This converted Flemish weavers' cottage in a quaint Kentish village is run by husband and wife team Graham and Jackie Garrett. He, the Richard Corrigan-trained chef, cooks while she takes care of the intimate wood-beamed 32 seat dining room. After its first year, the restaurant gained a Michelin star and has since retained it. The West House is that rare thing, a great local restaurant, a favourite secret food destination for many people, and the subject of many a pilgrimage.
Where is The West House Restaurant located?
In the village of Biddenden in the Weald of Kent. The High Weald is a natural and historical area of exceptional beauty which provides many more reasons to visit the area. The surrounding towns of Cranbrook and Sissinghurst, in particular the popular National Trust Castle of St. Sisinghurst and its gardens, include points of interest for a walk. For its natural beauty, its famous gardens, its historical landmarks and its food, much of Kent is worth a visit.
What cuisine is on offer at The West House Restaurant?
For the most part, the regularly changing menu relies on classic combinations of locally sourced ingredients given an imaginative twist. Rye bay scallops with cauliflower cream and curry emulsion or Kentish lamb chump, pea and mint mousse with sea purslane illustrate the approach. But be prepared for more left of field ideas such as roast pigeon, maple syrup chicory, foie gras and coffee essence. The predominately French wine list is thoughtfully chosen and reasonably priced.
What makes a meal at The West House Restaurant unique?
Moving to the "Garden of England" in Kent, the intention was to be seasonal and local with ingredients long before those were fashionable buzzwords in cooking. Both have the aim to maximise the taste, finding the finest products at their peak. Some desirable ingredients are not locally found in a contemporary kitchen; however, a wonderful olive oil from Italy has a place alongside the amazing larder provided by the fields, farms and shoreline of Kent. The driving strength is the deepness and pure flavour. This remains the key intention for their food.