Review on The West House
'An absolute treasure' is one way of describing The West House, a delightfully intimate fifteenth-century weaver's cottage at Biddenden in the heart of West Kent and the Garden of England. Graham Garrett and Jackie Hewitt are a likeable, friendly and hospitable couple who have quickly made their mark on the place.
Chef Graham worked with Richard Corrigan in London before moving here, and it shows in challenging, earthy ideas like slow-cooked pork belly with white beans, clams and chorizo or wild salmon with beetroot leaves and ruby grapefruit vinaigrette. Also, don't be surprised to find something called 'crème caramel' among the list of starters: it's actually foie gras with aged sherry vinegar, raisins and toasted brioche. Neil McCue, the former Head Chef of the critically acclaimed Michelin-starred Culew restaurant in Bodiam has recently joined West House, allowing Graham to concentrate on other projects, including a planned cookery school.
This is Michelin-starred cooking full of clean, fresh, seasonal flavours. Here you might find chilled pea soup embellished with diced lobster, summer truffles and pea shoots or roast rump of marsh lamb with buttered samphire and shallot purée. To finish there are British cheeses from Neals Yard and an assortment of finely crafted desserts with affectionate nursery titles: 'jelly and ice cream' is actually strawberry and red wine jelly with blackberry sorbet, while 'peaches and cream' consists of baked peach and almond with vanilla Mascarpone.
The wine list is short and sharp, with exceedingly fair prices and plenty of choice across the range – although France tends to call the tune. 'We are lucky to have them in Kent,' concluded one contented Mobile Food Guide user.
The West House is also featured in: Michelin Guide, Good Food Guide, Hardens, AA GuideRate this Restaurant
Graham Garrett and Ben Crittenden
Restaurant Opening Times
Lunch: 12.00 - 1.45pm Tue-Fri (2.30pm Sun)
Dinner: 7.00 - 9.30pm Tue-Sat
Accepted credit cards
Visa, Master Card