I recently spent a superb weekend with my sister at the Goodwood Estate near Chichester in West Sussex, and now feel compelled to share with you my new favourite drink, Hendrick’s Cucumber and Black Pepper Gin Cocktail.
Our evening started with a fabulous swim as the setting sun bathed the hotel’s indoor pool in a glorious light. We changed for dinner and, having filled our bellies with the tasty delights served at Goodwood’s newest restaurant, Farmer, Butcher, Chef, headed to the bar for a nightcap or two. Decorated in a similar quirky style to the restaurant, with white walls, wooden floors covered in antique rugs, and mismatched wooden chairs and tables, it is bright and inviting in the day or evening. For a cosier feel, head to the snug next door where there are comfy chairs and a sofa huddled around a blazing fire with an impressive carved wooden mantle that once graced the King’s bedroom in Goodwood House.
Both the bar and the snug are open to non-residents and, being just 15 minutes drive from Chichester and its renowned Festival Theatre, it’s the perfect spot for pre or post theatre cocktails or after work drinks. And if you’re exploring the wonderful countryside of the South Downs, it’s a great place to drop by for lunch. You may need a reservation if you want to eat in the restaurant, especially at weekends, but an excellent and inexpensive alternative is a bite in the bar.
Tasty, quirky bar snacks
The bar snacks here are delightfully quirky and very reasonably priced. I tried a few during a previous visit. The ale glazed pork bites were my favourite but the Charlton rarebit and sourdough, crispy ox tongue and beer nuts were also delicious and cost between £2.50 and £4 each. I’d also recommend their seriously good chunky chips. And, just as with all the food on offer throughout the Goodwood estate, you know that the ingredients are local and organic, grown without the use of pesticides, fertilisers or herbicides. The meat is from rare and local breeds, fed throughout their lives on organic fodder on the estate’s farm and reared in the most compassionate way. Unless you are staying at the hotel you will have travelled further than your food.
If you’ve a sweet tooth (or even if you haven’t) I’d suggest you leave room for dessert, which you can order from Farmer, Butcher, Chef. Their bread and butter pudding has to be one of the best desserts I’ve ever tasted.
Local beers and gins
Back to the evening of our short break – I was impressed with the range of drinks on offer at the bar, including the estate’s own organic beers, but my eyes were drawn to the gin menu. They offer Sipsmith’s Sloe Gin, an unusual and very refreshing Warner Edwards Rhubarb gin, as well as two excellent local offerings, Chilgrove, from the South Downs hamlet of the same name, and Brilliant, from Itchenor near Chichester. Rupert, our bartender, pictured below, suggested that I try his Hendricks cucumber and black pepper gin cocktail, and wonderful it was too – equally suited to a chilly evening or a warm summer’s day. This is definitely a drink I’ll be recreating at home.
Hendrick's Cucumber and Black Pepper Gin Cocktail
Hendrick’s is the perfect gin for this cocktail. It a small batch gin (seriously small at just 450 litres) giving their master distiller greater control, and the botanical signature of carefully selected flowers, roots, fruits, and seeds complements the rose petal and cucumber infusion, resulting in a smooth gin with depth of flavour and a delicate floral aroma.
- 25 ml Hendrick's gin
- 1/4 cucumber
- black pepper freshly ground
- 200 ml Fever Tree Mediterranean Tonic Water
Scoop out three or four cucumber balls and place them in a highball glass.
Fill the glass with ice.
Add a single or double measure of Hendrick's gin.
Sprinkle in freshly ground black pepper.
Serve with Fever Tree Tonic.
For a lower calorie option use Fever Tree Refreshingly Light Tonic Water which has just 15 calories per 100ml using only natural ingredients. This brings the total calorie count per drink to just under 100 calories.
My sister, with her rhubarb gin and me, with my Hendricks cucumber and black pepper gin cocktail, settled down by the fire in the snug, recollecting the fabulous meal we’d just had and planning our next visit to the Goodwood Estate.
You can read more about my stay at the Goodwood Hotel and the fabulous food at Farmer, Butcher, Chef in my article for Sussex bloggers, Spring at the Goodwood Hotel.
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Disclosure: Thanks to the Goodwood Estate for hosting our visit to the Goodwood Hotel and Farmer, Butcher, Chef And thanks to all the staff throughout the hotel, health club, restaurant and bar for making our stay such an absolute pleasure.
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