Last weekend O, Kathryn, Tim and I trod the well-beaten path to The Olde Horsham, which is now officially my favourite place to eat in the town. The four of us stopped in to make a reservation while driving by that morning and ended up chatting with the chef for a good twenty minutes before discovering an art gallery which was brimming with Pro Harts on the other side of the driveway.
Dinner was four great dishes with the same gusto and spirit that we enjoyed on our first visit. As per usual, Owen ordered the duckling, which was the stellar performance of the evening. I decided to satisfy my curiosity and tried the Steak Kilpatrick, which was a perfectly cooked fillet topped with bacon and oysters in a Worcestershire sauce, well… sauce. Kathryn had the lamb shanks while Tim chose the kangaroo (which Chef told us was shot by hunters in New South Wales… I am not sure whether to believe him!). They were four belly-filling good old fashioned country meals that left little room for dessert (somehow O and Kathryn managed a slice of sticky date pudding each!).
The following day we made a pilgrimage to the Mount Zero olive grove. Situated beneath the dramatic escarpment of Mt Zero, the olives grown here are transformed into some truly exceptional olive oils.
At the farmhouse gate, we nibbled on everything from wild olives, to manzanillas and the obligatory kalamatas. I fell in love with the dark sweetness of their beetroot and orange relish and couldn’t resist buying a jar. Beetroots are so good right now, I might even try and replicate it.
The café offered a simple vegetarian menu, of an amazing chunky lentil soup or falafels with salad and lentils. Mount Zero also offers a range of tiny puy lentils that are delicate enough to ensure they don’t intrude upon a dish in that vegetarian batik kaftan kind of way.