5–6 LANDGATE, RYE TN31 7LH, +44 (0)1797 222829
We live here. We live with the changing seasons; the stormy autumns, the sunny summers, the dark winters, the early springs. Our suppliers live here as well, and the ingredients they provide us with, grow here, live here – sometimes battered by the wind, occasionally caressed by the sun. Every season has it's special treat, its worth-waiting-for. We try to forward as much of this to you as we possibly can. Here are just a few examples:
Winter, and when little grows in the gardens of Kent, and most of us rather stay indoors, there is a man in a village close to us, who braves the climate. Almost magically, he gives us, all year round, a selection of lettuce and green – and sometimes amazingly deep purple and red – leaves. During the winter he also provides us with Jerusalem Artichokes which we make a creamy soup of, or a nutty purée.
Winter is also a feast of scallops. The Rye Bay Scallops are well reputed and at our bistro, you can eat this subtle-flavoured mollusc during the entire season, from around mid January to mid March, and we are always participating in Rye's own festival, the Scallop Week (February every year).
And, we are always open for Valentine's, regardless of which day of the week it is.
Spring. The Good Food Guide has written about our Nettle Soup, which we make during early spring, when the shoots are delicate and tender. We serve the soup with a poached Quail's egg. And no, you won't be stung! Spring is also the time for early rhubarb, which we may turn into a ginger-infused compot. In May we enjoy English asparagus for a handful of weeks. We like to fry it in olive oil and serve it with parmesan, balsamic vinegar and a poached egg.
Summer is the time of garden profusion. And time for English classics like Pea and Mint Soup, Summer pudding, and a lot of fresh herbs. Here, we also start to receive mushrooms from our surrounding woodlands and fields. And our forager continues to pick them all autumn. The surplus we dry to make lovely mushroom soups and purées during the long winter.
Autumn, we cycle to the outskirts of Rye and brave the thorns to pick our own, wild blackberries. We make plum tart of the plums from our own garden, and when we run out of them, there are plenty to gather around the farms of the Kentish countryside.