Restaurant Mýse

The Story Behind Restaurant Mýse

“It’s more than just fine dining, it’s an experience,” says Josh Overington as he chats to Nicole Wood about the opening of his latest foodie venture, Restaurant Mýse

Located in the quaint and historic village of Hovingham, just a stone’s throw away from York, lies a culinary gem that stands as a testament to passion, dedication, and an unwavering commitment to creating a unique dining experience. Restaurant Mýse, an elegant establishment blending fine dining with the warmth of a countryside retreat, is the brainchild of the husband and wife culinary duo, Josh and Victoria Overington.

 Restaurant Mýse

The Journey

Josh, a seasoned chef and restaurateur, embarked on a remarkable journey with his wife, Victoria, that saw them journey from the bustling city centre to the peace and quiet of the countryside.

His venture into the culinary world began with the acclaimed Le Cochon and Cave du Cochon in York, establishments that garnered accolades and national recognition. However, Josh’s quest for a new challenge and a desire for a country restaurant with rooms steered the couple’s decision to take on the brick and mortar of their forever restaurant.

Josh Overington owner of Restaurant Mýse

“I often get asked ‘why did you close two really successful restaurants?’ and I completely understand why people think it was quite an unusual decision, but the truth is, I got bored and we were ready for the next challenge,” Josh begins to explain.

“I’d been looking for another venture for about four years because I always wanted a country restaurant with rooms. For me, it’s about more than dining out, I feel like when people stay over they have a full experience; especially when you’re eating the type of food we offer and Restaurant Mýse, well it offers exactly that, ” he adds.

“I’m doing something very different to what I was doing before,” Josh acknowledges.

Restaurant Mýse decor

“The approach to our food and service is a lot softer. It’s really important to me that it’s an accessible restaurant where people can come, wear what they want, have a nice time and enjoy a lovely dining experience and most importantly, feel relaxed. It’s not a ‘snooty’ fine dining restaurant where we want people to be wearing a certain attire and be quiet and stiff. Yes, it’s luxurious, but it’s a relaxed venue where people can come and have a good time in a beautiful building,” he adds.

Restaurant Mýse

The Transformation

The journey towards establishing Restaurant Mýse was not devoid of challenges. The property, steeped in history within the ancient confines of Hovingham, required meticulous restoration and months of tireless effort.

Restaurant Mýse bedroom

“The bedrooms, for example, were just floorboards, there was nothing else there. It took a lot of work and long hours to get to where we are now. It was a nine-month big project,” Josh recounts, highlighting the sheer dedication poured into creating their dream venue.

The restoration of Restaurant Mýse was a labour of love, with Victoria at the helm of the interior design. With a small team of local builders, she meticulously brought the space to life, infusing it with a warmth, using a neutral colour palette for a quietly sophisticated finish.

Restaurant Mýse bedroom

“There are three en-suite bedrooms and we’ve put a lot of effort into making the rooms as cosy, comfortable and relaxing as possible. Victoria gets all of the credit for the interiors, she’s done an incredible job. The decor is very warm and neutral and we’ve purposefully not put TVs or electronics in there. We want people to fully immerse themselves in the experience. Each room has a different view of the open countryside which is beautiful and we spent a lot of time and effort making sure we got high quality and comfortable beds,” explains Josh.

The Food at Restaurant Mýse

When it comes to the food Josh’s culinary philosophy, an elevation of classic English flavours through innovative techniques and local produce, resonates throughout the menu.

Restaurant Mýse food

“The food is essentially grandma-elevated cooking,” he laughs, describing the menu’s fusion of classic English cuisine with a modern twist. The restaurant’s commitment to sustainability shines, through its utilisation of local, seasonal produce, and how it’s breathing life into forgotten ingredients and techniques. From colostrum-infused custard tarts to decadent medlar pudding, each dish celebrates the richness of locally sourced ingredients, creating a dining experience that is both refined and rooted in the region’s heritage.

Restaurant Mýse

“Unique ingredients and forgotten techniques is what sets us apart from other fine dining establishments. For example, colostrum. It’s the first milk produced after a cow gives birth and there’s always excess left over. The calf never drinks all the colostrum, so I had a chat with my local dairy farmer who explained they just chuck it down the drain, so it’s no use to them. So, what we do is take this excess waste product which isn’t being used for the calves and make it into the most amazing custard tart you’ve ever tasted.

