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“A well deserved member of the Michelin Club !”

The Curlew Restaurant
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Ranked #1 of 4 Restaurants in Bodiam
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$33 - US$54
Cuisines: British
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Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine, Romantic, Special Occasion Dining, Business meetings, Child-friendly
Dining options: After-hours, Dinner, Breakfast, Lunch, Reservations
Description: In a previous life, The Curlew Restaurant at Bodiam, East Sussex was a Coaching Inn where travellers rested their weary, moustachioed heads and warmed their spirits while on rain-sodden route from Hastings to London. But now, Mark and Sara Colley have given The Curlew another life. Just an errant arrow flight from Hastings, stone skim from Bodiam Castle, mince from Brighton, manicured lawn from Tunbridge Wells, The Curlew is a place where formal food meets informal dining, where the city and country brush shoulders, style meets stile. Modern British dining for the Modern British diner. The Curlew has held a Michelin Star since 2011.
Reviewed 19 January 2011

As soon as the list came out yesterday, I noticed that lo and behold yet another Michelin Star in the Kent & Sussex area .... I could hardly wait this morning to book a table .... No problem ... Just went on the website and booked a table for 2 for lunch ... Got an immediate response and was all booked in for 1300 .... No problem finding the place ..... Apparently it used to be a pub and this is quite apparent from the outside .... Not ... I might hesitate on the inside .... The décor is modern and very welcoming .... There is a small lounge area as you enter with a real fire ... nice! .... The restaurant is actually rather large but the tables appeared to be spaced out correctly .... It had a right nice feel to it ...... After we were seated and our orders taken .... some warm fresh fruit bread was bought to the table on a wooden board with butter and chestnut honey ... It was absolutely gorgeous and we gobbled it all up very quickly -:)

Next came the Starters ... I had the Oak smoked haddock, slow cooked egg and Jerusalem artichoke .... This was perfection on a plate .... The egg was divine .... oozy and gooey and nicely balanced against the smoked haddock .... The artichoke crisps lifted the dish to another level ... Yummy ! ...... My companion opted for the Pork pie, pickled onions and real ale jelly .... The pie was a decent size ... More than generous really .... Pickled onions were lovely and went really well with the pork ... My companion didn't really get the real ale jelly and I have to agree ... Not my cup of tea .... But hey ho ... We all like different things in the world of food .... The pork pie though was bloody scrumptious -:)

Then along came the mains and WOW! WOW! WOW! ..... My companion had the Slow cooked Gloucester old spot belly pork with fennel gratin ..... The pork was so tender it almost melted in your mouth whilst the fennel gratin was delicious and extremely tasty ... I kept diving in myself because it was so lovely .... Beautiful crispy crackling on the pork was a pleasure to eat ..... Meanwhile .... I choose the whole roast Partridge honeyed quince, buttered leaves and bread pudding ..... Mainly because I thought that they were unusual combinations to throw together .... My oh my ..... Talk about yummylicious food .... Every single component on the plate was cooked to perfection and blended together like a marriage made in heaven .... if such a place exists! ... The bread pudding was inspired and went very well with the Partridge and greens .... the honeyed quince was sumptuous and added an extra dimension to the dish ... My companion was really impressed witht he presentation of this dish ..... On a wooden chopping board ..... With steak knife on the side .... We eat with our eyes .... and I defy anybody to resist such a beautiful looking board of food ..... Ok .... i think you are getting the picture here ..... we loved it -:)

Finally on to the Deserts .... I decided to go with the rhubarb .... and I was not disappointed .... You can appreciate all the work that went into creating this dish .... So many different elements fusing together in an end result of sheer brilliance ... Ok .... that's a bit OTT ...... but it was gorgeous ...... My companion opted for the Prunes .... Now before you run and hide .... It is nothing like we used to have with our school dinners .... These are a notch and half above all that ... For a start the said prunes are soaked in Armagnac and then warmed through and placed on top of the creamiest rice pudding we have ever tasted .... These two desserts were little bites of deliciousness and we ate every single morsel on the plate ... Thanks cheffie !!!

