Ockenden Manor


SquareMeal Review of Ockenden Manor

Squirreled away down its own private lane, Ockenden Manor resolutely upholds the traditions of English gentility, combining Elizabethan pedigree with nine cares of fastidiously nurtured grounds and a requisite quota of hand-painted ceilings, stained glass windows and antiques. However, chef Stephen Crane’s gastronomically soothing menu is the real attraction here, and his line-up of accomplished modern dishes yields the utmost satisfaction from impeccable ingredients – perhaps Selsey lobster salad with summer vegetables and smoked potato, a four-part assembly of Goodwood Estate lamb (saddle, breast, falafel, sweetbreads) accompanied by baby artichokes and courgette provençale or honey-roast quail with boudin blanc, truffled Yukon Gold potatoes and charred broccoli. To conclude, desserts promise favourites such as Eton mess with raspberry sorbet, caramelised lemon tart or warm apricot and almond cake. The serious-mined wine list includes some enterprising Sussex representatives and a goodly Coravin selection by the glass. 

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Average Price
££££ - Over £80
Food Hygiene Rating

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Location for Ockenden Manor

Ockenden Lane, Cuckfield, Haywards Heath, West Sussex, RH17 5LD

01444 416111


Opening Times

Mon-Sun 12N-2pm 7-9.30pm

Reviews of Ockenden Manor

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1 Review 

Wendy M

24 June 2009  
A small hotel with restaurant worthy of a gastronomic country jaunt. One would expect décor to be classic in a building dating back to 1400’s, but don’t expect dishes to be served in straight classic style. Fresh flavours are produced with a fair portion of imagination. Start with langoustine & crispy pork belly or tomato consommé with seasonal veg & soft herbaceous gnocchi (best gnocchi I’d had, but could have been better balanced overall), or asparagus with confit salmon. Assiette of pork (accurately described by SqM) & turbot with langoustine sauce pleased both sides of our table with taste exchanges going on throughout the meal. Dishes are not ground-breaking in design & nor do you get whacked with lots of big flavours, but much of the menu seems to be aimed to gently tantalise, though some dishes certainly don’t lack power – a good summery balance. A great deal of thought & care had gone into what we ate, from the pork rillette canapé, rich cheesy potato & bacon amuse bouche, right through to the desserts such as cherry & almond clafoutis with deep, tart red wine sauce or caramelised white chocolate profiteroles. We enjoyed efficient & friendly service too. As for the wallet damage, don’t expect to get much change from £80/head for 3 courses including wine. I note a SqM reviewer complained of portion size at sister hotel, Bailiff’s court (run by the same Executive chef), and we had no problem managing 3 courses without sharing dessert which for us is a rarity. Upon arrival of the petit fours we began to struggle. It’s easy to see why this could – as I’ve read – be leader in a pack of a group of 3.
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