Earlier this week I wrote about the spa and hotel at Ockenden Manor – and promised I’d be back to tell you all about their delicious food…
The restaurant is headed up by Michelin-starred chef, Stephen Crane. If you opt-in for a Treatwell Deal, you’ll get the three course a la carte menu as part of your package. If this doesn’t take your fancy, then you can opt for one of their tasting menus. For their tasting menus, their head sommelier has also recommended which wines perfectly accompany your tasting plates, too – so everything, in true Ockenden style, is taken care of.
To get it out of the way – one small gripe we did have was the waiting between courses (argh, hate myself for even writing such a ‘first world problem’ sentence!) – we sat down to eat at 21:00, and got our main course at 22:15. This wouldn’t be a problem, however, it did feel as though this was due to their being more regular patrons there who were treated favourably, which is understandable… I guess? We also found we were waiting quite a while at breakfast, too, which was a bit of a shame but of course not the end of the world.
Anyway, overall the experience was still amazing, so let’s get on to the good stuff – THE FOOD. The dining experience at Ockenden never disappoints. Kicking off with a drink and canapés in the bar…
We opted for two Sussex Royales – which were so good, that neither of us can recall what was in them! Definitely recommend 😉 and of course the complimentary canapés – fish with tartare sauce, proscuitto ham and apple on a slice of toasted bread. The perfect way to kick-start your evening. Whilst here, you can order your food and wine while you wait to be ushered in to the dining room…
First up is the complimentary salmon appetiser on a delicious potato bed 🙂
Then, to start, I opted to start with Tomato and Goats Cheese – Heritage Tomatoes, Whipped Goats Cheese, Black Olives, Basil – never have I tasted anything as divine as that whipped goats cheese!
While my bestie opted for Trenchmore Farm Beef – Faggot, Tongue, Croquette, Quail Egg, Horseradish, Crispy Shallots – I have it on good authority (and a clean plate!) that this was also, the bomb.
Then for main, for us, there’s simply nothing better than the duck. Amazingly cooked, the duck breast is super tender and comes with Homemade Stuffing, Celeriac, Broccoli, Apples and Peppercorn Jus – it is so delicious. You’ll be so full, but try if you can to spare some room because desert is, again, out of this world…
I opted for the Apple Millefeuille which is not something I’d normally go before, however I was drawn in by both the White Chocolate Cream and the Salted Caramel – made with Cox Apples and puff pastry, this was such a lovely dessert. Meanwhile, the bestie opted for the Warm Damson Bakewell which comes accompanied by Crème Fraîche Ice Cream – so so delicious.
We were so full prior to dessert that we asked if we could have it back in the room [I mean, is it even really a girly weekend away / sleepover unless you get chocolate delivered to your room!?] – obliging as ever, the staff at Ockenden quickly whisked everything up and brought it to our room. I also ordered a tea (oh please, I’m old now, I need a tea before bed, OK?) and alongside that came the most delicious petite fours too!
On the morning of your departure you’ll be greeted in the dining hall again where you can enjoy an abundance of pastries, or order a cooked breakfasts – from The Manor Grill to Smoked Salmon and Scrambled Eggs – they’ve got the perfect comfort food to console you as you make your way home!
Have you eaten at Ockenden before? What’s your favourite go to for fine dining?