What’s in season

We’re all about game in autumn, with meats like pheasant and venison making their way from The Pure Meat Company, as well as shoots at Taywell Farm. Root vegetables such as squashes are coming into season on the farm too, plus lots of wild mushrooms to forage!

What’s cooking

Recipe: Sweetcorn, Mushroom, Egg

Try this dish from our September menu at home…

Ingredients
1 cob of sweetcorn
20ml rapeseed oil
Pinch of salt
1 egg
Girolle mushrooms
1 clove garlic
Butter
1 banana shallot, diced
3 sprigs thyme

Method
For this dish, get some fresh corn on the cob, and trim it up by standing on end, and cutting down the side to remove the sweetcorn kernels. Dress these with rapeseed oil and a pinch of salt, blend into a juice, and pass through a sieve so that it thins out. Heat the juice slowly on the stove with a whisk, so that the starches start to naturally thicken it, creating a clean, silky-smooth sweetcorn purée.

Next, we slow-cook an egg yolk in a water bath at 64֯C for two hours, however you can simply poach an egg instead. Get some girolle mushrooms and sauté in oil, garlic, butter, banana shallot and thyme until softened. Put your purée on the plate, sprinkle the sweetcorn kernels and mushrooms on top, and serve with toast as a simple, delicious brunch!

October menu

Feast your eyes on The Small Holding’s new dishes…
£60

Cauliflower, Nettle, Truffle
Beetroot, Cheese, Lovage
Squash, Walnuts, Sage
Hake, Leek, Chard
Celeriac, Scallop, Ants
Partridge, Carrot, Rhubarb
Pork, Potato, Chard
Miso, Apple, Cobnut
Plum, Yoghurt, Oats
Blackberry, Buttermilk, Brandy

4-glass wine pairing £40
6-glass wine pairing £60

What’s been happening

We had a wicked month in September, as Will cooked at Tunbridge Wells Food and Drink Festival, and took over Fuggles Beer Café’s kitchen for Tunbridge Wells Food Month. It was a pleasure to team up with Squerryes for a five-course tasting menu, and an honour to host the latest Pilot Light Social, raising awareness of mental health in hospitality, and adding £1 to every bill in support of this brilliant cause.

What people are saying

Testimonial: Henry Warde, Squerryes

“We’ve been proud to be the sole supplier of sparkling wine to The Small Holding over the last two years, and consider the restaurant to be a true partner. It’s been such a delight to have the team shooting on the estate, and extend an invitation for them to come and forage and cook for our signature evening at Squerryes Court. Keep up the great work!”

Read all about it

We’ve had some amazing press coverage, including this year’s Michelin Guide, and Grace Dent’s super-cool Guardian review! Will’s been named as The Good Food Guide’s Chef to Watch, and shortlisted in the ‘Small but mighty’ category of the Olive Chef Awards 2019. We loved having food writer Rachel Phipps dine with us, plus don’t miss Will’s write-up on Great British Chefs, and try a recipe in the latest SO Magazine (p.37).

The Small Holding's Sophie Jackson; Will Devlin at Fuggles Beer Cafe; The Compasses' Rob Taylor; RNLI Fish Supper

L-R: Sophie front of house; Fuggles’ kitchen takeover; The Compasses’ Rob Taylor; RNLI Fish Supper

Who’s serving

Sophie is one of the friendly faces of our talented front of house team. Originally from Surrey, she worked at The March Hare in Guildford, and The Refectory and The Stag on the River in Godalming, before moving to Kent to join Thackeray’s in Tunbridge Wells. Totally professional, hardworking, knowledgeable and passionate, Soph’s been with us for six months, and always serves our guests with a smile – we couldn’t imagine life without her!

What we’re drinking

Matt’s beer of the month

Pig & Porter’s Sandstorm is one of Matt’s favourites behind the bar at the minute. At 4.9% ABV, this dry-hopped, Munich Helles-style lager uses Pilsner and Vienna malts, and Saaz and EXP431 hops to lift the aroma – come and get it at The Small Holding!

Sally’s wine pairing of the month

Our September menu’s Tomato, Hogget, Cheese dish went beautifully with Lodi Wines’ Ferdinand Albariño from California. They don’t usually grow Albariño grapes over there, so there’s a heavy influence of Spanish varieties in this wine, and a really fruity, lovely lingering freshness. It’s quite a comforting dish that you might have at home, which clashes with such an elegant wine, but also works very well at the same time!

Matt’s cocktail of the month

The ‘Ain’t No Whisky, Peaches’ is one of our favourite cocktails at The Small Holding. It’s made up of Bruichladdich Distillery’s Classic Laddie Scotch, our own apricot syrup, sherry, smoked almonds, lemon juice and thyme. We serve it in a cafetière and leave it to steep for three to four minutes before serving, so that when you plunge down, you’re left with a smoky infusion that absolutely hits the spot!

Where we’ve been

Eating out

We’re loving Kiko Sushi & Yakitori in Tunbridge Wells at the moment. Their oysters, sushi platters and chicken hearts are absolutely banging, and well worth checking out the next time you’re in town. It’s great food, service and hospitality, and a relaxed dining experience with friends and family!

‘Go and tell’: Kingcott Dairy

Each month, we visit a different supplier or producer, so that the team can learn more about where our food and drink comes from. Most recently, Marcus, Duncan, Sally and Harry (who’s affectionately named the idea ‘go and tell’) went to the award-winning Kingcott Dairy in Staplehurst, owned and run by Steve and Karen Reynolds. This place is a prime example of a business diversifying its offering; starting as a dairy farm, they made the leap into cheesemaking, creating a product that’s super tasty, and that we can’t get enough of at The Small Holding!

What’s coming up

RNLI Fish Supper

We can’t wait for our five-course dinner with Sankey’s on October 22, in aid of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution’s fifth annual Fish Supper! Harry has created a menu using the unsung heroes of the sea, and will be joined by Matthew Sankey on the night, who’ll be on hand to talk through the seafood on offer. This one will fill up fast, so book your place here, priced £80 per person.

An evening with The Compasses

We’re excited to be cooking with chef Rob Taylor from The Compasses Inn for two back-to-back evenings! On November 11, we’ll be at the award-winning pub in Crundale, serving eight courses with wine pairings, before Rob joins us in Kilndown on November 12. Spaces will fill up fast, so book the first night here, on 01227 700300, or at compassesinncrundale@gmail.com, and the second here, on 01892 890105, or at bookings@thesmallholding.restaurant.

Christmas bookings

We’re taking reservations for Christmas at The Small Holding! Our December menu will be available nearer the time, but we highly recommend booking in advance to avoid disappointment over the festive season. To secure your table, give us a ring on 01892 890105, email bookings@thesmallholding.restaurant, or click here.

Don’t forget to sign up to our mailing list below for our latest news and events, and book a table for your next visit by clicking here, emailing bookings@thesmallholding.restaurant, or calling 01892 890105!

© WILL AND MATT DEVLIN