Farmer Butcher Chef is a new restaurant, located next to the Goodwood Hotel, just outside Chichester. Mr P and I were lucky enough to have a rare night away childfree last weekend, we ate, drank and were blown away by the taste sensations presented to us throughout the evening.
I have never been to Goodwood before. Friends have been to revival, others to the races, all of which look like good fun but have seemed out of reach to me with three kids in tow. It turns out that I was wrong. Goodwood have a playground next to the race track, kids are welcome at revival and love dressing up in their outfits and the festival of speed motor racing is a day out for all ages. There are junior golf camps in the Summer, a family race day and many more activities on offer. This is the first trip of many to Goodwood, next time we will go as a family.
The farmer Tim Hassell, butcher John Hearn and chef Darron Bunn all work very closely together to create the diverse, frequently changing menu that uses the award-winning produce from Goodwood’s farm (one mile down the road). They pride themselves in the fact that you will have travelled further than your food, not many places can say that.
The restaurant has a unique approach where the availability of the produce dictates the menu and dish design. The design which is smart, yet cosy and relaxed (not as easy as it sounds to achieve) is designed by Cindy Leveson of Leveson design. I loved sitting with a gin and tonic by the bar with a book before the meal in peace, while Mr P was having a snooze in the room.
The design is eclectic and really interesting to look at. I fell in love with the lights above our table, bulbs hanging down from different heights, the effect was stunning when we looked up.
We started our food extravaganza with some complimentary bar snacks that were out of this world. Think crispy ox tongue with rosemary ketchup, pork crunch and tarragon (divine) and smoked pheasant samosa. You will never look at bar snacks in the same way again.
We started the main event with warm sourdough bread (made at the on site bakery of course) with butter (made at Goodwood… you can see the theme here). Mr P ordered crispy oysters with cured ox heart, beetroot and tarragon and I ordered beer braised lamb belly with prunes, turnips and barley sauce. I couldn’t get a photo before he began eating and then there was no stopping him. He said that it was the best starter he has ever eaten. I tried a little (he wasn’t exactly offering it away) and it was insanely good. My lamb belly was also delicious and the perfect size for a starter.
Our mains were both beef, I chose beef short rib with onions and hedgehog mushrooms, and Mr P, red sussex rump of beef, ox tongue, salsify and shallots. We added sides of cabbage with bacon and onions, beef dripping triple cooked chips, and winter green with hazelnut butter.
We enjoyed the sides as much as we enjoyed the showpiece itself. I felt like I had entered a live episode of Masterchef, but with Michel Roux cooking the food himself. The sounds coming out of my mouth were much like Gregg Wallace’s, every single thing was delicious and I meant it.
The chef, Darron Bunn has had an incredible career to date, training under Marco Pierre White in London, working in a variety of kitchens, including a pub of his own in Hampshire, which was awarded a Michelin star within 18 months of opening. He then moved to Torbay where he achieved another Michelin star, the first and only hotel in Torbay to ever be awarded this. This restaurant and chef are without doubt going to be winning awards very soon with food at this standard.
The size of the stunnning Goodwood estate means that the animals have acres to roam freely whilst being bred. Goodwood has been farmed by the family for over three hundred years and is one of the largest lowland organic farms in the UK. The farm itself is 3400 acres and prides itself on raising its livestock with care and compassion, the crops grown on the estate are used to feed the livestock. Not many can claim to control every aspect of their produce and nothing is wasted, showing utmost respect for the livestock. This shines through in the restaurant menu and quality of food.
The present Duchess of Richmond was one of the Soil Association’s earliest members and ran her kitchen garden on organic principles. No pesticides or fertilisers are used at Goodwood, ensuring the wildlife and natural ecosystems are protected. The farm produces 21,000 litres of milk each week, used to make three cheeses and the beef is award-winning and is served in top London restaurants including The Ritz and Sky Garden.
Families can enjoy food together at Goodwood with a menu coming in two portion sizes, little farmer and young farmers depending on their appetites (I personally love this concept as my two-year old and 6-year-old would eat totally different amounts). Nostalgic classics, such as ham, egg and chips and lamb shepherd’s pie will surely make a fussy eater try new foods, better than anything they have eaten before.
My advice to you is to go, book now, before the secret is out, because once it is there may be a bit of a wait to get a table.
Thank you very much to Goodwood for our complimentary stay, all opinions and thoughts are very much our own.