Progressive young Sussex vineyard, Kinsbrook, has opened the doors to Kinsbrook Farmhouse: a brand-new farm shop and eatery located in the heart of the South Downs wine country.
Officially opening to the public on Wednesday 2nd November and open 7 days a week, visitors can expect superb local produce and delicious seasonal dishes in a stunning rural vineyard setting.
The Kinsbrook farm shop will boast a deli counter with a wide range of antipasti, local flowers, artisan cheeses, a selection of fine wines, craft ciders and spirits, fresh produce and much more – all fully supporting the local community. The shop will also feature a fresh butchery counter, opening on 17 November, which will use only local, ethically and sustainably-sourced meat.
Upstairs, the laid-back, dog-friendly eatery will offer a considered lunch menu from Wednesday to Sunday, masterminded by Head Chef Greg Round of Spring London and Bonhams. On the other days of the week, customers will still be able to enjoy a coffee or glass of wine with a small and simple food offering. Saturdays and Sundays, brunch will begin at 9am and run until 11am with simple breakfast cocktails and a selection of juices and shakes.
Kinsbrook Founder Joe Beckett and his partner Rebecca Dancer, who may just be the youngest vineyard owners in the country, said “Kinsbrook Farmhouse has been a labour of love over several years. We’ve curated every detail of this building and we couldn’t be more excited to share it with the public. It’s a dream to be able to support local or small producers and put sustainable food on the map in West Sussex.”
The building project was made possible with the final tranche of EU Grant Funding via the Rural Development Payments Agency, which was won by the couple in late 2020. “It’s surreal to see Kinsbrook Farmhouse finally becoming a reality after so many setbacks during the pandemic”, Rebecca reflected. “There have been moments where we’ve wondered if we will ever get it open, but we’re finally there. We’re beyond grateful to the RDPE for the funding they’ve provided to make this project a reality and that has driven us on in moments of doubt to make Kinsbrook Farmhouse the best it can possibly be.”
“We had to carefully budget throughout the project – we weren’t able to afford interior designers, for example – so every detail within the building has been chosen by us”, Joe said. ‘That means everything from the tiles to the lighting to the layout was all designed by ourselves. I have a love for vintage furniture so I sourced a lot of the larger items myself and upcycled them to add as much authentic character as possible to the building”.
On the subject of the name itself, the couple said: “We took a lot of time to name the building. Firstly, the name ‘Farmhouse’ is a nod to the countryside and in recognition of the fact it will be a traditional Sussex Barn in style. It’s also the name of Joe’s family home so it reminds us of kinship and homeliness. It’s important to us that Kinsbrook Farmhouse doesn’t feel like a commercial building but rather that we’re welcoming guests into our home; like we’ve created a space where people feel they can be themselves and fill their cup.”
Views in the vines
With incredible views overlooking the vines and the South Downs, the farm shop and eatery is located in a newly built barn in the heart of the vineyard.
Kinsbrook Farmhouse’s exterior is totally in-keeping with a traditional Sussex barn in style, with black cladding and terracotta roof tiles with brass farmhouse lights and a minimalist balcony overlooking the landscape. The building heavily features large windows and bifold doors in order to showcase the stunning scenery no matter the time of year. “We wanted it to feel open and light but with a lot of homely touches” Rebecca says “so we chose Cotswold-style flagstones for the shop and terracotta tiles upstairs which are the same as Joe’s parents have in their kitchen at home”. The couple have introduced plenty of quirky touches such as painted school stools and a herb wall with a ladder attached so that the chefs can climb up and pick fresh herbs each day before service.
The eatery can accommodate up to 35 covers inside and a further 30 outside and the kitchen will be open for breakfast and lunch from the morning through to midafternoon Wednesday through Sunday. The menu will feature small, carefully curated plates of food using only the best, sustainably-sourced produce. It will change on a very regular basis, depending on what is available and in season. The Farmhouse will try to minimise wastage by integrating the butchery into the kitchen, where the chefs will design plates around the less popular cuts of meat or surplus meat from the butcher counter.
“Becca and I are massive foodies. One of our greatest joys in life is seeking out amazing little places to eat and enjoy a bottle of wine. Although initially we hadn’t quite known what the eatery would be like, it has felt like a very natural process bringing it all together because we have ultimately wanted to create the kind of place that we would enjoy,” said Joe.
“The fresh produce will initially be sourced from only the best, most sustainable suppliers, until our own gardens are fully functioning on their own. We’ll have a more extensive wine list than we’ve ever had before, with red wines from abroad as well as local craft beers and ciders from small producers including our good friends from down the road, Trenchmore Farm.”
The farm shop will stock local honey from a small supplier just over the hill, freshly baked sourdough from Gwyn’s Bakery in Horsham and Mesto Olive Oil from Brighton. It’s particularly important to Kinsbrook to showcase products from businesses with a meaningful social cause such as the brilliant Holos Kombucha, who employ survivors of slavery, and Two Fields Zakros, an olive oil producer based in Crete with a social regenerative project in which they teach ethical farming methods on the ground, ensuring farmers are able to build secure livelihoods.
Unique to the area and opening on 17th November, Kinsbrook’s farm shop will host a brand-new butchery counter selling only the highest welfare, ethical local meat. Along with the more traditional favourites, the butcher will also work with more unusual species of meat including game, venison and more. In the New Year, lamb that has grazed on Kinsbrook’s land will also be available.
