It’s no surprise to regulars that The Earl of March at Lavant has scooped the Sussex Eating Experience of the Year at the regional food and drink awards.
Giles Thompson is now in his tenth year as owner having previously established an international reputation as executive head chef at The Ritz hotel and at some of the finest dining venues around the globe.
The secret of success is not difficult to discern but almost impossible to replicate.
The food, locally sourced whenever possible, is the starting point.
The decor and ambiance with amazing views across the countryside match the rural and relaxed tone to perfection.
The team at the front of house - like Elliot and Yogi - have a natural charm and bonhomie.
While Giles himself, working alongside Richard and Adam, know how to make every customer feel special.
Giles comes from a great farming tradition.
He grew up in West Yorkshire. His father, Sir Donald Thompson MP, was formerly a parliamentary secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, and was a Halifax farmer and butcher.
Great cooking was the hallmark of home life under the inspired guidance of his mother.
He understands the foods and flavours of the season and the region. He is instinctively at one with the local countryside. Consequently, he never needlessly over-complicates the menu.
I am a regular diner there. On behalf of all those who enjoy his Sunday lunches, today we congratulate Giles and all at The Earl of March.
For more about the Sussex Food and Drink Awards, 2017, click here