Review - Jeremy's Restaurant

Review – Jeremy’s Restaurant

Jeremy’s Restaurant is set in the picturesque area of Borde Hill Gardens, a little over a mile from Haywards Heath. The gardens themselves are hidden away in over 200 acres of spectacular English Heritage countryside with Jeremy’s nestled before the main garden entrance. With Sussex wilderness, excellent views and the option of a pre or post meal stroll alongside award winning food, Jeremy’s has it all.

Run by husband and wife team Jeremy and Vera Ashpool, Jeremy’s Restaurant currently holds two AA rosettes and was voted Best Eating Experience at the Sussex Food and Drink Awards 2014. With a menu that encapsulates the best in modern and seasonal European cooking, Jeremy’s is also privileged to source many ingredients from its neighbouring gardens, including wild garlic, herbs and edible flowers.

Booking ahead for Saturday lunch was well advised and after a leisurely stroll around Borde Hill Gardens, we were ready and primed for the Jeremy’s experience. The Jeremy’s dining area is small yet pristine, clean and welcoming. Think white linen table cloths, glittering silverware and people in full suits on a Saturday; a far world away from the more relaxed dining culture we’ve come to see in the city.

With a short but carefully constructed A La Carte menu, Jeremy’s prides itself on creative, individually priced dishes of a superior quality. Choosing the Char-Grilled Cuttlefish – with romesco, roasted red pepper and black olives (£9.00) to start and the 28 Day Aged Rib Eye & Roulade of Beef – with wild garlic pomme puree, watercress, spring onion, turnips and red wine jus (£24.00) for main took time as all the dishes looked very appealing.

Sticking to wine by the glass due to driving was a wise move. You could easily get carried away with the luxurious surroundings and splash out on something vintage from Jeremy’s fantastic wine list. Even more reason why Jeremy’s is perfect for special occasions.

Char-Grilled Cuttlefish - with romesco, roasted red pepper and black olives,

Char-Grilled Cuttlefish – with romesco, roasted red pepper and black olives.

Photographs by Claire Beveridge.

Photographs by Claire Beveridge.

Exceedingly well presented in a pristine, large shallow bowl, the char-grilled cuttlefish instantly impressed with its use of vivid colour; bright greens, smokey reds, dark black and sharp white all swirled beautifully to create an aesthetically pleasing dish.

The thick fillets of cuttle-fish itself were perfect. Slightly smokey, the seafood was wonderful chewy without being overly so or at all rubbery. The cuttle-fish paired beautifully against the sweet red peppers and darker, bitter olives. The romesco sauce was scattered with bite sized morsels of cuttle-fish and each mouthful uncovered robust flavours.

Sweet, smokey and utterly sublime, the cuttle-fish starter was so expertly cooked and so very fresh, interesting and wildly palatable, it has instantly topped the list of my favourite restaurant dishes this year.

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28 Day Aged Rib Eye & Roulade of Beef – with wild garlic pomme puree, watercress, spring onion, turnips and red wine jus. Photograph by Claire Beveridge.

As a rule of personal thumb, beef is served rare and you couldn’t get much rarer than on the plate at Jeremy’s. Lightly scorched externally with a fleshy, exceedingly pink interior, both the rib-eye and roulade were (predictably) excellent. The subtle wild garlic pomme puree only highlighted the beefs meaty flavour and paired with a slightly sweet turnip was a great combination. Strewn with crunchy spring onion and a mustardy watercress,  the main course proved to be a highly enjoyable meal.

The dessert list at Jeremy’s is a treasure trove of sweet delights including lemon tart, caramelised pear and (a personal favourite) sticky toffee pudding. Feeling slightly adventurous, ordering the Lemongrass Parfait – lychee martini, kaffir lime sherbet and meringue (£8).

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Photograph by Claire Beveridge

With beautiful yet unexpected presentation, the Lemongrass Parfait proved to be a myriad of flavours and textures; crunchy and sweet meringue, delicate lychee, dainty edible flowers and sharp, frozen Martini. Alcohol throbbed through this original, interesting and refreshing pudding.

Jeremy’s is the epitome of fresh, seasonal and local dishes that inspire and challenge the senses, often taking them to unexplored realms of quality and innovation, something occassionally lacking in the city of Brighton and Hove. One of the best meals to be had out (without breaking the bank) and a truly memorable experience. If you plan to take one trip out of town this spring or summer, let Jeremy’s Restaurant be it.

Jeremy’s Restaurant, Borde Hill Gardens, Haywards Heath, W. Sussex, RH16 1XP. 01444 441102. Booking strongly advised.

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Words and photographs by Claire Beveridge.