Joe said “We want the farm shop to be a relaxed and immersive shopping experience for customers. We’ve designed it so that it’s as interactive and tactile as possible. We want customers to be able to have a face-to-face chat with the butcher, to chat through what’s in season and decide on which cut of meat is best for their taste. In the deli, similarly, we want customers to be able to chat to the deli assistant about the different cheeses and watch them being cut to order in front of their eyes.”
Food at Kinsbrook
The menu has been designed by talented Head Chef Greg Round, known for his time at Spring London, The Quality Chop House and Bonhams.
Not afraid to work with unusual cuts of meat and always driven to use the best fresh produce available to him, Greg will be the architect of a changing, seasonal menu drawing on a wide range of cooking techniques which he has developed from working in kitchens around the world. The food from the restaurant will be closely linked with the farm shop downstairs to minimise any wastage, in line with Kinsbrook’s sustainable approach to food & wine production.
Kinsbrook has always been a champion of great coffee, even creating their own Kinsbrook X Craft House Coffee blend with their friends at Craft House Coffee, based in Wivelsfield, East Sussex. At the Farmhouse, customers can enjoy a cup of coffee with a slice of cake baked freshly in-house each week.
Kinsbrook will also be introducing a small brunch menu from 9am – 11am at weekends only, which can be paired with a breakfast cocktail or two, glass of sparkling or simply a fresh juice or shake.
From the Ground Up
“We were inspired by a ‘farm to table’ concept that we had seen in various places around the world”, said Rebecca. “Sustainability is increasingly becoming a mainstream trend so a more holistic approach to wine production can be seen almost everywhere. As a small, boutique vineyard we have the luxury of keeping our approach as natural as possible. This includes everything we listed above and much more.”
“There is no denying that the organic way of managing a vineyard site feels the most in tune with nature. There is also an enjoyment and excitement in traditional ways of working, perhaps because of our time spent in other parts of the world.” Joe mused. ‘The Kinsbrook land at Picketty has been in my family for generations and we want to return parts of it to farmland and market gardens but using the most modern/ environmentally conscious approach to the soil and to veg growing.’
Kinsbrook produces a range of exciting English wines from grapes grown on Joe’s third-generation family farmland. Kinsbrook Farmhouse will act as Kinsbrook’s cellar door for promoting and selling their own wine and offering tours and tastings. Their latest release, ‘21’, a white blend made from Pinot Gris, Bacchus and Pinot Noir Précoce, is making waves in the trade and has won several awards including 86 points in the Tim Atkin report and making Matthew Jukes’ top 6 wines and being featured in Matthew’s English wine masterclass.
This year, Joe is making the wines in conjunction with winemaker Tom Bartlett of Stopham Vineyard, and said “from our 2022 harvest, we’re looking to expand our wine range quite dramatically. We made the decision to focus on still wines only this year and it’s been a cool process deducing which grapes to allocate to which wines. We will be making red wine for the first time as well as a blend and a couple of very different wines which will be a departure from anything we’ve released before. It’s a very exciting time for me as a new winemaker.”
Christmas at Kinsbrook
Those looking for Christmas gift ideas should look no further than Kinsbrook’s Christmas hampers. These hampers will be bursting with an array of goodies from the farm shop paired with craft beers and ciders, and, of course, Kinsbrook’s own wines. There will be different pricing options available and the hampers will make the perfect gift for loved ones, friends, or for large order corporate gifting.
Available to purchase from the website kinsbrookvineyard.com from mid-November, the Kinsbrook hampers will showcase the best of Kinsbrook’s farm shop, packaged to perfection to suit all needs.
The shop will also be stocked with a range of Christmas goods which would make the perfect stocking-fillers, as well as advent candles, Christmas chocolates, panettone and more. Kinsbrook will soon be taking Christmas meat orders for their butchery counter – follow their website kinsbrookvineyard.com and social media @kinsbrookvineyard for more information.
For those wanting a hands-on festive experience, Kinsbrook will be running wreath making workshops through December and a December Supper Club with the date to be announced shortly.
Come to Kinsbrook!
For those who are keen to pop in for a simple coffee and cake, Kinsbrook will be baking their own cakes in-house so there is always something on offer. Customers can sit back and enjoy panoramic views of the vines or cosy up by the wood burner in Kinsbrook’s relaxed lounge area. Dogs are more than welcome in the eatery, although the farm shop is restricted to service dogs only. For those wanting a quick takeaway coffee before visiting the farm shop, Kinsbrook has a special takeaway hub in the KIN Bubble, which also functions as their brand new plant shop and greenhouse as an extension of the farm shop.
The team at Kinsbrook take large bookings too, for those wanting a family day out with friends.
There’s a jam-packed calendar of events at Kinsbrook throughout the year from ‘The Sunday Sessions’, Kinsbrook’s weekly live music afternoons every Sunday, to Supper Clubs, to harvest-related events where customers can get stuck in and help out with the grape picking before enjoying a free glass of wine and lunch. There are regular tours and tastings at Kinsbrook, along with low-key wine flights for those wanting to just pop in and sample the full range of wines available at Kinsbrook. Keep up to date with everything going on at Kinsbrook via their website: https://www.kinsbrookvineyard.com/events
Joe concluded: “We’re so excited to put Kinsbrook on the map for a place not only to enjoy wine, but also incredible food and good times.”