Restaurant Mýse

“I’m very passionate about using local and UK-based produce. A lot of the game, for instance, is very local. We’ve got some venison on right now which was shot locally. Then we use products from further afield like scallops from Portney in Scotland and sausages from Cornwall. Our rule? If it’s local and of exceptional quality, we’ll use it. If we have to go further afield, we will, but we’ll never get tomatoes from Spain, for instance. We stick to UK produce,” Josh explains.

The Restaurant Mýse Experience

The dining experience at Restaurant Mýse transcends a mere tasting menu; it is an immersive journey that unfolds across the restaurant’s charming spaces. Guests start with pre-drinks at the bar, relishing in a selection of snacks, before being ushered into the dining room for a sequence of meticulously crafted courses. The journey concludes with delightful petits fours, allowing guests to explore the nooks and crannies of the picturesque establishment.

Restaurant Mýse

“It’s really important to me and my team that when you are here, you get to fully embrace it. We’re creating something different, not recreating something that you can have at another restaurant down the road,” says Josh.

“And if people don’t want to have the tasting menu, they can come and have the bar menu or simply have a drink. The way we treat it is like an open house. People come in, if they want just one glass of wine after a long countryside walk, then they can absolutely do that and if people want the full experience then they can do that as well. Mýse is an experience for everyone,” he adds.

Restaurant Mýse

The Wine Offering at Restaurant Mýse

Restaurant Mýse’s commitment to excellence extends beyond the realm of comfort and outstanding food. Keeling Andrew, renowned for curating the finest wine lists, exclusively crafts their wine selection, adding another ‘must-visit’ reason to the list of why booking a table at this foodie paradise should be at the top of your agenda for 2024.

“When it comes to wine, we pride ourselves on offering the best. Keeling Andrew, a part of the Noble Rot Group in London, renowned for creating the best wine lists in the world, creates our wine lists, so we exclusively buy from them.

“We have two wine flights. There’s the normal wine flight together with the menu and then we have a prestige wine flight for people who really want to splash out and indulge in once in a lifetime wines. We also have a non-alcoholic pairing as well, which my front of house team makes. So there are all sorts of non-alcoholic pairs to go with each dish, which being in the middle of nowhere is important, so people who are driving don’t miss out,” he says.

Breakfast at Restaurant Mýse

“We offer breakfast the next morning, but it’s a little different to the usual breakfast offering you might expect. It was really important to me that my chefs and team have a good work-life balance so I didn’t want to organise a full English breakfast. And also, once you have a 16 course tasting menu, the last thing that you really want to eat is a large breakfast the next morning.

Restaurant Mýse

“So what we do is fill your table with little bits of local cheeses, hams, cooked eggs, different types of paté, smoked salmon, yoghurts and home-made granolas. Imagine a Yorkshire tapas style breakfast where you can eat as much or as little as you like. We also do these beautiful homemade shortbreads filled with jam which are definitely a highlight,” explains Josh as we discuss the beauty of slow starts to the morning, sipping on coffee and grazing on small bites after an indulgent evening.

How It All Started

“It’s been a funny old journey to be honest. I come from a family of foodies. I was fortunate enough to eat out a lot when I was growing up and food has always been a huge part of my life. My family were always curious about food, different cuisines and trying new things so that had a massive impact on me growing up.

Restaurant Mýse

“Although, I was the type of kid who never actually knew what I wanted to do. I did a lot of travelling and ended up becoming a pot washer in Sydney, then I moved onto the cooking and really enjoyed it and it just naturally went on from there really. It was never this huge ambition to become a chef and own a restaurant but now I wouldn’t have it any other way,” smiles Josh.

Why Choose Restaurant Mýse?

At Restaurant Mýse, every detail, from the innovative foodie offerings to the welcoming atmosphere and the luxurious accommodation, coalesces to deliver an experience that lingers long after the meal ends. As Josh eloquently puts it, “It’s a singular experience where you can only come to Mýse and have it.”