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I'll be Mother

All the pies from a pastry obsessive

Calum Franklin, executive chef at Holborn Dining Room, Rosewood London

Calum Franklin, executive chef at Holborn Dining Room, Rosewood London

Calum Franklin, executive chef at Holborn Dining Rooms, Rosewood Hotel, at The Twenty Six

Calum Franklin from Holborn Dining Room at Rosewood Hotel, London is guest chef at The Twenty Six on Sunday, 3 December. Calum’s pies - which have fair claim to the biggest restaurant Instagram sensation in London - are the work of a man obsessed with pastry and will be main emphasis of his menu at The Twenty Six. The menu includes White Pudding and Mangalitsa Scotch Egg; Rabbit & Bacon Pâté en Croûte; Lobster Thermidor Tart; Braised Octopus, Chorizo Aioli; Squab Pithivier; 50 day dry-aged Beef Wellington and for dessert, Lemon Tart.

Drawing on a wealth of culinary experience, Calum worked at a variety of renowned restaurants before taking the position of Executive Chef at Holborn Dining Room. His career began at Michelin-star restaurant, Chapter One in Kent. It was here he learnt the fundamentals of cooking and developed his culinary knowledge.

Calum has focused on British cuisine for the last eight years and in doing so, it has become his speciality. He is passionate about using the best produce the country has to offer and feels strongly that British food needs to be championed so that diners “can be wowed by ingredients as well as cooking.” In the industry Calum has become recognized for his work in pastry, crafting pâté en croûte, savoury pies and seasonal offerings at Holborn Dining Room. Rosewood London won Best London Hotel 2017 at the GQ Food & Drink awards and recently launched The Pie Room, adjacent to the main dining space, which will sell fresh pies to passers-by via an open street-side hatch. Calum is also launching weekly pie making masterclasses in April 2018.

Calum’s 6 course menu at The Twenty Six is £60 per person and will be served in one sitting for dinner on a long communal table to 26 guests. Guests to arrive at 7.30 for drinks to be seated for dinner at 8pm. Reservations are open on or call The Twenty Six on 01892 544607 to book. A deposit will be taken at the time of booking.

Calum’s event is the last in a series of guest chef events during 2017, which has also included Gareth Ward from Ynyshir Restaurant and Rooms, Wales and Luke Richardson from Wreckfish, Liverpool. A new series for 2018 will be announced in the new year.


Ynyshir Restaurant and Rooms at The Twenty Six

Gareth Ward, chef patron at Ynyshir Restaurant and Rooms, Wales

Gareth Ward, chef patron at Ynyshir Restaurant and Rooms, Wales

Welsh ingredients, landscape and locality

Gareth Ward, chef Patron of Ynyshir Restaurant and Rooms is cooking a nine-course tasting menu at The Twenty Six, Tunbridge Wells, Kent on Sunday, 17 September.

Tucked away between the golden sands of Borth Beach and the rugged mountains of Snowdonia National Park, Wales, Ynyshir is a Michelin star, four AA rosette restaurant with rooms, and is number 12 in The Good Food Guide 2018. Gareth’s menus reflect seasonal availability of Welsh and British ingredients from both sea and land, including Dyfi Valley Welsh lamb, wild deer, duck and partridge, foraged sea herbs at Ynyslas beach and wild garlic in the Cumbrian mountains. The kitchen garden provides a bounty of herbs and vegetables throughout the year.

Ynyshir is about landscape and locality and the driving force in Gareth’s food is flavour. His menus take the guest through clearings and forests, sea and beach, mountain and pasture. It is seasonal in the traditional sense - using ingredients when they are ready and pickling or fermenting, salting or preserving to carry the kitchen through winter and into Spring. Cooking at The Twenty Six, Gareth and his team will create a dining experience to showcase Ynyshir, that takes guests on a creative journey through Wales and the British Isles.

Gareth’s nine-course tasting menu at The Twenty Six is £60 per person and will be served in one sitting for dinner on a long communal table to 26 guests. Guests to arrive at 7.30 for drinks, to be seated for dinner at 8pm.

Reservations are open on or call Jenny Cook on 01892 519882 to book. A £20 deposit will be taken at the time of booking.

Further events in The Twenty Six guest chef series include Nathan Eades, Simpsons on 22 October; Luke Richardson, Sticky Walnut on 19 November and Calum Franklin, Holborn Dining Room on 3 December.



An early Autumn feast

I ate all of this in about 5 minutes.

I ate all of this in about 5 minutes.

