Asparagus, strawberries and ants at The Small Holding
The Small Holding is a kitchen and farm on a country lane in the village of Kilndown on the Kent and East Sussex borders. The 26-cover restaurant has been named as one of the best restaurants in Kent at the Taste of Kent Awards and is set in one acre of land. The tasting style menus change daily using home-reared and home-grown ingredients from the farm, which is less than 10ft from the kitchen.
The ten-course Full Acre menu is a full experience of the farm and kitchen starting with home-made sourdough and butter, made on site with the rich yellow cream from a local Guernsey herd. This year The Small Holding is growing nearly 200 varieties of vegetables and fruits. During the peak growing months, the raised beds and poly tunnels are full of lettuces, chard, beans, tomatoes, courgettes, raspberries, gooseberries and blackcurrants, plus the foraged bounty from the woods over the lane from the restaurant which offers wood sorrel, blackberries, wild garlic, chestnuts and mushrooms. Rare breed Berkshire pigs, chickens and ducks roam the farm and there is a mushroom farm in one of the upstairs prep rooms. The five-course Half Acre menu offers a sample of the Full Acre menu, plus vegetarian and vegan Half and Full Acre menus with wine and non-alcoholic flight pairings.
‘The ambition and attitude of The Small Holding does genuinely feel like something new, a self-contained virtuous circle of excellent produce turning into top-quality dishes, all organic and self-sustaining, with wild plants and herbs growing alongside cultivated vegetables, with nothing to decide what makes it onto the menu other than what's the absolute best on the day.’ Chris Pople, Cheese and Biscuits
The June Full Acre menu at The Small Holding with full vegetarian and vegan menus available costs £50 per person with an optional 4 glass wine pairing at £40 and 6 glass wine pairing at £60. The Half Acre menu is £30 per person.
Kale, Cod, Egg
Potato, Chive, Mustard
Asparagus, Lovage, Cheese
Hogget, Fennel, Chilli
Beef, Peas, Horseradish
Sea Buckthorn, Ants, Cream
Miso, Pine, Pear
Strawberry, Basil, Elderflower
“Growing our own produce on the farm brings an understanding and honesty back to the kitchen, and vital freshness. Making the most of our harvests when the ingredients are at their prime – whilst also preserving and conserving them to use throughout the year, keeps us concentrated on the natural cycle of the land and helps us to create full flavoured and imaginative dishes.” Will Devlin
Will took ownership of The Small Holding in January 2018 and opened in April 2018. A former pub, which was run down and neglected, the site has been transformed into an open kitchen and bar with a large decked terrace looking out over the farm and views of the Weald of Kent.
The bar, run by Will’s older brother Matt, is fully stocked with interesting gins, beers and wines, many locally produced such as Greensand Ridge Gin and top English wine producer Squerryes, whose 2013 Brut won Gold in the 2018 Champagne and Sparkling Wine World Championships.
Will won Kent Chef of the Year 2018, beating other finalists, Dan Smith at Fordwich Arms, Fordwich and Rob Taylor at Compasses Inn, Crundale. The Small Holding is recommended in the Good Food Guide 2018. He lives in nearby Goudhurst with his wife and baby daughter.
For more information, images or for a press review visit please contact Hannah Blake at The Dining Room PR
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