The Service was very good and cannot be faulted in any way possible ..... They were courteous, helpful and friendly ... Thankyou for making us feel so welcome .... especially as I had a bad toothache when I entered the premises .... I soon forgot all about that though ... Once the gorgeous bread arrived -:)

Bill came to approx £62.80 inc one beer and one apple drink ... I asked for iced tap water and this was not a problem -:)

All in all a wonderful yummy and scrumptious lunch ..... Well worth the money and we will definitely be returning ..... Maybe in the evening this time .... So that we can enjoy a drink or two -:)

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1  Thank pollenca
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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714 - 718 of 735 reviews

Reviewed 12 January 2011

I visiited this restaurant with my husband last month. It was everything we exepected from the good reviews this place has received. It was my birthday and my husband had arranged flowers, champagne through the restaurant - how great to have such service. The food was excellent, i had a souffle to start, you must try it if you go, i can not describe how good it was. The main course was well executed, partridge with a bread pudding and dessert was also as good as the rest a warm chocolate fondant with a malt biscuit ice cream. The service was friendly and attentive. We will be returning!

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Thank Meemma
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 January 2011

We have visited this restaurant several times and had both good and average experiences with both food and service, but have persevered as when the food is good, it's. However, after the last occasion we will not return. The service was shoddy and totally unprofessional. There was one lady who appeared to be in charge, assisted by one another younger girl who looked as though she was on another planet. She had no knowledge of the food and looked totally disinterested. For a restaurant at this level, you expect a slightly more professional level of service.

We asked for our beef which was to be shared to be cooked medium well and were told by the waitress that 'she would see what chef can do'. When it arrived it was rare with no prior explanation as to this is how it would be served. This shows an extreme degree of arrogance from the chef. If we'd been told then we would have picked something else, but no, it was just served to us.

To compound the evening, the restaurant was freezing cold. When we first arrived we thought it was because we were all hungry, but by the end of the evening our feet were like blocks of ice and we couldn't wait to leave. Other diners also asked to move away from the windows, into the centre of the restaurant as they were chilly.

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2  Thank Zebbie1Kent
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 November 2010

In order to maximise covers there is very little space in the entrance and so you are likely toi be shown directly to your table. The acoustics within the building are very poor and on a busy Saturday night it becomes very difficult to hold a quiet conversation at your own table. Some of the food is very good but quite a lot is only average and the portion sizes are quite small. On the Saturday that we went the service was extremeley slow and it felt like that we were totally ignored after our main course had been served. Most the serving staff had no or little knowledge of the menu. Overall it seems over-rated and I will not return and I certainly would not recommend it to friends.

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3  Thank martinHooe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 November 2010

We went to the Curlew this weekend for lunch. The booking and restaurant staff were very welcoming.

The menu was very varied and there was plenty of delightful dishes to choose from. For starters, we had Parsnip Soup with Brown Butter, Stilton and Sage Rarebit, and Potted Mackerel with Cucumber Jelly - Both were delicious. For mains, I chose the Romney Mixed Grill (Lamb Chop, Liver and Bacon) - this was superbly executed (cooked to perfection) and was served with greens and marmalade potatoes. My wife S had the slow cooked Gressingham duck leg which was cooked and served in an single serving Staub with carrots and chard. For pudding we had the Earl Grey ice-cream, chocolate and hazelnut biscuit and S had Prune and Armagnac which was a Yorkshire Prune Pudding with Armagnac - Both puddings were stunning.

I echo some of the thoughts of the previous reviewer about the service, we waited a long time for the bill and were passed by quite a few times when we tried to attract their attention. That said, we had an extremely enjoyable meal, the food and ambiance (although the restaurant was a little quiet when we visited) were superb. I would definitely return.

Serious credit to the kitchen staff. Sussex needs more restaurants like The Curlew!!

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Thank jmsubscriber
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PaulReaney, Owner at The Curlew Restaurant, responded to this reviewResponded 17 August 2011

Dear StevEMax, You don’t need an excuse! It’s good that you were pleased with the pricing. We have always tried to keep things keen so that the most people possible could enjoy what we’re doing here at The Curlew. We want The Curlew to be informal, accessible and really exciting – your review made us feel we’re getting somewhere close. Thanks! Mark and Sara, The Curlew.

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