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“Fussy, overpriced nonense”

Ockenden Manor Restaurant
Ranked #2 of 12 Restaurants in Cuckfield
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $71 - $95
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions, Local cuisine, Romantic
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Reservations
Description: Ockenden Manor offers a superb fine dining experience in our beautiful dining room overlooking the gardens with stunning views of the South Downs National Park. Head Chef, Stephen Crane,serves some of the finest food in southern England incorporating the freshest ingredients, sourced locally in Sussex whenever possible. Guests have a choice of fixed price menus including Stephen's selected Sussex Menu or the gastronomic seven course Tasting Menu
Brighton, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
35 reviews
22 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Fussy, overpriced nonense”
Reviewed June 10, 2013

This is a restaurant review (evening service) and we did not stay at the hotel ,
There is nothing wrong with the food here, its just that the portions are so small that its ridiculous!
Nouvelle cuisine re-invented , but smaller!
This restaurant tries so hard to be a fine dining experience that it has forgotten to feed its diners.
I ate there with friends, one of the most enjoyable things in this world is to catch up with friends over a nice meal, we were looking forward to a good evening, firstly the place looks great, country house in one of Sussex's prettiest villages, but the problems started before the food arrived.
We were shown to a round table in the conservatory, but it became clear that the style of service was intrusive and the table was far too small, we had several glasses each, plus 2 slates of butter, small vase and of course side plates and the usual cutlery, so a busy table to start with, but then when the 2 baskets of bread, 2 more slates of small dips and sticks arrived we were having to re arrange everything to fit, in fact there was not even enough space on the table for my wives glasses!
The bread baskets stayed on our table far too long, a sure sign that when the real deal arrives its going to be small, the term 'fill them with bread' comes to mind, we finally ordered water and one bottle of wine and then the starters and main courses, the starters arrived and were OK, nothing special but not bad, in deed my starter of salmon turned out to be larger than my main course! I have to say that the service was really bad, there is nothing wrong with the staff, they are very pleasant, but they have been trained in a style that I personally hate, it is over attentive, there seems to be someone at the table all the time, and when you are trying to have a conversation with friends, i find it rude to be interrupted again and again and again by staff topping up an already full water glass, wine glass, making enquiries about our enjoyment or just loitering by our table! in fact we had to stop wine being poured for our nominated driver 4 times!!!!
The main courses arrived and we all looked at each other, I had ordered the ox, advertised as ox cheek and ox tail, then it arrived I thought there was an oxo cube on my vegetables , I kid you not the ox cheek was a cube only slightly larger than an oxo cube, 1 and a half mouthfuls, I looked around the plate for the oxtail and there was a very small pie, the size of a table spoon, I broke the pastry open to find apx, a tea spoon full of mashed meat which was the oxtail, so disappointed, i could go on about the amount of supplements on the £50+ fixed menu, or how thin cheese can be cut (slither rather than slice), but i am am getting upset just thinking about our experience, we left £300+ later (one bottle of wine only) and still hungry.
Perhaps if you love the attention and this is your idea of fine dining it might suit you, but if you are hungry, give it a miss.

  • Visited May 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank MJM50s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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262 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    150
    65
    20
    20
    7
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Hastings, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
18 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“A wedding present gift”
Reviewed April 8, 2013

We have today had a most gorgeous lunch, there was nothing we could complain about, the homemade bread was delicious as was our starter, main course and dessert, and the homemade petit fours with our coffee were lovely. The service was second to none, well done coke den manor!

  • Visited April 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank turkey13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
West Sussex
Level Contributor
66 reviews
48 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“Poor service let's the restaurant down”
Reviewed March 31, 2013 via mobile

Decided to go there for Easter Sunday lunch. We've been there many times and in all honesty very little changes there.
I went for the fish today and my starter of shellfish ragout was excellent albeit not hot enough. Cod for the main course was a let down. The piece of cod was not a good one compared to other guests. Desert was good.
The main issue in the retaurant is the service. Kids who have no clue what they're supposed to do and no "supervisor" to oversee them. So we had to ask for things after things after things throughout the meal. It's ok once or maybe twice but it gets tedious after.
I feel this place needs to sort itself out as there are plenty of places to go to in Sussex now.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank feb0
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Worthing, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
64 reviews
55 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“Civilised retreat”
Reviewed January 11, 2013

What a wonderful Hotel, first class service delicious food and a wonderful spa, Not cheap but well worth every penny.

Visited July 2012
Helpful?
Thank Peter S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brighton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
18 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“What a disappointment”
Reviewed December 9, 2012

Having had lunch with my family here 4 years ago I tought it would be a good venue for my birthday, again with my family. We've dined at a number of michelin starred reataurants in the past and this one is close to loosing its star. The olives served with the champagne, once it arrived, were very poor and dry. The amuse bouche at the start of the meal was almost insulting, so small it had no chance of exciting any tastebuds. Entrees, main course and desserts were OK, but no more than that. The wine, for which there is an extensive list, was very good. Wine and food were terribly over-priced. The service was also OK but nothing special and certainly not to michelin standards.

  • Visited December 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank philipW99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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