Modern European·
Silver Award

SquareMeal Review of JSW

Silver Award

Housed in the shell of a 17th-century coaching inn, this charming restaurant-with-rooms has all the prerequisites of its age: old beams, a well, an expansive cellar and three tunnels to other buildings in the ancient town of Petersfield. The cream-coloured dining room is as spare as the less-is-more style of  Jake Saul Watkins (JSW) – a chef who prizes seasonal British ingredients. His technical brilliance and “innovation” shine through across the board, from a lasagne of scallops, leeks and nasturtiums to South Downs lamb ‘two ways’ or butter-poached chicken with crispy hen’s egg, morels, asparagus, Jersey royals and wild garlic. Game is a standout in season, and be sure to sample desserts such as honeycomb parfait or the cheeky rhubarb ‘Jammy Dodger’ with baked hay custard, which show off Jake’s culinary prowess to the full. Service is spot-on, prices are “affordable” and the “fine wine list” list is remarkable for its breadth and diversity – no wonder diners enjoy staying over in the comfortable bedrooms.

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - £50 - £79
Modern European

JSW is featured in


20 Dragon Street, Petersfield, Hampshire, GU31 4JJ

01730 262 030


Opening Times

Thurs-Sun 12N-1.30pm Wed-Sat 7pm-9pm


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6 Reviews 

David H

16 November 2018  
Food & Drink 4
Service 4
Atmosphere 3
Value 3.5
Very enjoyable and competent lunch
We turned up a month after the news of its "lost star" came out. This created a degree of apprehension beforehand, but frankly we had no concerns whatsoever with what we ate and how it was served. There are restaurants not so good as this one that didn't lose stars. The four of us chose the a la carte menu, which basically means a set price lunch ( or dinner) for two or three courses with a choice of 4 dishes at each course. Frankly choosing was more difficult than it often is in these circumstances for the simple reason that we found most of the dishes on offer quite appealing. My partridge ravioli starter was tasty, suitably complex, and appropriately sized. The main course was slow cooked fillet of beef with little oxtail, and bone marrow potato. It was uniformly delicious. I should say also that the "extras"- baccala with home-made biscuits, a wide range of breads, and truffles, were all very good too. Service was pleasant and timely throughout, and involved the chef/patron. The restaurant itself was maybe a little bare, which would perhaps be easier to carry off with modern premises and furniture than in an older and traditional building like this one. The on-site parking was a pleasant novelty for someone who eats mostly in London. All told, a very pleasant lunch- good food and nice people. What we had today was worth a star.

Michael S

26 March 2018  
Great Italian restaurant of the old school (in a good way) neighbourhood place in Chelsea. All fresh, all organic. Spot on service, polite, discreet and grown-up. Big, busy, international locals and classy.

Paul A

09 June 2016  
Food & Drink 4
Service 3
Atmosphere 3
Value 4
As good as expected
It is a truism that personal perception can be influenced for better or worse by all manner of external factors, a sunny day, muzak, interaction with other people, good or bad moods, and, in a restaurant, how to compare one menu and the dishes on it with what is offered by another restaurant one has had experience of. On this occasion everything seemed set fair - sunniest, hottest day of the year, no music in the charming, almost intimate, dining room, very friendly welcome, the best of moods as it was a birthday treat, and, as it was lunch, the pleasing opportunity to choose between a shorter and a longer tasting menu. Although we have coped with more in the past, the six course version seemed more appropriate on this occasion. JSW is blessed with a decent selection of half-bottles and the St Aubin and the Crozes-Hermitage clearly made good matches for the two fish and the two meat dishes. Simple but adequate canapés, olives and a lovely brandade which did not overdo the fishiness, and super bread made for a promising start. Our scallops were very good and cleverly matched with a cauliflower cheese sauce cum purée, truffle oil and pretty nasturtiums, and this was followed by an excellent combination of delicious melt-in-the-mouth cured and poached salmon accompanied by a local quartet of Hampshire ingredients - crayfish, gentle wasabi, quite forward watercress and very special pickled cucumber, the latter something of a revelation for me as a cucumber avoider. The hay-baked parsnips, crispy carrot, sea beet and orange sauce went very well with the excellent duck, but the textures of lamb dish was a bit uneven with the wondrous shepherd’s pie sauce rather outshining the lamb and the salt-baked turnips, and it has to said that there was a curious lack of green vegetables which could have made a major difference to the already quite artistic presentation of both these plates. The edgy palate cleanser of poached peaches and strawberry and peach granita with an Earl Grey panna cotta was the perfect introduction to the dessert proper, lemon curd parfait, raspberry and lemon balm and raspberry granita - a properly summery way to bring the meal to an end, although not quite as the petits fours (served after coffee) were also very good.

Brad W

22 August 2010  
Food & Drink 3.5
Service 2.5
Atmosphere 3
Value 2.5
At best I would describe as JSW good, but certainly not great. We didn’t see the Michelin Star status in the menu or the food. The service was polite, but we felt rushed, which left us wondering if they needed our table for something else. Overall my wife and I were left disappointed.

Christopher J

26 April 2010  
Food & Drink 4
Service 4
Atmosphere 3.5
Value 4
I echo Foodess's assesment on JSW – it is a real gem of a restaurant and highly reccomended for a visit. We had the tasting menu with accompanying Wine on Saturday afternoon – beginning with Scallops, lightly spiced mussels and Razor Clams, Cod with Truffle mash, Guinea Fowl Boudin, Loin of lamb and one of the finest desserts I have ever tasted, a stunning Salted Caramel Mousse with Chocolate and Honeycomb. The food was excellent and the the wine pairing took some of the work out of a nice long lunch. JSW has rooms, a Michelin * and is located in the centre of Peterfield, a quaint market town with some nice pubs and antique shops.

Wendy M

06 November 2009  
Food & Drink 4
Service 4.5
Atmosphere 4
Value 4.5
I’m not usually a fan of olde worlde, but the simplicity of this enchanting town venue captured my approval as a place offering high quality dining and a lot more as the intro states. Impeccable service, appetising dishes and a choice of reasonably priced wines amongst a large eclectic list facilitated the end of a long day in the best possible style. Plain walls, wicker chairs and spaciously placed tables I found surprisingly stylish against the old backdrop. Crisp table settings added to the finesse, including little touches such as the miniature salt spoon and a receptacle for olive stones and spent cocktail sticks, all indicated that nothing was missed by the attentive and affable staff. Elegance pervaded our experience highlighted by the chef who served a fabulous starter of pheasant boudin and ham hock chunks with a few white beans and a carefully truffled creamy white sauce – the highlight for me and I think my other half too. Needless to say even the more minor components were pleasingly done such as breads, coffees and chocolates. Nothing had been overlooked : the warm tone afforded at time of telephone booking followed by the welcoming personal greetings. All I need now is another excuse to head back south.
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