This was a Birthday treat for our 28 year old son. It started well. The House Bread with butter and dripping was delicious. The breaded cheese tubes with grated parmisan were a "wow". The three of us all chose different starters and mains from the two or three course set menue selection. My wife's mushroom tart was excellent and I would thoroughly recommend, but my mini mackerel starter ( i've never seen such a tiny mackerel,) although beautifully cooked, was tastless despite a dressing. Being treated my son was too embarised to comment.
With the help of the lady in charge we chose a White Ricoh which was brought to the table already opened. Pleasant but in a restaurant in the Michelin Guide working on 200% wine price margins I expected something better.
So Great Expectations (sorry Charles I know you were frightened to death on the Headcorn straight a few miles from here,) for the main course. For the Birthday boy it was venison. Two tubes approximately 30mm in diameter beautifully cooked and tasty but vegetables? My wife loves fish and chose Hake but couldn't identify any flavour and vegetables? For me Pork. Two pieces, one mouthwatering in a beautiful sauce the other inedible beyond my powers of mastication, and vegetables? Here we sat in the garden of England, a longstanding fruit and vegetable wholesaler just 300yds down the road. Huge artics speed along the Headcorn Tenterden road collecting produce from the local farms presumably heading for supermarket shelves but not the West House. One of my dishes said spinage. I love it. The West House version, a single leaf 120mm long and 8mm wide. This is all about decoration, presentation not the tastebuds.
Feeling hungry we shared a cheese plate. Once again delicious date bread and an excellent selection of cheeses. My wife had green leaf tea beautifully presented for four pounds.
Conclusion? I'm a great believer in "the devil's in the detail". Here at the West House the detail was good but at the expense of the basics. We all have different views on value. £176 for three in the West End, but minimalist main ingredients in a small Kentish Village?