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advertising feature ■ Fine dining at by Roger Linn O


wned and run by Dave and Monika Beaty, the Fig Tree has been open for business on Hurstpierpoint’s High Street for five years now.


In that time it has established itself as a truly delightful rendezvous. Small enough to feel intimate and big enough – with room for 36 covers in normal use – to have the ‘buzz’ of a busy, happy restaurant, the Fig Tree quickly gained a reputation as ‘the’ place to eat.


The Michelin Guide describes the restaurant as having a ‘loyal local following’. I couldn’t agree more. For me, one of the many good things about living in Hurstpierpoint is that I can walk to the Fig Tree. But increasingly, word has spread, and Monika estimates that their catchment area now extends to a radius of about fifteen miles. I’m not in the least surprised.


Dave, who is the Head Chef, has a passion for locally sourced, fresh seasonal produce, perfectly prepared and served. Even the honey on the honey roasted peanuts comes from a local apiary. He is intimately involved in every dish, from baking fresh bread every morning, to making the delicious dessert ice cream. He even killed, plucked and prepared the Christmas goose. Monika has a twinkle in her eye as she refers to him as a ‘control freak’ when it comes to his food. The menus present a wonderful range of classic English dishes like Roast Standean Farm Topside Beef with Yorkshire Pudding; Seared Scallops with Crispy Bacon and Manchester Caviar; Roast Fillet of Local Cod and, of course, Sticky Toffee Pudding. Dave is particularly fond of English cheese, so the cheese plate always includes three interesting ones, such as Lancashire Black Bomb and Oxford Blue. And


the Fig Tree


There are many reasons to visit the pretty village of Hurstpierpoint. The Fig Tree is right up there with the best of them.


“Small enough to feel intimate and big enough to have the ‘buzz’ of a


busy, happy restaurant”


another nice touch is the wine suggestion, available by the glass or the bottle, that Dave offers with each starter and main course. Monika, the charming and experienced front-of- house manager, thinks that their success has been due to the consistently high quality of the Fig Tree’s offering, as much as the modestly priced menus. “Because the restaurant is our life, we can ensure that our guests always receive the same very high standards. With so many regular customers, consistency is really important. We can never afford to be top class one day and something less the next.”


In my experience, whether I’ve been celebrating a special occasion, having a family Sunday lunch or simply a night out with friends, the Fig Tree has never ceased to impress. ■


THE FIG TREE 120 High Street, Hurstpierpoint West Sussex BN6 9PX Tel. 01273 832183 www.figtreerestaurant.co.uk


SUSSEX LIVING March 2012


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