Tag Archives: Food

Good food and fabulous views at The Fox Goes Free near Chichester, West Sussex

Tucked away in the small village of Charlton, just off the main road to Chichester, is the Fox Goes Free.  This beautiful village pub is full of character with flint walls, big old oak beams and open fireplaces.  The pub is over 400 years old and has quite a history; it takes its name from the famous Charlton hunt which was started in 1670 when William III would regularly visit the Fox Goes Free with the royal hunting party.  The building still has many of its original features including the old bread oven, inglenook fireplaces and low beamed ceilings.  It is a truly quintessential English pub and has everything you imagine a traditional old ale house would have, including a fantastic orchard inspired garden with views over the South Downs.

The Fox Goes Free is the perfect place for a quick drink, a lazy lunch or an evening meal and over the years has built up a well-deserved reputation for its food.  The kitchen serves up traditional fare including a famous Sunday Roast and a selection of Mediterranean inspired dishes.  Whenever possible they use locally sourced produce and the well stocked bar includes some interesting local real ales and a selection of hand-picked wines. There are two separate dining areas and if you want a table in one of these it is best to book.  One room opens onto the main bar and has a lively casual dining feel to it.  The other is tucked away from the buzz of the bars in a beautiful wood panelled room with a low ceiling, which gives the space a more intimate feel to it.  All offer a bar menu and an À La Carte menu and in the summer the garden is host to the Fox’s infamous barbecues and hog roasts.

As well as good food, excellent local ales and a friendly atmosphere The Fox Goes Free has 5 comfortable rooms and offers Bed and Breakfast.  In fact it’s worth staying here just for the breakfast and view alone!  All this makes the Fox Goes Free a great place to base yourself to explore the area, crash after a day’s hiking or rest after a day at the races or one of the other events held at Goodwood.

Click here for a lovely walk right from door of The Fox Goes Free

For more information about visiting the Fox Goes Free visit: http://www.thefoxgoesfree.com 

For information about Goodwood and the different events it holds visit:  www.goodwood.com

Pub Goodwood West Sussex
The For Goes Free, Charlton, West Sussex

Photography and Credits:  This is an independent review.  I have been a guest at the Fox Goes Free many times over the years and always paid for my stay.  The Fox Goes Free is a true gem.  Photography is care of the Fox Goes Free website and google images.

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Skye Gyngell’s restaurant, Spring, is well worth a visit

Since opening its doors at the end of 2014 Skye Gyngell’s restaurant Spring has been dividing critics and diners alike.  You either love it or hate it, it seems.  We loved it, unlike the poor table next to us who hated it and seemed to hate it with the same passion we loved it.  We visited Spring in March and simply liked everything from the food, to the location, to the decor and even the much criticised and definitely quirky staff uniforms.

Spring is located in the New Wing of Somerset House and for those that don’t know, Somerset House is the spectacular neo-classical building that sits between the Strand and the River Thames in London.  The New Wing was originally designed by Sir James Pennethorne, in 1856, to house the Inland Revenue and has not been open to the public for over 150 years.  Spring has taken over the elegant 19th century drawing room, which has been completely refurbished to its former glory.  There are large windows on three sides, high ceilings, a long marble bar at the far end and an equally long wooden service counter with vast floral displays along one side.  The tables are graciously spaced apart, a real treat in London, the chairs comfy, the lighting gentle (and flattering) and there is no music (another treat).  In fact there is no need for music since the acoustics are excellent.

Much like Gastrologik, in Stockholm, Spring’s menu is guided by the changing seasons and the availability of the best possible seasonal ingredients.  The results are simple and delicious.  In March we were treated to the season’s first asparagus, cooked to perfection and served with fonduta and borage, followed by roasted fresh garlic with goats curd and bruschetta. This was the only veggi-centric main dish on the menu and the idea of a whole garlic bulb in any form is not for the faint hearted, but it was undeniably excellent.  The garlic had been slow roasted so that it was deliciously tender and delicately sweet; and it was perfectly tempered by the tartness of the goat’s curd.  On the side we had Jersey Royals with poached celery, radicchio and lovage oil, this was excellent and a perfect accompaniment to the main dish.  Desserts were equally good and the Citrus tart with crème fraîche, which looked unassuming and even a little dull, was anything but boring – it was exquisite.

