New fine dining restaurant opens at famous West Sussex gardens

The newly-opened Interlude Restaurant at Leonardslee Lakes and Gardens SUS-181022-170118001 SUS-181022-170118001
The newly-opened Interlude Restaurant at Leonardslee Lakes and Gardens SUS-181022-170118001 SUS-181022-170118001

A new fine dining restaurant opened its doors at Leonardslee Lakes and Gardens near Horsham on Friday.

Restaurant Interlude is housed within the Italianate mansion at the heart of the historic 200 acre Leonardslee estate at Lower Beeding.

Chef Jean Delport of the new Interlude Restaurant at Leonardslee Lakes and Gardens, Lower Beeding SUS-181022-170103001 SUS-181022-170103001

Chef Jean Delport of the new Interlude Restaurant at Leonardslee Lakes and Gardens, Lower Beeding SUS-181022-170103001 SUS-181022-170103001

Hospitality entrepreneur Penny Streeter - who bought the Leonardslee estate in 2017 - said: “Interlude connects lovers of fine dining with the very spirit of Leonardslee, the finest woodland gardens in England, carefully curated for over 200 years.

“Every dish in each seasonal, multi-course tasting menu is designed to a hunter-gatherer farmer concept of food that’s foraged, cultivated and raised on the estate or close by.”

Penny, owner of vineyards in the UK and South Africa, opened the restaurant on Friday after 18 months’ intensive restoration of the gardens and Grade II Listed mansion house. The gardens will open in early 2019.

Diners can feast on multiple courses including estate rabbit, winter purslane, hogweed cider and charcoal; also fallow deer with local braai and sour raspberry; and oyster, foraged greens and juniper.

Penny brought executive chef Jean Delport from his native South Africa eight months ago to plan and prepare for the launch - from recruiting his team, which includes chef Ruan Pretorius, to designing new kitchens, creating original tasting menus and sourcing the finest ingredients from the estate and selected local farmers.

The restaurant is open for dinner from Wednesday to Saturday weekly.

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