I remember coming here a few years back, it’s always had a reputation for good food, back then it was a traditional pub but with excellent fare, and a pleasant garden. Now Mark and Sara Colley have taken it over and it’s interior now unrecognisable, there is nothing left of its former self, not even the bar, however the white-painted clapboard exterior is the same and nice garden space is still there but this too has been given a makeover. Not sure I 100% agree with the what they have done, as the place lacks something, a little soulless, not sure if it was the small space for having a drink before dinner, which left people, who couldn’t be seated to stand awkwardly in the middle of this small space surrounded by onlookers, as all the chairs faced to the centre of the room. Or whether it was the lighting, no contrast, just an overall gloom cast by the wall lights, although stylish they did not add anything to the ambience. Shame there wasn’t some accent lighting over the tables, couldnt really see the food, although beautifully presented I couldn’t really see it in the gloom !! Or was it the service, not overly efficient but adequate, nervous and rather vacant looking girls, however the owner Sara when chatting with her at the end, was friendly open and a delight. There were some features that stood out, like the Cow wallpaper and the wall hung plates but most definitely the star of all of this was the food and so it should be
I started with a meltingly soft and creamy poached duck egg with smoked haddock and capers, as the egg was pierced the golden yolk coated each mouthful with its rich eggy velvet smooth texture, it really was mouth-wateringly good. followed by pork with cute baby turnips and mash to die for. By then I was full but managed to consume a perfect dessert although the favourite was one of my fellow diners, he had a really sharp lemon tart with a really zingy spearmint ice cream.
Would I go here again, most definitely yes, the food was excellent, very tasty, beautifully presented and very good value for money, but I would opt to go straight to my table as I did not like the drinks area, and think I would like to try on a summers day, a sunday lunch perhaps…………..
Words from the front page of their website
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.
OPEN | Wednesday – Sunday
LUNCH | 12 midday until 2.30pm
DINNER | 6pm until 9.30pm
click the link here to see the website The Curlew :: Restaurant.