Chapter One 22

Farnborough Common , Locksbottom, BR6 8NF

01689 854848

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10 reviews

51 Modern European Kent

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SquareMeal Review of Chapter One

Keen out-of-town prices combined with pleasingly elegant decor, capable service and clever cooking make Chapter One well worth a drive down the A21. Chef/patron Andrew McLeish fashions all-manner of worldly-wise dishes from top-drawer materials and the result is vivacious food with a high degree of culinary technique. “Even though it’s Michelin star, it’s not above itself”, observes one regular. The kitchen deals in exquisite plates loaded with big, bold flavours: starters of Josper-roast octopus with chorizo or warm confit duck croquant with English asparagus, celeriac and confit duck egg yolk might give way to squab pigeon Wellington with trompette mushrooms or baked Dorset gurnard with a Comté cheese crust, chickpeas, rose-petal harissa and wild garlic pesto. “McLeish also sources his own venison”, says one who knows. Appealing puds might include baked apple with cinnamon ice cream, milk foam and toffee raisin sauce, while sommeliers are on hand to help with food-matching selections from the extensive wine list. “Always a delight”, says one fan, and we’re not about to disagree. 

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8.7

Food & Drink: 9.2

Service: 8.2

Atmosphere: 8.7

Value: 8.7

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 5.0

Value: 5.0

Laura B. 04 September 2017

I took my friend her for the 30th Birthday. We had the 3 course Sunday lunch which was delicious and great value for money. They also bought my friend a cake and celebration plate for her birthday. Food was lovely and service was great.

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 4.0

Diane E. 31 January 2014

Great to get out of the rain relax in the comfortable bar with a good cocktail. The restaurant was busy for a midweek viisit but the service wine and food was excellent as always. I think its worth pointing out for the non drinker the restaurant does have a sizeable car park. Very enjoyable evening, will certainly be visiting again.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 2.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 4.0

Dawn C. 13 March 2012

Shame about our waiter – arrogant, disinterested and unable to answer questions about the food. Didn't bother to check back with us once we had our food to make sure everything was OK and when he came to collect our plates and one of our party made a comment about a slight dissatisfaction she had with the dish, he coudn't have cared less. He wouldn't make eye contact and looked bored out of his mind throughout the whole of lunch service until everybody started to leave then he was able to crack a slight smile.

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 5.0

Value: 5.0

O. Maria 12 September 2011

I have been here a number of times. First when I was still at school with my parents and the latest for my birthday. The food is not food… Its art! I remember the first time my parents took me here I had never eaten gourmet food and was a bit confused by how it looked… Then having tasted it, I was in heaven! The blend of flavours was beyond anything I had ever had before. I still remember the scallope and the little drink thing it came with that complimented it to perfection and the delicios fish. This time I had a pork belly for main and it was indeed the best pork belly I have eaten. I have been to many restaurants since the first time I came here, in cities all over the world. This is beyond doubt one of my favourites, the flavours are trully fantastic, the starters are terrific and the deserts are simply divine! I know I ate too many of the sweets on my birthday but I left feeling on cloud 9! The head chef really is an artist and for the price which is up to half of central London this is well worth a visit!

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 5.0

Value: 5.0

Edward P. 15 November 2010

In all my years of eating in ‘fine dining’ restaurants I only recently discovered Chapter One. What a waste, what was I thinking of?. I cannot praise the experience of dining here too highly. The food was absolutely fantastic. Each course maintining the standard throughout the meal. My smoked eel were amazing and my partners special lobster raviolo although probably dripping in calories, was fantastic and one can understand why it is a signature dish for this fine restaurant. The main courses were delicious and well presented. My roast partridge was wonderful. I completed my meal with cheese and the choice was exceptional and the waiter clearly knew his product really well and took some pride in having his suggestions accepted by the customer. My partner had lemon tart and I have seldom seen such satisfaction with a desert as that clearly brought. The waiter again kindly suggested a dessert wine to accompany it and I gather the blend of the wine and desert reached new heights of enjoyment. The staff were all professional and it was a joy to be served by them.

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 5.0

Value: 5.0

horace m. 08 November 2010

chapter one is the best eating out experience for miles. the food is exceptional & the quality is always of the highest standard, regardless of how busy the restaurant is.There is always something for everyone & the chef is always willing to adapt a dish to suit your neeeds. Nothing seems to be too much trouble. The staff are always welcoming & friendly & make you feel special. All of the staff have a great knowledge of the food they are serving & seem to show a passion for what they do. The prices of the menus are amazingly reasonable,especially the lunch time menu du jour. Why go to london, or anywhere else for that matter, when you have such a jewel right on your doorstep. Will be returning very very soon

