Goodwood’s Farmer, Butcher, Chef
Home-reared meat and quirky vintage finds are highlights of Goodwood's new restaurant
Lunch at the new Farmer, Butcher, Chef restaurant at Goodwood turned out to be not only a feast for my stomach but my eyes.
The decor of the restaurant is wonderfully quirky, with antique finds from around the Goodwood estate creating centrepieces, wall hangings and tabletops. It put me in mind of the museum of an eccentric collector like John Soane.
The Goodwood Estate’s racing heritage is obvious in displays of spanners and vintage radiator grills. Then there are chairs upholstered with flags, fire hoses on the wall and fire buckets filled with fruit and veg down a central table.
Something of a steam punk slant saw pepper mills and candle sticks made out of bits of old piping. Even old power gauges were mounted into one display, hung like a picture.
I was soon buzzing with ideas for my own projects, perhaps finally doing something with the various broken pottery ‘finds’ I squirrelled away after a Thames beachcombing tour.
The provenance of the food is no less impressive. Arriving from the estate’s self-sustaining, organic Home Farm just metres away, it’s low on food miles, big on taste. Beef, pork and lamb are all reared on the estate. What’s more, the restaurant’s butcher specialises in using as many cuts of meat as possible so little is wasted. You’ll even get butchers’ charts in the menu. Chef Darron Bunn who has previously won to Michelin stars then works his magic. You can find out more about the titular trio of Farmer, Butcher, Chef on the website.
Carnivores will love the lamb, beef and pork Butcher’s Boards to share for £20 per person, with, for instance, pork belly, sticky ribs, a stew and even spiced tail and ears in one version. On the main menu the lesser known cuts approach is still very much in evidence with mains like braised beef featherblade.
Not eating a lot of meat myself the menu stars were a little wasted on me but there were plenty of other options and I was persuaded to try the stuffed partridge which turned up like a mini roast dinner with an interesting marmite and sourdough bread sauce. Some creative sides are well worth ordering – the cheesy truffle balls a particular melt in the mouth highlight.
There’s a fish of the day, and vegetarian options in my visit included squash tart with caramelised onions and kale pesto, or a shallot tart with pickled elderberries.
Everything was high quality and beautifully presented. Service was also very good. A chance comment that I’d picked something a bit tricky to eat resulted in a concerned request for feedback.
On my visit there were couples and groups in there, people on working lunches, and a family with a baby but as it was a weekday it was still relatively quiet.
It’s a good one to have up your sleeve for Valentine’s Day and Mothers’ Day or just planning a day out around, there being plenty to do locally, not least at Goodwood itself. In fact the health club and golf course are part of the same site, and the hotel, of course, should you be planning a mini break.
In the area…
It’s within metres of the wonderful outdoor gallery of Cass Sculpture Foundation – the perfect place to work off a lunch or build up an appetite for dinner. The photogenic tree tunnel at Halnaker is also very close. Chichester is just up the road, including, of course, the excellent Chichester Festival Theatre (about 10 mins drive away) so you could combine dinner and show for a great night out.
THE MUDDY VERDICT
££ The set lunch and pre-theatre menu is great value at £14.50 for two courses, £19.50 for three. On the regular menu mains are around £15 – £18.
Good for: Fantastic for meat lovers (though the menu also has options for the rest of us) it will particularly appeal to those bothered about sustainability in farming and foodies who love trying original dishes. The unusual decor as well as the inventive menu help create a sense of occasion, so it’s perfect for special birthdays, family gatherings etc. Good too for a working lunch.
Not so good for: Though vegetarians are catered for, more squeamish ones may balk at the nose-to-tail focus and the butchers charts. etc. It’s a little on its own so you’ll need to drive or get a taxi. You wouldn’t immediately think to bring children, unless part of a wider family gathering, though I’m sure they’d love the fun decor.
Farmer, Butcher, Chef, Goodwood Hotel, Chichester, West Sussex, 01243 755070, P018 OQB Goodwood.com