Rural England has a reputation for being home to some great pubs. But when it comes to finding somewhere decent that serves more than pies and roasts, most of us are more likely to head into town. However, if you fancy a trip out of the big smoke, then Chapter One absolutely needs to be on your list of potential destinations.
In a nutshell, what we have is a Michelin starred restaurant serving truly exceptional food at prices that would have the average high street chain worried. Located near Bromley, it’s within easy reach of the M25 on the Kent/Surrey border, making it an especially realistic proposition for those who live south of the river.
The modern yet elegant venue combines a palette of rich chocolate with deep red silks, eye-catching artwork and a striking bar made from volcanic rock. The restaurant also incorporates a smart and inviting bar area where diners can enjoy a pre-meal drink or cosy up after a belly full of food for a few more glasses of wine or cocktails until late.
The restaurant focuses on a modern European fine dining style of cuisine, although lunch time visitors also have the option of a brasserie style menu, with simple but well executed dishes such as grills, pastas and salads. We visited on a busy Sunday evening and were highly impressed with the fine dining menu.
Starters are a simple and appealing affair with dishes such as Pressed rabbit & foie gras terrine and Raviolo of oxtail. Mains keep to the same formula of beautifully cooked classics served with a keen attention to presentation. Pan-fried halibut with lobster celeriac remoulade, trompette mushrooms & hazelnut emulsion provided a good balance of earthy and delicate flavours, whilst the Veal rump with sweetbreads was well cooked and full of delicious meaty juices.
When it comes to dessert, Chapter One lists what has got to be one of London most decadent finales in the form of a tasting plate of seven (yes, I wrote seven!) desserts for a paltry £2.50 supplement on the set menu. Featuring everything from Hot chocolate fondant and Blood orange trifle to Baked banana, even the most determined pudding fan would find this a challenge.
With a three course dinner costing just £27 (£32 on weekends) and Sunday lunch coming in at a faintly ridiculous £20, Chapter One is truly one of life’s luxuries that we can all afford.
Cuisine type: Modern European
Dinner for two: £27/head (£32 on weekends)
Kent BR6 8NF
Tel: 01689 854848