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“You've listened and learnt!”
4 of 5 bubbles Review of The Cherry Tree - CLOSED

The Cherry Tree
Price range: $6 - $22
Cuisines: British, Pub, Gastropub
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine, Large groups
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Free Off-Street Parking, Free Wifi, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Outdoor Seating, Parking Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible, Wine and Beer
Description: A delightfully light and open family run, charming country pub nestled in the little village of Ticehurst, with a fantastic south facing British garden and a great range of local beers and authentic wines coupled with a delicious, fresh and homemade menu and our wood fired pizza oven - the Cherry Tree is a wonderful place to treat yourself, your friends and family.
Royal Tunbridge Wells, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
39 reviews
33 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“You've listened and learnt!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 13, 2013

We decided on the Cherry Tree for supper last night and were fortunate enough to be able to find we could be accommodated. When we arrived it was pretty busy and the atmosphere was really good. It was quite noisy (in a pleasant way) so we accepted a table in what I would call the halfway area. The staff were extremely pleasant and attentive and, rightly, advised that we should order quite soon as they had this large party booking. The portion sizes are now absolutely spot on and of course, as usual, the cuisine was excellent and well presented - WELL DONE THE CHERRY TREE. I have one piece of what will hopefully be accepted as constructive criticism and it is a point I have raised before - if more tables rather than a scattered few had white tablecloths and were set as if to expect clientelle the general feel on arrival would be markedly improved and the place would give more the impression of a restaurant which I know is what the Twaite family are aiming for.

  • Visited December 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Jane P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

116 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    59
    28
    8
    11
    10
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Royal Tunbridge Wells, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“A really lovely pub/restaurant”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 27, 2013

We decided to go out for Sunday lunch and heard through friends that the cherrry tree had been taken over and we must give it a try. I cant praise it enough. The food was very creative in a interesting but not over the top way. In fact there were 3 different meals that I would have liked to try. The service was very friendly and helpful and the owner certainly knew his wines. we had a delicious rose. Which would have been twice the price in other restaurants. We will certainly be goung back.

  • Visited November 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Jenny4953
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Berkhamsted, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
81 reviews
71 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
“Twelve months on and another review ...”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 25, 2013

I reviewed The Cherry Tree in December 2012 and was mildly critical. Quite rightly, the new owner asked that my comments should be disregarded, as they only took over in July 2013. Visiting family once a year in Flimwell gave us an opportunity to try the pub (or is it a restaurant?) once again. The lengthy review dated 25th September below this one makes some very valid points about the ambiance and environmental atmosphere of this place, but this review will concentrate on the food.

There were four of us, and we had various starters which we all enjoyed. Two of us had the rib eye steak. These were cooked beautifully rare as requested, and were well seasoned. The quality of the beef was exceptional and it melted in the mouth. Served on baby spinach with watercress and twice cooked chips, it was delicious. And the promised 8 oz steak was probably even bigger than advertised. The other two main courses were sea bass and slow cooked belly of pork. Both dishes perfectly cooked and a good size portion. Feeling fairly stuffed, for pudding both couples decided to share a dish between them. Peanut butter pannacotta with dark chocolate sorbet and brandy snaps. There was only one word for this. Orgasmic!

Overall, the food was flawless and we had a splendid evening. My only gripe would be the cost of the cheapest wine at £17 a bottle. Most restaurants and pubs can manage a house red at around £12 to £13. We would have had two bottles at this sort of price, and instead, we left to continue drinking at home, so overpricing can effectively loose business. With several gin & tonics, two pints of beer and a bottle of wine, it worked out at around £35 a head with tip, so I have no hesitation in recommending The Cherry Tree for its quality food and friendly staff, but ignore the decor!

  • Visited November 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Keith P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Etchingham, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Should be and could be better”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 23, 2013

We live locally, had stopped here once before at lunchtime, chatted a little to owner and felt we should go back and have a proper meal rather than just a drink at the bar.

A very quiet Saturday evening in November and the place was empty when we arrived apart from one other couple. We were asked which one of the tables already laid for two we wanted. One on either side of the front door. On a cold night in November no-one wants to sit by the door. And there's no excuse when the rest of the place is empty. After some "negotiation" with the waitress, we sat at a better table though sadly lost our tablecloth.

Not a good start then.

The layout of the bar is basically a long, quite narrow room, with the bar in the middle and one larger area on each side. There are a few stools at the bar, but no clear distinction between "drinking" and "eating areas. That is clearly intentional, but also slightly odd. You never quite know whether you're in a pub or a restaurant. That's unsettling.

The room is painted a grey blue colour (which gives it a slightly cold feel) and the only lighting is from downlighters, which rob it of any atmosphere at all. That's a huge shame. A good pub, even a restaurant pub, should have a welcoming atmosphere. At the moment this is as uncharismatic a restaurant pub as I've ever seen. The lack of character extends to some of the artwork which is more of the same "abstract blotches in primary colours" stuff we've seen before. No bad, not objectionable, just terribly, terribly bland.

