As we continue to bask in this glorious balmy weather, many of us want to make the most of it by indulging in as many alfresco activities as possible. At 7*Life we love our long lazy lunches, but what would be more Quintessentially British Summer than a beer-paired lunch by a renowned English chef and classy craft beer company?
Will Devlin, chef and owner of The Curlew and Jamie Daltrey, co-founder of Lakedown Brewing Co. frequently enjoy each other’s exquisite cooking and experimental brews, leading to the idea of a one-off collaboration being hashed out – over a beer of course.
Set in picture-postcard Sussex countryside, The Curlew is a Grade II listed former coaching inn with white clapboard façade and views across the fields. The 46-cover restaurant is part of The Acre Group, led by chef owner Will Devlin, including The Small Holding and Birchwood. Inspired by The Curlew’s countryside location, while only 10 miles to the South Coast, the menu offers seasonal small and sharing plates from land and sea with a Sunday family lunch and the entire wine list available by the glass. Ingredients are sourced hyper-locally from the best producers and fishermen or are grown or foraged at The Small Holding, just 8 miles away.
Lakedown Brewing Co. is a family-run, independent microbrewery and taproom from rural East Sussex, creating modern and traditional beers in cans, bottles, kegs and casks.
The picture-perfect family farm and fishery at Lakedown is at the heart of the brewery’s story, as the location itself inspired Lakedown Brewing Co’s creation and is the glorious home to their taproom bar.
In the ever-evolving world of craft beer, Lakedown Brewing Co. aims to create delicious, honest brews that go back in time and challenge future palates.
The range includes nine refreshing grain-to-glass beers that celebrate flavour, simplicity and quality of ingredients, and are a more elegant alternative to the numerous, often garishly hipster craft beers on today’s market.
The next charming lunchtime event curated by the two companies will take place on Saturday 13th August and will be a celebration of local Sussex ingredients enjoyed in an idyllic setting overlooking the spring-fed lakes at Lakedown. There will be two sittings – one at 1pm and one at 5 so late lunchers/early dinner eaters will be catered for too.
I was lucky enough to be invited to one of their earlier lunches at the beginning of the summer and it was a dream. We dined in the most picturesque setting in front of a large shimmering lake and feasted on delicate starters of poached asparagus, smoked trout with herby sour cream and juicy heirloom tomatoes bursting with flavour.
The hearty mains included oven baked mackerel served in a sizzling hotplate and roasted mutton with roast potatoes and quite possibly the most divine buttery white cabbage I’ve had the pleasure of devouring.
Every course was paired with a different refreshing glass of craft beer by Lakedown Brewing Co and although I’m not a beer drinker, I enjoyed the unique flavours (and scents) of each one.
The stunningly beautiful setting of Lakedown where the lunch events take place was built in the 70’s by iconic musician Roger Daltrey of The Who as a peaceful oasis to escape the mania of touring – what better setting to feast on great food, fine craft beer, and engaging conversation?
Chef Will Devlin has created an enticing six-course menu of home-grown and local Sussex ingredients which will be paired with a variety of craft beers from Lakedown Brewing Co.
Perfectly instagramable, flavoursome dishes will be based on seasonal produce, but we’re told example dishes could include:
- Pork Belly Miso Skewers, paired with Lakedown’s tropical, sessionable Vermont Pale
- Goudhurst Asparagus, Confit Egg Yolk, paired with Lakedown’s classic and beautifully refreshing Pilsner
- Lakedown Trout Pickles & Sour Cream, paired with Lakedown’s aromatic Pale Ale
- BBQ Monkfish, Fermented Chilli & Red Peppers, paired with Lakedown’s hazy and hoppy full-bodied NEIPA
- Mutton, Wild Garlic, New Season Potato, paired with Lakedown’s rich, malty American Red
Lunch by the Lakes on Saturday August 13th costs £85 per person and can be booked here