BN7 2LU

    01273 486177


    01273 762070

    The First Supper

    Well Rounded, Young and Full Bodied. Some Interesting Notes.

    September. It can still scorch with a last blast of heat but it cannot defeat the fundamentals. The nights are closing in. Time to definitely start thinking about heavier layers of what to wear.

    Is it late Summer or early Autumn? Whatever, it is important to appreciate the ebbing light and warmth as we move to lower light and longer shadows.

    Celebrate the shift. There is a lot to enjoy. Heartier food makes more sense as the air temperature drops.

    The kitchen, An Actual Kitchen, would seem a pretty great place to settle in for an evening of slow and exquisite food, lazy and gorgeous wines and a noisy table ready to mark the first weekend of Autumn (this is not an official calendar fact but one which I have always observed)

    A Friday night at the onset of a season of gold, mist and smoke. Is there anything better?

    In Lewes. In East Sussex. A region increasingly given to Bacchus. A town, in a sense, built around a historic brewery. A brewery which seems to have spawned a fascinating culture of small scale beer belief.

    This, along with a burgeoning wine producing community, makes Lewes, the South Downs and the wider East Sussex a perfect place to have a sharp thirst.

    So. What does the perfect dinner in An Actual Kitchen read like?

    Dominic Buckwell is the personification of the contemporary and emerging wine movement. A passionate authority who is more about the honest appreciation of great wine as opposed to the gratuitous intellectualisation of label snobbery.

    He will host and take confident and inspiring control of the wine.

    Richard Falk took a tiny kitchen in a very compact and pared back dining room and shifted the culinary game in Lewes. His journey to Lewes is a CV that reads like a London food obsessive’s search history.

    Maybe you ate at The Dairy in Clapham when Richard was in the kitchen ormaybe you didn’t. Were we to get existential we could say that it’s not where you’re from but where you’re at that matters.

    Whatever. Richard Falk cooking in such an intimate address as An Actual Kitchenis worth getting excited about.

    Of course. No contemporary dinner worth its smoked Himalayan salt is complete without a credible gastro influencer. If you don’t follow @thevenetianpantry you should do so quickly and tell your friends you have always done so. Go on. Now. Do it. Your secret is safe with us.

    Then. Ten of Lewes’s committed connoisseurs of what to eat and drink.

    That tickets disappeared faster than native oysters is no surprise. There is not much Lewes enjoys more than getting dressed and out for dinner.

    And so. The big night.

    For us a compelling thrill to see An Actual Kitchen put through its paces. Richard and his team have a single objective to cook and serve fantastic food. Consideration of the challenge and stress this puts on surfaces and spaces is not a priority.

    Having a serious chef and his attendant crew cook in a kitchen is a pretty good test of quality and performance.

    Thankfully, every element and feature of our kitchen made the grade. Dare we say it, the planning and knowledge we invest even manages to make the process look elegant.

    Dominic offered up a wine story which demonstrated his quality and belief that wine is not a (dry) academic study or a feasible investment but, more, a gift to life that is to be enjoyed and appreciated in real time with great company.

    Richard and the kitchen served up a menu that makes the job of writing easy. A menu that cannot be adequately or sufficiently articulated in words.

    A menu that the roomful of people who ate it understand and appreciate fully. Contentedly. Ecstatically.

    Possibly the single most powerful observation (although we may be biased) is that the kitchen, our kitchen, your kitchen, An Actual Kitchen, is the perfect place to gather to celebrate the joy of dinner.

    High on ceremony but delightfully low on formality. Dynamic and functional yet curiously relaxing.

    Also. Is it just us or is kitchen lighting, when accomplished with thought and emotion, THE most flattering light anywhere?

    And finally.

    That moment when the last guest leaves. The unexpected satisfaction in clearing up. Not as daunting with a few hands on deck and a (thankfully) capacious dishwasher.

    A well deserved nightcap for a happy and tired team.


    We must do it again