A restaurant on the edge of Horsham has been awarded a coveted Michelin star - just a year after it opened.
Restaurant Interlude at Leonardslee Lakes and Gardens at Lower Beeding gained the only ‘new’ Michelin star awarded in West Sussex this year.
Leonardslee owner Penny Streeter brought executive chef Jean Delport from his native South Africa to open the restaurant in October 2018.
He is only the second South African chef to win a Michelin star for his restaurant, and one of the youngest recipients, aged 31.
Jean Delport, who manages a team of seven kitchen staff, said: “Every dish in each seasonal, multi-course tasting menu is designed to a hunter-gatherer concept of food that’s foraged, cultivated and raised on the estate or close by.”
Restaurant Interlude is believed to be the first UK restaurant associated with its own vineyard to win a Michelin star.
The restaurant has views across the gardens and its vineyard, planted in 2018.
There are 72,000 vines under cultivation across 15 hectares at Leonardslee and a neighbouring site at Mannings Heath Golf and Wine Estate, part of the Benguela Collection vineyards and hospitality group in the UK and South Africa.
The restaurant, which opened last October following extensive restoration works of the Grade 11 listed mansion house at Leonardslee, offers seasonal menus that typically include estate rabbit, winter purslane, hogweed cider and charcoal; fallow deer with local braai and sour raspberry; or oyster, foraged greens and juniper.
Jean Delport works with fellow chef Ruan Pretorius, formerly head chef at renowned South African restaurant Terroir in the Cape winelands.