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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 Michelin-starred food with a high degree of culinary technique. The kitchen deals in exquisite plates loaded with big, bold flavours: starters of braised veal tongue with pickled shallots and sauce gribiche or mackerel rillettes with scorched cucumber, Greek yoghurt, horseradish and mustard ‘frill’ might give way to crispy cod brandade with poached egg, braised oxtail with salt-baked celeriac or Josper-grilled Ibérico pork shoulder and braised cheek with roasted carrots and roscoff onion. “McLeish also uses venison he has personally culled”, says one who knows. The bread is “to die for”, while appealing puds might include milk chocolate and praline mousse with hazelnut cream and raspberry sorbet. With “first-class service” and sommeliers on hand to help with food-matching selections from the extensive and “fairly priced” wine list, Chapter One is “great every time”.
SquareMeal’s Best Restaurants in the UK 2018 is compiled using votes from our annual survey, last conducted in spring 2018. Thousands of readers took part and the results were moderated by SquareMeal’s editor and his nationwide team of professional reviewers. The UK survey does not include any restaurants in London. Click here for the full list of SquareMeal’s Best Restaurants in the UK.
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Orpington Station 2km
Petts Wood Station 3km
Magpie Hall Golf Course 1km
High Elms Golf Club 1km
Mon-Sun 12N-2.30pm (Sun – 3pm) 6.30-10.30pm (Fri-Sat – 11.30 Sun – 9pm)
Chapter One’s private room occupies the first floor and the same level of friendly service and excellent food is a given. The room works well for both small (20) and large (50) functions, including presentations, and a dedicated event manager can help with table plans and place cards etc. A separate cloakroom and bar are further pluses. No room hire charge for parties of 20 or more.
Food & Drink:
Rate & Review
Food + drink: 5
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.
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
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.
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