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Set within the historic Leonardslee Lakes & Gardens estate near Horsham in West Sussex, Restaurant Interlude is believed to be the first UK restaurant associated with its own vineyard to win a Michelin Star.
Open for just one year, the restaurant’s tasting menu is inspired by the Grade I listed woodland gardens with ingredients foraged or grown on the 240 acre Leonardslee estate, and other produce sourced from selected local farms. Restaurant Interlude is open for dinner from Wednesday to Saturday weekly, with ten tables. Bookings are online at www.restaurant-interlude.co.uk/reservations
The restaurant has views across the gardens and its Pinotage vineyard, planted in 2018. There are 72,000 vines under cultivation across 15 hectares at Leonardslee and a neighbouring site at Mannings Heath Golf and Wine Estate, part of the Benguela Collection vineyards and hospitality group in the UK and South Africa.
Owner Penny Streeter OBE brought Executive Chef Jean Delport from his native South Africa to open the restaurant in October 2018. He is only the second South African chef to win a Michelin Star for his restaurant, and one of the youngest recipients, aged 31.
Jean Delport says: “We are delighted to receive this recognition by Michelin after just one year. Interlude connects lovers of fine dining with the very spirit of Leonardslee, perhaps the finest woodland gardens in England, unspoilt and carefully curated for over 200 years.
“Every dish in each seasonal, multi-course tasting menu is designed to a hunter-gatherer concept of food that’s foraged, cultivated and raised on the estate or close by. It is savoured and enjoyed as an intimate dining experience; a small, exclusive dinner party within the estate’s Italianate mansion house.”
You can feast on the seasonal menu that might include: estate rabbit, winter purslane, hogweed cider and charcoal; fallow deer with local braai and sour raspberry; or oyster, foraged greens and juniper.
Arriving at Restaurant Interlude in the estate mansion house, built in 1855, you're greeted in the grand hallway with music from a self-playing piano and drinks in the bar. You're then seated together at around 7pm in the restaurant, enjoying views across acres of gardens in the steep valley below, and east and south across to the South Downs.
Check out www.restaurant-interlude.co.uk