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“Afternoon Tea in civilised surroundings!”

Gravetye Manor Restaurant
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $41 - $41
Cuisines: British
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Business meetings, Local cuisine, Special occasions
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Late Night, Reservations
Dining style: Fine Dining
Description: From unhurried classical dining in our atmospheric wood panelled restaurant to leisurely lunches in the garden, from traditional Afternoon Teas to our very reasonable Table d’Hote menu – we hope to delight and enchant with our food regardless of the occasion. We are incredibly fortunate to have a one acre walled kitchen garden, which during the summer months provides 95% of all fruit and vegetables we use in the kitchen, assuring you of the very freshest ingredients. "We have an exceptionally talented team in the kitchen who are very keen to keep ingredients as fresh and local as possible. Dishes will change as often as is practical and will offer something new to try regardless of how often our guests dine with us. I look forward to inviting you into our restaurant at an exciting time to try, what I firmly believe to be, some of the most honest and delicious food in food in the area." Executive Chef – Rupert Gleadow
Reviewed May 19, 2013

A very very pleasant afternoon in beautiful gardens. A delightful afternoon tea for £22 per person, sitting on a stunning terrace in Sussex countryside. Lovely food, impeccable service and perfect surroundings for a discerning customer. Why go to the Ritz, when everything, and more, is at this classy Manor, for a much more affordable price.

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Thank JGT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Andrew T, Manager at Gravetye Manor Restaurant, responded to this reviewResponded June 13, 2013

I am so pleased the sun shone so you could enjoy afternoon tea in the garden, as you say who needs to go to London when you can enjoy such a setting? Thank you for your comments. Kind regards, Andrew Thomason Managing Director

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338 - 342 of 423 reviews

Reviewed May 14, 2013 via mobile

We made a reservation for lunch at Gravetye based on recommendations and good reviews, so had high hopes.

The location of the property is convenient to Mid Sussex, and the views are almost perfect (except for a very unfortunately placed telephone tower).

The welcome was good at the door, but then we were passed between a dizzying number of (very polite) staff to a corner of the lounge for aperitifs - right next to the only other people in the room... Drinks were delivered swiftly, but to the wrong people. It was convenient to be given the menu's to peruse before going into the dining room.

The dining room is the first reason for dropping a star. The one we were seated in is tiny (surely there must be a larger one? The one next to the lounge is smaller than our sitting room). There were 3 other tables occupied, and we could all clearly hear each others' conversations.

Service and food was mixed - the other reason for dropping a star. We ordered a fair variety between the 3 of us. Some of the dishes were delicious, with seasonal content (although the asparagus was bland). The major letdown was the slow cooked duck breast. Ours was oozing blood in places, and had extremely tough sinew running through it, which we have up trying to saw through. The chicken was lovely though, as were the desserts.
Service was sporadic. We ended up consistently pouring our own water and waited ages for the dessert menus, and then to place dessert orders.

Settling the bill was a swift and courteous experience. Gravetye offers reasonable value for money, but we have to wonder whether lunch the day we went was comprised ahead of the Champagne and Caviar Evening they had planned for later.

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1  Thank SussexCpl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Andrew T, Manager at Gravetye Manor Restaurant, responded to this reviewResponded May 16, 2013

Thank you for your comprehensive review of your lunch at Gravetye Manor. I am far from happy that you and your guests thought your experience was a 3 out of 5 for which I must apologise. We have three dining rooms at Gravetye and on this particular lunch we used the panelled room overlooking the wild flower meadow and the lake, other reviewers have liked the intimacy of this room but I take on board your comments. I must apologise for the error we made with your duck main course, chef joins me in sending our apologies. In no way should the evening Champagne dinner compromise the lunch service, but in this case we should have been more aware of the needs of our guests, I am grateful for your comments. Andrew Thomason (Managing Director)

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Reviewed May 13, 2013

Back here for a friend's birthday lunch after more than forty years since my first visit. Would it be as magical as I recalled? In fact, it surpassed my expectations from the moment we arrived, when a member of the staff greeted us in front of the house, showed us in and took us through to the gardens. These are the glory of the place and surpassed Wakehurst Place where we went on to after lunch. The display of tulips was breathtaking, as are the views from the terrace. In the famed kitchen garden, we chatted to a young gardener who happily showed us how things are done at Gravetye. We couldn't wait to get into the restaurant to sample what we had seen growing there. Drinks in the bar, a beautifully proportioned, wood panelled room, were served with a delicious selection of caramelised nuts and a variety of olives. We then dined in the smaller of the two dining rooms with magnificent views down to the lake and beyond. A trio of tasty amuse bouche, and lovely breads preceded the meal, along with a carafe of their own spring water. We choose our first two courses from the lunch menu and they were exceptionally good. Pigeon for my companion and a langoustine salad, with asparagus from the garden, for me were beautifully executed and spoke of good things to come. Thus, the mains were even better. My friend's pork was succulent and flavoursome and my chicken with a pearly barley risotto the best I have tasted in a long time. No dull, boring flavours here, just the most chickenny chicken you'll ever taste - divine. We had decided on a dessert from the a la carte menu, having spotted a blood orange soufflé with chocolate sorbet on the menu. We were not disappointed in this, quite simply superb. Our coffees were served in the Hall, before a roaring log fire and came with a generous portion of homemade chocolates. We were sorely tempted to curl up in the comfy chairs by the fire and forget the rest of the trip to Wakehurst but decided instead to make sure that we return in another season to see how the gardens look then. So often returning to a place like this, which held such fond memories, is not a good idea but this was not the case at Gravetye. I'm so glad I did and hope I'll return again much sooner next time.

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Thank DM51
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Andrew T, Manager at Gravetye Manor Restaurant, responded to this reviewResponded May 16, 2013

Dear reviewer, I am so glad you have shared your experience with us. So many guests have used Gravetye over the years for their celebrations and some like yourselves plan a return not quite knowing if the magic will still be there. Over the past three years we have aimed at returning Gravetye to its former glory with a refurbishment program and a concerted effort to create a dining experience that draws its inspiration from our kitchen garden and local producers. Subtle changes have been made but all for the better to enhance the guest experience whether you are coming for afternoon tea or and overnight stay. Thank you for your comprehensive report and we all look forward to welcoming back in the near future. Andrew Thomason (Managing Director)

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Reviewed May 11, 2013

I have never before had to order desert prior to eating starter and main course. Food was mediocre at best, service started out fine but became very poor by the time we had coffee. Over all I would say that given the total cost the place does not represent value for money. Not good enough!

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Thank wooHaywardsHeath
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Andrew T, Manager at Gravetye Manor Restaurant, responded to this reviewResponded May 16, 2013

Dear reviewer, I am most concerned about this, please can you call me at the hotel on 01342 810567 so I can firstly understand your comment regarding taking the order for dessert which is not a standard unless it is for a private group given a choice menu? At the same time I am happy to discuss our food and service. I am sorry your visit to Gravetye Manor didn’t meet expectations, I would like to be given the opportunity to address this. Thank you, Andrew Thomason (Managing Director)

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Reviewed May 9, 2013

We dined here on each evening of our 3 night stay at Gravetye Manor. he food was perfection, with sensibly sized portions, we felt comfortably full by the end of our meals

Thank BigTedHaynes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Andrew T, Manager at Gravetye Manor Restaurant, responded to this reviewResponded May 14, 2013

Dear Mr Haynes, I am glad you enjoyed dinner each evening of your three night stay. We have a daily menu in addition to the a la carte and tasting menu so there is always plenty of choice.
Best wishes, Andrew (Managing Director)

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