England: Chapel Down

The English vineyard Chapel Down is situated among rapeseed fields in the southwest corner of England – Kent. At the vineyard they sell their wines as well as other local products, i.e. cider, preserves and crackers.

They also provided maps of the grounds so we could go for a walk around the vines and the herb garden before we left to find our b&b, get changed and come back again for supper at their restaurant: Richard Phillips at Chapel Down.

The restaurant is on the first floor (above the shop) with its own entrance. It had a cosy feel to it and a band played music all through the evening. You could choose between the simpler music menu or the a’la carte. We chose the latter since the music menu seemed a bit dull in comparison.

Christopher chose their amazing platter as a starter with charcuteries, baked brie (have to try this at home), chutneys and pickles.

Mum and dad both tried the crab and crayfish tian with deepfried cauliflower and enjoyed it very much.

I chose mixed mushrooms on toasted brioche with a fried duck’s egg, and apart from the seasoning it was very nice. I desperately needed salt and it tasted a lot better when I adjusted the seasoning.

Dad opted for the beef with blue cheese dauphinoise potatoes which was lovely. Christopher went for the rabbit which was nice but a little dry while mother and I chose fish; seabass with herb gnocchi and asparagus.

It was nice but didn’t feel like a dish, it was more different things that didn’t really come together. And we needed sauce. Fish needs sauce.

Edit: My friend Gaby commented: What about the wine? And rightly so. Christopher had the red Trinity which was really nice and complemented his rabbit. Mother and I went for the white Bacchus Reserve and found it a bit unusual. It seemed like it was slightly sparkling in itself I still haven’t made up my mind if I liked it or not. We bought a bottle of the Bacchus (not Bacchus Reserve) and when we have opened it, I will let you know how that is in comparison.