The wine list is as comprehensive and as well thought out as the food.  There is a good balance of old and new world wines along with a handful of more unusual wines into the bargain.  Our main dish (the garlic) was going to demand a lot of any wine and our sommelier was knowledgeable (and friendly) helping us to find a wine that was robust enough to cope with the dish.  He made excellent suggestions and our meal was all the more memorable for it.

Recently Spring opened The Salon beside the main restaurant.  The Salon is composed of an intimate trio of spaces including the beautiful atrium garden that sits enclosed at the room’s centre with flora and fauna designs by acclaimed landscape designer Jinny Blom.  In contrast to Spring, where it is advisable to book ahead, the Salon does not take reservations.  Instead it offers small plates, cheeses, seasonal ice creams and wines by the glass, that reflect Skye’s signature ingredient-led style.  It is a lovely place to relax with a drink, enjoy a quick lunch or light supper.

For more information and reservations go to:  http://springrestaurant.co.uk/

Notes:  This is an independent review.  Images have been sourced via google.

The Salon in Somerset House London

Bocca di Lupo, Innovative Italian food in London

It is hard to imagine that when Bocca di Lupo opened its doors in 2008 Archer Street was little more than a shabby side alley in the wrong part of Soho. Fast forward to today and this is now the South Soho, the destination of choice for those looking for the Soho away from the chains and the tourists; and Archer Street is now a charming little street with a couple of bars, Gelupo (Bocca’s gelateria) and the hip Ham Yard Hotel near one end. Bocca di Lupo kick-started this revolution and put Archer Street on the map and 6 years on it is still packed every night due to its excellent food and outstandingly good wine list.

Bocca di Lupo is an Italian restaurant that offers a selection of unusual regional dishes from across Italy. It is a small space that has been stylishly designed so that it doesn’t feel too cramped and if you can’t get a table then there is always the option to eat at the long bar that runs along one side of the restaurant. There is a lot to choose from on the menu, the dishes are available in small or large portions, with the region of origin listed beside their description. Whilst there are a lot of unusual dishes on the menu, there is also a sprinkling of less obscure ones too. This is genius as you can taste your way across Italy mixing old favourites with new without worrying too much about an ingredient you wouldn’t usually pick. I’m glad to say one of my own personal favourites, the humble Aubergine Parmigiana, is a regular star on the menu, which changes daily. Other memorable dishes this visit were Artichoke alla giudia and the Buffalo mozzarella bocconcini both from Roma. The Ricotta tortelloni verdi with butter & sage from Bologna and the Spaghettini with raw tomato, olives & basil from Campania – it sounds so simple yet was bursting with flavour that one wondered how it could possibly be predominately pasta and toms! The desserts are delicious too and the ice cream is freshly made across the street in Gelupo.

The service is friendly and super slick. Yet this professionalism hasn’t removed the warmth and spontaneity of a small business. One particular time stands out for me, we hadn’t been able to get a table that night so instead had settled on returning to Gelupo for desert after eating elsewhere; a member of staff overheard me lamenting the fact that my favourite desert was only available in the restaurant. He introduced himself, politely explained that he’d overheard the conversation and wondered if I would like him to order the much desired desert from the restaurant and bring it over. Now that is going the extra mile!

Footnotes and credits: This is an independent article and the author has always paid for their meal at Bocca di Lupo.

Photography via google images and is free from copyright (as far as we know).

Bocca di Lupo 12 Archer St, London W1D 7BB www.boccadilupo.com www.gelupo.com