Black treacle pork chop, black pudding crumble and pickled blackberries

When the lovely folk at Good Things magazine asked for an Autumn recipe from The Twenty Six, Scott Goss knew immediately what he wanted to cook. Being the dedicated publicist I am, I volunteered to help on the shoot. Anyone who knows me really knows that my dedication is a thin disguise for 'gimme that plate of food'. It's so good and easy to make at home and is already a firm favourite.

This is a hearty, family style dish with big flavours. Add a big bowl of mash (celeriac maybe?), a decent bottle of wine (Australian Pinot Gris for me please) or more of the Kent cider and this is a delicious and slightly different take on a Sunday roast.

Serves 2 (but can be easily scaled up)

2 bone-in pork chops, roughly 300g each. Ask your butcher to remove the skin
100g black pudding, cubed
75g cobnuts (or hazelnuts), roasted, skinned and roughly chopped
50g pumpkin seeds
5 or 6 large sage leaves
2 tablespoons black treacle
2 tablespoons wholegrain mustard
75g blackberries
50ml cabernet sauvignon vinegar
4 shallots, skin on, halved lengthways
300ml cider
Tablespoon of butter


The night before, or 24 hours in advance, mix the blackberries and cabernet sauvignon vinegar together and leave to pickle.

Rub the skin for the crackling in rapeseed oil and salt and blister in a hot oven at 210 degrees for 20 mins. Turn the temperature down to 120 degrees for a further 2 hours.

When ready to eat, season the chops and fry in a hot pan until golden brown on both sides. Put in the oven at 160 degrees for 12 minutes for medium.

Mix the black treacle and wholegrain mustard together and spread on the chops while still hot from the oven. Rest for 10 mins.

For a simple gravy, deglaze the roasting tray with the cider and reduce by two thirds and finish with a tablespoon of butter. Check seasoning and keep warm.

Leaving the skin on, cut the shallot in half lengthways. In a non-stick pan with a little rapeseed oil, char the cut side of the shallot until blackened. Flip over and cook for a further minute. Turn off the heat and let the shallot cook in the residual pan heat.

Chop or crumble the black pudding and fry in a little rapeseed oil in a hot pan until crispy. Add the chopped cobnuts or hazelnuts and the pumpkin seeds to lightly toast. Tear in the sage leaves, crisping in the black pudding oil for a further minute.

To plate:

Pile the black pudding crumble on top of the black treacle chop with the crackling, roast shallot and pickled blackberries on the side and a spoonful of cider roasting juices.




Cabrito Sunday Lunch Club at The Twenty Six

James Whetlor from Cabrito Goat Meat

James Whetlor from Cabrito Goat Meat

Roast Leg of Kid for Sunday lunch

Each month, the I'll be Mother group hosts the mother of all roasts, with the menu reflecting the quality and provenance of one beautiful piece of meat.

On 21 May, James Whetlor from ethical goat meat supplier Cabrito, is hosting the Sunday Lunch Club at The Twenty Six. Former River Cottage chef James has won an Observer Food Monthly Award for Best Ethical Producer, Good Housekeeping’s Champion Meat Producer, is a finalist in BBC Radio 4’s Food and Farming Awards and recently appeared on Channel 4’s Hidden Restaurants with Michel Roux Jnr.

On the table, head chef Scott Goss has created a menu full of new spring ingredients and roast leg of kid goat. Kid is similar to spring lamb and has a delicate, sweet and musky flavour. It is a strong enough flavour to stand up to the spice and heat of Middle-Eastern and North African recipes, but subtle enough to respond brilliantly to the herbs, garlic, wine and lemon of European cookery.


Kid faggot, artichoke and wild garlic crumb

To start

Kent asparagus roasted on Kentish cherry wood
Morels, cured egg yolk, aged parmesan

To follow

Leg of Kid goat, broad beans, confit shallots and lemon
Ratatouille, kid pomme anna, thyme gravy

To finish

Flavours of sherry trifle
Pistachio sponge, panna cotta, raspberry and sherry ice cream

Coffee and Chocolates

Places are £40 each and also include wine paired with the goat. Call 01892 544607 to book or visit the website. Sign up to I'll be Mother's Sunday Lunch Club newsletter to be the first to know about new date #SundayLunchClub


Kingdom, woodland retreat and cycling hub

Kent's leading cycling hub, Kingdom, is in a 13 acre woodland retreat in Penshurst

Kent's leading cycling hub, Kingdom, is in a 13 acre woodland retreat in Penshurst

Kingdom is coming

Kingdom is a bit of a new one for The Dining Room, but a really exciting one, none the less. It's a woodland retreat and cycling hub with a 1.1 mile road track in a 13 acre plot in Penshurst, Kent. The club house, four gorgeous floors of wood and glass with an open air roof deck, is at the heart of Kingdom. The 9,500 sqft space is beautiful, and will be hugely popular for weddings, parties and corporate events. The cafe is run by Tunbridge Wells' favourite Basil Wholefoods, but this time you'll be able to eat a slice of their infamous carrot cake looking out into the woods or the 360 degree views of the surrounding countryside from the roof deck. Kingdom will be an amazing addition in Kent, with yoga and bike rental from Wyndymilla, all available on site.