Most of staff were, we guess, local teenagers. Perfectly pleasant, perfectly polite. Though being left for the best part of twenty minutes with our menus closed before the waitress took our order was irritating. But not nearly as much as constantly being referred to as "guys". That's acceptable in the States. It's possibly acceptable if you're with a group of children. It's not acceptable if you're a middle-aged couple in a small village in East Sussex. But hey, lighten up. The girl was trying, she was pleasant and after the initial wait she did a perfectly adequate job. And maybe transatlantic over-familiarity is better than surliness. But there is a major gap between the style of service (amiable unprofessionalism) and the type of food that promised ("modern British" restaurant). That lack of balance need to be sorted out. Front of house needs to be slicker and more professional.

A quick review of the menu revealed that neither of us really wanted a starter, that we'd hold off on thinking about puddings until later and give the wine list a miss. With perfectly good Harveys on tap, why take a risk on pub wine? (Yet again there's this slight imbalance going on; am I in a pub or am I in a restaurant?) But thankfully, we were offered a jug of water without being prompted. That's always a good sign.

Before our main courses arrived, we were "treated" to an "amuse bouche". Which we understood to be an "Applewood beignet". Behold, a small deep-fried cheese fritter served in an egg cup. Which just tasted of deep-friedness with a gluey texture that coated my tongue. Not unspeakably nasty, but not an experience that I'd want to have again very soon.

Then our mains arrived. Pork loin for me, confit of duck for my wife. My pork was perfectly fine. Soft with a decent crust. Slightly gluey mashed potatoes and oversweet jus, but overall decently cooked vegetables. Not overwhelming, but a decent rib-sticking plate of food on a cold wet evening that I had no problems finishing.

My wife's confit was a different matter. By no stretch of the imagination was this a confit. It looked more like a duck leg that had been deep fried and my wife, observing the steam as she hacked through the skin, observed that it had the signature signs of being microwaved. Confit should be soft and fall off the bone. This was a tough old thing that required much hacking until at last she gave up. Not bad enough to send back. But not great. And not what was advertised. The waitress was faintly apologetic but no more. (A man on another table appeared to have no issues with his. But he had asked for (thankfully unavailable) cranberry sauce. And had tucked his napkin into his shirt.)

Sitting in a virtually empty bar restaurant eating food that promised more than it delivered and an ambience that is anything but relaxing meant that we gave up on the idea of pudding and asked for bill after about an hour. At which point the owner/landlord appeared. A man we'd met on our previous visit, but who didn't remember us. He was deeply apologetic about the non-confit confit and offered to take it off the bill. A generous offer, but it had been mostly eaten, so not really necessary. His offer of pudding or a drink on the house met with similar reticence. At that point we just wanted to go home.

I'd love to find a local pub that served decent food in a decent atmosphere. And sadly The Cherry Tree isn't it. Yet. It could be better, it should be better and maybe one day it will be better. If you wrote down a set of requirements for a nearly "fine dining"/'"modern British" pub, then you might come up with something like The Cherry Tree. It's not terrible. But the atmosphere is terrible. The lighting and décor are smart but don't work. It isn't a pub and it's not a restaurant and sits uneasily between the two. The service is well-meaning but amateurish. The food promises more than it delivers. It feels somehow like an average edition of "Come Dine with Me" and that's a real shame.

There is a dearth of decent pubs locally that serve good food. The Bell in Ticehurst is teeth-grindingly pretentiously "hip" and in love with itself and the quality of food and service shockingly poor. The Bull near Bewl has a fantastic setting but has always let itself down with its laminated menus and what feels like mass-catered food that has been delivered by truck. The White Horse in Hurst Green sees itself as a gastropub and serves sub-Weatherspoons grade food and charges premium prices. The pubs in Burwash seem to change hands so frequently it's like playing Russian Roulette.

If I want a good meal, there's the dependably excellent Curlew in Bodiam. But if I want a decent pint of beer and a decent honest well-cooked plate of food in friendly surroundings with a sense of community, I struggle.

Please Cherry Tree, work out what you want to be when you grow up and do it properly. You could be so much better than you are. Ditch some of the pretension (leave that to The Bell) and over-deliver rather than over-promise. You'll be rewarded with a lot of locals who will love you for it.

  • Visited November 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
4 Thank Stephen A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Amazing place - fab food, fab wine, lovely service.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 22, 2013

I went for dinner at The Cherry Tree this evening and felt I had to write a review after reading the previous one (travel nut Bristol). I don't know if we are reviewing different places but it seems like they were in a completely different place or they are just complete douchebags!! The food we had was amazing - they brought out an amuse bouche which was not expected but was such a tasty, delightful treat. The starters, mains and desserts were amazing and they were really attentive and happy to deal with any extra things we asked for - everyone I was with agreed and the wine was super tasty as well!! (14 hands - hot to trot). The staff were all really friendly, attentive and willing to help - and I will most definitely be spreading the word and be back with friends!

  • Visited November 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank Sarah_Ta_1988
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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