If the tarte Tatin at Wingrove House in Alfriston is anything to go by, then there’s truth in the adage that good things come to those that wait. This is the third time we’ve tried to go there, and this time we succeeded.
The occasion was our friend Keeley’s birthday. We had been talking about nipping down to Monte Carlo for lunch – as you do, dahling – but the bad weather on the Côte d’Azur put paid to those plans.
Instead, we opted for Wingrove House in Alfriston, where she lives. If Britain had a network of plus beaux villages, Alfriston would definitely be one of them. Full of medieval half-timbered buildings, it is picture-postcard pretty.
The first time we tried to get a table at Wingrove House, our hopes of a late lunch came too late for the kitchen. The second time, there was a function on and the restaurant wasn’t open to the public.
We chanced our luck again on Sunday, fully expecting to be turned away, of course. Imagine our surprise when they welcomed us in heartily.
The menu is a lovely mix of local dishes, all of which come beautifully served. I started with a squid stew – landed at nearby Eastbourne – and tucked into Sussex fallow deer for my main.
Wine came in the form of Chablis to start with, then a Beaune premier cru to follow.
“I was impressed by the look of the tarte Tatin that another table had ordered. I knew I had to have one”
Often for dessert, I am swayed by whatever looks the most chocolatey on the menu. This time, however, I was impressed by the look of the tarte Tatin that another table had ordered. The dish has its own history, which I’ve written about before.
I knew I had to have one. I had been won over by the apple ring sitting on top of the vanilla ice cream – and that was before I bit into the crisp pastry.
It proved a twist on the classic dish – and well worth the wait. Heaven on a plate.