume when Simon Rogan manned the stoves. The harmony of it all is pretty astonishing, more so when I’m told it’s new on that week.

Arctic Char is beautifully timed over the barbecue so that the orange spots on the anthracite skin blister and pop. Its garnish of Jerusalem artichoke in various ways is expertly done but the least cohesive of all the pairings given that the two are fighting for attention. Sure, the fennel goes some way to bridging that, but it never quite hits the levels the other courses do, which is solidly around the one-star level. Duck for main, as a properly and surprisingly gamey breast, and a leg croquette that is more approachable. The breast is gently cooked to medium and is as tender as any duck breast I can remember eating. Carrots in some ways, beetroot in others, each treated with total respect and seasoned accordingly to how it should be eaten. The sauce is a glorious thing that I beg for more of. It’s all very impressive.

Dessert might just be as good as that broccoli course. A brittle and caramelised puff pastry is the base for a tower of softly roasted apples, sweet and full of life. It comes with a blackberry leaf ice cream which is light and has a gentle milky note reminiscent of coconut, and a toffee sauce of types spiked with something clever that I can’t remember. It is tarte tatin reimagined and definitely not deconstructed because I hate anything deconstructed and I bloody love this. I wash it down with the last of the excellent natural wine pairings, consider another cocktail and instead decide to settle for coffee with the petit fours. £75 for the tasting menu here is money well spent. The Ethicurean feels special, a little spot detached from the craziness of life outside. There is no pretence here, just good times and great food in the most serene of settings.