My friend and I arrived a little late at The Leconfield on a Thursday lunchtime. I’d booked for 1pm and I won’t bore you with the details of why we were late (multiple
excuses reasons and my fault) and neither of us knew exactly where the restaurant was so we ended up doing a kind of walking tour around Petworth whereas the restaurant was only really about 200 yards away from the car park. D’oh! I phoned from the car park to let them know we would be arriving late and they were absolutely fine. Phew.
We were sat around the corner from the main door, which was good as we got no draft from it. There was a large fireplace which wasn’t on as this was only September. We sat on banquette seats which were a little low for me. Thankfully there were plenty of cushions so I stuck one underneath my bottom (I placed my cardigan over it for hygiene purposes 😂) and one behind my back. I’m afraid I much prefer proper chairs.
We each had a glass of Malbec, served at a perfect temperature. We were given fresh brown bread with a yeast butter (I’m guessing the bread was from the Hungry Guest, who are also in Petworth, but I forgot to ask) with kind of Marmite granules on top along with some rock salt. I loved it, especially the Marmitey bits.
Lunchtime is a set menu with 2 courses at £23 and three at £27. We were both feeling rather
greedy peckish so went for the three. Well, why not.
Pickled vegetables, goats curd, olive soil sounded good to me and me oh my, it was dee-licious. At first I looked down at the bowl and thought ‘blast, I’ve ordered the wrong thing’, but I was very much mistaken.
Underneath the curls and ribbons of carrot and pea shoots was a lightly whipped goats cheese with colourful quarters of beetroot (which I love) and the olive soil was quite sweet and writing this now my mouth is watering, I could eat it all again.
Linda had the Norfolk Quail leg, pickled papaya, garlic & rice which she enjoyed very much too, lots of flavours and the presentation of the dishes were very good. She had what we thought looked like maggots and when we asked the waitress she almost said the word herself but obviously didn’t want to put us off our meals, it was in fact spelt.
The monkfish, which I’m not sure I’ve ever had before, reminded me a little of scallops. It has the same meaty texture and was cut into circles. I asked for the butter sauce on the side so I could add as much or as little as I wanted. Parisian potato, salsify, mussel beignet, citrus beurre blanc, it all tasted superb.
Linda’s slow cooked guinea fowl breast was also very good and I almost had food envy as she had trompettes (mushrooms) and I love mushrooms.
We shared a bowl of mixed vegetables, broccoli, peas and cabbage.
For dessert we shared two, the creme brûlée and the chocolate mousse.
The Manjari chocolate mousse was ok but a bit too dense for my liking and could have done with being lighter and smoother. This came with meringue pieces.
I much preferred the crème brûlée which was creamy and smooth with a drizzle of raspberry sauce, decorated with a few raspberries, blueberries, sprigs of mint and a small crumbly shortbread biscuit.
Coffee’s were served and I was just thinking that petit fours would have been a good way to finish off a lovely meal and low and behold the front of house came along a couple of minutes later and placed a bowl of four truffles, homemade on the table. Perfect.
The Leconfield dining rooms are split up into four areas, as you enter there is a dining room on both sides and to the rear which has glass windows looking onto the garden where again there are several tables and chairs.
Music played softly in the background, paintings were on the walls from Augustus Brandt the local art gallery which we had a discussion about with the staff. The paintings around the restaurant are for sale, one which I liked they were going to replace as it was thought a little morbid but I recognised it and thought it ok. It would have been nice to have had the title and name of the artist on all the pieces.
The service was excellent, the restaurant manager, Carlos was very friendly and the young waitress was too and she certainly knew her stuff.
We both thoroughly enjoyed our meals and would love to visit them again. As we were saying how much we enjoyed our meal the head chef Mark Lawton was in the background, I wish I’d told him how good it was but I’m sure he knows (they have an AA rosette).
I shall have to return, perhaps for an evening meal and take along my husband. Can’t wait!
Living life, loving The Leconfield