I had the ultimate pleasure of combining my two favourite interests: photographing and eating amazing food.
Last month, I was invited by the manager at Maison Fleur, to photograph their seasonal menu whilst the hospitality businesses are coming out lockdown across Britain.
Maison Fleur is a fairly new restaurant, opening it’s doors March last year prior to the first UK lockdown.
With only a few months of operating in between restrictions, it was a great experience to be able to positively contribute to such a well-constructed restaurant in all its aspects.
A little bit of background behind Maison Fleur:
It’s one of three restaurants owned by a French food/hospitality-enthusiast Kenny Valentin. Kenny brings his knowledge and experience from serving in a Parisian Michelin star restaurant.
He began his journey in the UK by purchasing a 10 year old vintage horse box and transformed it into a mobile cocktail bar – hats off for creativity!
A few years after Kenny’s humble beginnings and learning more about the excellent dining experience, Maison Fleur opened.
Maison Fleur quite literally meaning Flower House, definitely lives up to its name. When first walking up to the premises, you are already aware of what’s to come. There are floral arrangements draping, the somewhat ordinary building.
As you walk in, you are greeted by the beautiful and vast branches of flowers encapsulating the restaurant’s namekeep.
The downstairs is spacious, with dim ambient lighting and a large cocktail bar – it’s incredible watching the experienced bartenders work their magic!
I was headed upstairs, where the space is light, fresh and perfect for some casual nibbles with a drink.
As I was waiting to get started, I noticed how very consistent and well- thought out the restaurant is on all levels.
It immerses the guest in the floral experience not only visually, but with hints of pleasantly welcome scents. It’s details like this, that are often overlooked in places. But contribute exponentially to the over all experience of the restaurant.
Kenny Valentine’s cocktail background is omnisciently present within the restaurant with a wide range of cocktail available on the menu. All sounded delicious, fresh and high end. But what I loved the most, was the choice they were able to offer to people with varied preferences.
My table and I, had chosen the mocktails, as we were not feeling like drinking alcohol – amazing that this gives non-drinkers an exciting option rather than your usual coke or juice.
The mocktails looked stunning and provided a sense of theatricality to our Sunday evening with the Candyfloss drink.
I opted for the Passionfruit Martini which was sweet but utterly delicious, and was remnant of my favourite ice cream – Solero.
We also had the Rosita which was a delicious blend of rose, mint, citrus and watermelon foam but as someone who doesn’t normally like the rose taste, I loved this drink. During a second round, we also opted to try the non alcoholic mojito.
Now, for the food…
The whole concept behind Maison Fleur is that it focuses on bringing people together through tapas-style dishes. This is designed and sophistically prepared by Head chef Che Pereira, who has Asian and Portuguese heritage and brings his experience in international cuisine to the table.
What I would like to highlight is that this is the first time since I’ve eaten out as a vegetarian and I loved how accomodating Maison Fleur was to our dietry requirements.
We ordered from the vegan menu, and had a selection of small plates.
Visually? Incredible. So aesthetically pleasing that it makes it an absolute pleasure to photograph.
Taste? You guessed it, incredible.
But what’s more interesting is that Maison Fleur is consistent in engaging all senses within this pleasurable experience.
The flavours are complex with a sense of familiarity. It’s food I would have at home, but twisted and turned upside down to create an explosion of new flavours.
It’s not just the flavour that is impressive at Maison Fleur. The dishes have many different components which compliment each other not only on a flavour profile but also the texture. Each part of almost-sculptural creations, gives the palette a different experience, whether it’s the freshness of herbs or the soft sweetness of the sweet potato puree.
And you’ll never get bored of eating the same thing every time… as the menu changes on a quarterly basis – keeping the guests intrigued on what’s to come next. What is great is that the produce is locally sourced too.
Overall experience was amazing and I’d highly recommend trying Maison Fleur in Stockton Heath, and Kenny’s other restaurant Artisan Green, in Frodsham.
If you’d like to have a look at their stunning menu please visit their website HERE.
It was an absolute pleasure photographing a restaurant for which I have a passion for.
Still currently taking new clients for 2021, first shoot is always complimentary.