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Michelin awards first star to UK vineyard restaurant

Published:  08 October, 2019

Interlude, the restaurant at the Leonardslee Estate and Gardens in Sussex, has become the first restaurant attached to a UK vineyard to win a Michelin star.

The restaurant was opened by Zimbabwe-born entrepreneur Penny Streeter OBE in October last year. Streeter added the 240-acre estate to the Benguela Collection, her South Africa-based wine and hospitality group, in 2017.

The UK’s first Pinotage vineyard was planted across 15ha at Leonardslee in 2018. Its initial wines are expected in 2023.

The restaurant makes extensive use of ingredients foraged from the Grade I-listed gardens and woodland estate, as well as other produce grown or farmed locally.

A typical seasonal menu might include dishes such as estate rabbit, winter purslane, hogweed cider and charcoal; fallow deer with local braai and sour raspberry; or oyster, foraged greens and juniper.

South Africa-born chef Jean Delport said: “We are delighted to receive this recognition by Michelin after just one year.

“Every dish in each seasonal, multi-course tasting menu is designed to a hunter-gatherer concept of food that’s foraged, cultivated and raised on the estate or close by. It is savoured and enjoyed as an intimate dining experience; a small, exclusive dinner party within the estate’s Italianate mansion house.”

Interlude’s wine list focuses on wines from South Africa, including vintages from Benguela Cove’s own Hermanus winery.