Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Ginger Fox, Albourne, East Sussex

The Gingerman group of restaurants in and around Brighton are fast becoming the go to guys for gastro pub dining in East Sussex. With three sites; Gingerman, The Ginger Fox and The Ginger Pig and a fourth on the way in Kemp Town, nominally called The Ginger Dog, owners Ben and Pamela Mckellar are creating something of an empire on the south coast. I ate at the now defunct Gingerman at Drakes a couple of years ago and so when dinner was touted at The Ginger Fox in Albourne some 30 miles from Brighton, I jumped over a lazy cow. Or something to that effect.

DSC_0496We were dining at the restaurant almost two years to the day since it had opened. Plenty of time to bed in then, though despite this, its location bamboozled the taxi driver and we spent about 30 minutes racing down dark country lanes, past ominous isolated gleaming white buildings called things like Exosoft. “That’s where the Apocalypse begins”, intoned a fellow diner from the back of the cab as we sped past one particularly  secure looking example.  Luckily, all thoughts of a viral zombie outbreak were diminished upon arriving at the rather lovely thatched building that houses the pub and restaurant.

The Ginger Fox has managed to retain a sense of itself as a country pub whilst shaking off the more fusty excesses of its ilk. It's a pretty space and the staff relaxed and welcoming. No Slaughtered Lamb glass eyed locals to scare off the city folks. Pity.

A starter of mushrooms on toast with a poached ducks egg signalled confidence in the kitchen and was simplicity itself. A main of lemon sole with potato and Parma ham pancakes was a cosy, motherly hug of a dish. Like slipping into brushed cotton sheets with a hot water bottle. Mango and pineapple trifle finished everything up nicely, a happy homely treat with a jag of old fashioned exoticism. Not everything served up was quite as reassuring. A vegetarian platter looked decidedly confused, not surprising as the restaurant has something of a reputation for discerning carnivores.

No alarms, no surprises. Just confident good British cooking served with a smile out in the country. Probably something of a rarity, now that I think about it.

N.B. I didn't take a camera to the restaurant so I used a picture taken in my garden last year. Of a fox.


Zeb said...

What a stunning picture. A handsome beast.

Monkey Gland said...

He's a bit of a six dinner Sid that one. He's often bouncing between neighbourhood back doors where I think people feed him.

Dan said...

Nice write up.
Ive also been to the Ginger Fox and reviewed it on my blog. I liked it, superb looking building and location. But didn't like it as much as its sister restaurant the Ginger Pig in Hove.

Jenny said...

so glad i chanced on your blog & even better i found his review.

I ate there last over 10 years ago, but only for a sandwih for lunch. However next week we are taking my grandparents there for my nan's 80th.

your comment about "discerning carnivores" and the "simplicity" of the started certainly makes me feel that my grandparents will be at ease there. As for myself, looking at the website, i had been planning on the veggie platter..... but then again my life is constantly confused so mayb it would suit me perfectly!

I shall have to show your review to my mother and ease her worries about next week.

Thank you.