It feels churlish, when all of Britain is apparently thinking of moving to the country, to bring attention to lovely, rural parts of the country you might not have heard of, but Bodiam in East Sussex is very pretty. And yes, I know the last thing residents of bucolic, semi-anonymous villages need is some gob at the Guardian blowing the whistle about their freshly painted gastropub: when I wrote about the Fordwich Arms in east Kent a couple of years back, one local channelled an Orwellian two-minute hate session directly on to Basildon Bond paper. Most enlivened, he was. Regardless, I must tell you about The Curlew, a restaurant by Will and Matt Devlin, the same brothers who opened The Small Holding in Cranbrook on the Kent-Sussex border last summer, which I reviewed at the time. The Devlins seem to have honed the formula for painting big, barn-like pubs in tasteful, taupe shades, festooning them with flowers from their farm, then offering the locals lovely things without a jot of pretension. They deserve a bit of smoke blown up their trouser legs for everything they and their excellent staff have achieved in the past 12 months, too. It’s not easy… Read full this story
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