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 4.0

David S. 23 August 2010

My girlfriend and I both love Chapter One and rate it as our favourite restaurant, which says a lot because we both eat out a lot in and around London and usually make a beeline for places we have read good things about. Since we first discovered Chapter One a couple of year ago and each visit just reinforces our view of how good it is. The food, thanks to the magic touch of head chef Andrew McLeish, is some of the best you’ll find anywhere. His modern European menu might not offer as many dishes as some, but that is probably because he concentrates on producing quality rather than quantity. On each occasion we have eaten there, Chapter One has never failed to impress, both with its food and the sensible pricing, which makes eating out there such an affordable and enjoyable occasion. The staff are always welcoming and they know the menu inside out, a refreshing change form some establishments I have eaten in recently in the West End where we often get off-hand answers to any queries about the food. Too many restaurants seem to employ staff that they either don’t train, or don’t pay sufficiently well to take an interest in the product they are serving. Chapter One for us is the ideal eatery; good food, sensible prices, friendly and efficient staff and comfortable, contemporary surroundings. You can’t ask a lot more of a restaurant than this. We went there a couple of weeks ago for lunch and received the usual friendly welcome from the maitre d’. We had a drink at the bar while we looked through the menu and were told our table would be ready whenever we were. The last time we ate in London, an aggressive waiter practically insisted we finish our drinks immediately because our table was ready. In fact, we were almost dragged to the table. Our meal was a delight. We opted for the Menu du Jour and my girlfriend started with basil marinated heirloom tomato salad with pecorino, basil cress. I went for potatoes, warm black pudding and apple salad with summer truffles and it was delicious. For her main course my girlfriend ordered pan fried black bream with a cassoulet of coco beans, orange, pancetta and salsa verde and I went for roast hake with chorizo, tomato sauce and pilaf rice, scented with kaffir lime. We couldn’t fault either dish. We finished by both having the dark chocolate tart with Kentish raspberries and vanilla ice cream. Our bill came to £18.50 each for three courses and we paid £18.50 for a bottle of very good Chenin Blanc, 2009, Kleine Zalze, Stellenbosch. For an eating out experience, which offers panache along with great food and professional service, Chapter One is in our opinion, unbeatable.

Food & Drink: 3.0

Service: 0.0

Atmosphere: 2.0

Value: 2.0

Joanna A. 19 July 2010

I recently had lunch in the Braserie side of Chapter One, the food was good but very much overshadowed by the treatment we received from the staff. One staff member was excellent, but due to the fact that we are smokers and it was a hot sunny afternoon, we wished to sit outside to finish our drinks after our meal. Firstly, we were made to stand on the left side of the exterior of the restuarant with no tables or chairs – we were not allowed to sit on the right side where there were tables and chairs, as this, we were told, was for diners – even though there were no diners outside! Furthermore, to make us feel even more unwelcome, whilst 2 of us were finishing off our bottle of red, we requested that our 3rd guest could have a white wine spritzer, but we were told that the manager would not serve us any further drinks outside the restuarant, and in fact practically asked us to leave. I am quite disgusted with the how we have been treated, and would not recommend this restuarant to anyone. I note many others on your site have said how bad the attitude of the serving staff and management is at this restuarant and it does make me wonder why a restuarant with such a great reputation for it's food seems to think it is ok to treat their paying guests in thiis manner, in my opinion it is quite disgraceful!

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 5.0

Value: 5.0

Christopher J. platinum reviewer 26 April 2010

A £20 Sunday set menu at a restaurant opposite a set of crossroads on the A21 just outside of Bromley, not the most obvious venue for one of the best Sunday lunches for some time. It is, according to the Michelin guide “A very good restaurant in its own Category” and they were spot on. The Sunday lunch, whilst sticking to theme, was not your uncomplicated and obvious options. To begin there was Veloute of butternut pumpkin, Espuma of spring peas with confit smoked salmon poached hnes egg pea shoots, Risotto of chorizo &wild garlic with parmesan & Crème Fraiche amongst others. Main courses were Slow braised Pork belly, Roast Salmon with brown nut butter and red wine sauce, Sirloin of beef with braised red cabbage, roast potatoes and jus and these just the highlights, the menu was not limited either. The bread was freshly baked, the service was impeccable and by 12.30pm the restaurant was almost fully, occupied by couples enjoying a romantic lunch, to families with a dozen members of all ages enjoying high quality, creative cooking. I look forward to returning for dinner very soon.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 4.0

Amanda N. 03 September 2009

I thoroughly enjoyed my Summer promotion meal this week – three courses for a set price proved excellent value. All beautifully presented. I bravely tried the “peanut butter and jam sandwich” for desert and wasn't disappointed. The only negative comment was the snooty reply to my enquiry whether their sister restaurant “Chapters” in Bexleyheath was involved in the Summer promotion as a colleague was interested. Clearly they haven't discovered the benefits of cross-sell yet.

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Room for 55 people
Capacity: 55

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