Fruits Of The Orchard
by Robert Veitch
The independent Orchard Family Restaurant offers good old-fashioned hospitality and home cooked food in a warm, friendly environment.
So rare are independent roadside restaurants these days, those gems that remain are worth holding up as shimmering beacons above the multitude of corporate eateries that populate the highways. Inside the Orchard Family Restaurant, staff are well presented and polite; we sensed a positive, genuinely friendly vibe the moment we entered.
Meeting owners David and Sarah Chadburn is to meet people who care about what they do with every fibre of their being. This restaurant began life as a butler’s house, after which it became the Tabby Cat public house, then a Little Chef. Empty for seven years before David and Sarah purchased it, they named it after the orchard in the garden.
David and Sarah completely revamped The Orchard, which has served them well over the years. Now, to celebrate their impending tenth anniversary, the restaurant has been freshly redecorated, a new menu is being launched and a new chef is to join the team. Jason comes with 30 years of Italian experience, having worked extensively in Rome and will work with Sam, the current head chef.
Staples from the old menu remain, the changes focus on the Specials dishes and it was these that my niece and I sampled. Our lemon sole, with prawn mousse wrapped in chorizo looked beautiful on the plate and was a complete delight to eat. The roasted belly of pork, stuffed with garlic, herb and sage came with apple crisps. It slipped down very easily, “that’s amazing,” my niece noted, “and the apple crisps are really nice too.”
For dessert we shared a white chocolate pannacotta with raspberry sorbet and then a mango cheesecake. Both were enchanting, “really, really good,” according to my companion, who promptly asked for another helping of cheesecake with a beaming smile on her face.
Meals are served in large or small portions. Bigger appetites can enjoy more, just as smaller or younger appetites can enjoy a little less. It’s a nice touch. The setting is ideal for families or couples who are heading out for the evening to dine. The location is superb; on the east-west A272, barely a stones throw from the north-south A24, and with the asset of a large car park it is ideally suited for family or business functions and weddings. Also, two quiz nights are held each month, prices are £7.95pp for a meal and quiz.“We offer good old-fashioned hospitality,” according to Sarah, “home cooked family food with a family service, sourced locally wherever possible.”
The Orchard is an excellent choice, we departed with full tummies, tickled pink by the whole experience. David and Sarah have gained two new fans.
The Orchard Restaurant
Address: Cowfold Road, West Grinstead, West Sussex, RH13 8LY
Telephone: 01403 865 693