Launching today, Kingdom is offering friends and family of the I'll be Mother group an opportunity to invest in the project, crowd-sourcing £360,000 for an equity share of 10% plus a range of rewards. Full details in Kent Business here. After two weeks the campaign will go live to the public. Want to switch off from the daily grind and own a piece of the adventure?

Following the crowdfunding, Kingdom is due to launch in Summer 2017. Have a peek at the video below for hint of what's to come.


The mother of all roasts

Dry-aged Herefordshire sirloin

Dry-aged Herefordshire sirloin

Kent restaurant group I’ll be Mother launches new Sunday Lunch Club

The first in the once a month club will be at The Twenty Six and is the mother of all Sunday Roasts, a classic roast of dry-aged Herefordshire sirloin with all the trimmings and some special touches from Chef Patron Scott Goss.

Each month, at either The Twenty Six or The Beacon, the menu will reflect the quality and provenance of a beautiful piece of meat. On occasion, we will also invite the supplier or farmer to the lunch to tell you more about the animal and its meat.

In the family spirit, which is at the heart of I’ll be Mother, everyone will all eat at the same time, 1.30pm. I'll be arriving a little early for either a Chapel Down Kir Royale or a Bloody Mary before sitting down at the feasting table. #SundayLunchClub

"Our Sunday Lunch Clubs are all about sharing good food with good company." Scott Goss

Sunday 26th February
Everyone to sit to eat at 1.30pm
£26 per person

Small Plates
Blow-torched mackerel & rhubarb
Ham & frozen foie gras
Cauliflower & fermented mushrooms

Main Event
Roast Shorthorn beef, fresh horseradish, beef dripping potatoes, sharing Yorkshire pudding, roasted garden roots, bone marrow and thyme gravy

To finish
Baked blood orange meringue
Coffee and Chocolates



Scott Goss, one of the UK's most influential chefs

Pleased as punch that Scott Goss, Chef Patron at The Twenty Six, part of the I'll be Mother group of restaurants in Kent has been included in food and travel magazine Olive's list of most influential chefs in the UK and 'one's to watch' in 2017.

The Twenty Six is my test kitchen. There are no rules. 

Scott's food is deceptively simple, big on flavour and technique, with a passion for ingredients and integrity. There's always a surprise of something unexpected or untried before. He's a big talent and one I'm sure the Michelin inspectors are looking at very closely!

See Olive's full list in their January issue or see this link.

One to watch. Grab a table while you can!

One to watch. Grab a table while you can!



Proud Mother Hen

The Beacon down Tea Garden Lane

The Beacon down Tea Garden Lane

Talent in Tunbridge Wells

I am hopping around like a proud mother hen as not one but two of the talented team at The Beacon, part of the I'll be Mother group in Kent have been shortlisted for a national hospitality award. Doug Sanham, 27, Sous Chef and George Lee, 19, Assistant Manager at The Beacon, are two finalists on a shortlist of 10 including entries from the Four Seasons and The Savoy Hotel, London for the national scholarship and bursary, worth £5,000.

Known as the Acorns, the prestigious Scholarship is an independent bursary award created by The Caterer, the leading trade magazine for the restaurant and hospitality industry. The competition presents a young manager, chef, HR manager, sommelier, or any young high-achiever involved in hospitality with the opportunity to make a name for themselves by presenting their skills and ambitions to some of the most respected names in the industry. 

With a prize worth more than £5,000, the 2017 Acorn Scholar will become part of a prestigious Acorn Scholarship alumni. The scholarship is now in its 14th year, and past winners include Simon Houston, now sales director of Bartlett Mitchell, award-winning chocolatier and patissier Will Torrent and Daniel McLoughlin, opening project manager of Shoda Café & Restaurant.

The winner will be chosen after a full day of face-to-face interviews at Coworth Park, Berkshire in on 21st November.

The Beacon, known as the Garden Kitchen, is an 80 cover restaurant, with private dining and event space and is part of the I’ll be Mother group including The Twenty Six in Southborough (Test Kitchen) and The Swan at Chapel Down in Tenterden (Wine Kitchen).  All three restaurants have been listed in the recent Michelin Eating Out Guide 2017.