GQ Pub of the Month

Jodie Kidd’s countryside pit stop takes conventional gastro fare up a gear.

The Half Moon, Kirdford

 

discreetly well-heeled village in bucolic West Sussex is an unlikely spot for former Moschino and McQueen model Jodie Kidd to open a pub. Yet, it’s artfully strategic. Kidd, a card-carrying car enthusiast, has set up shop almost exactly halfway between the smart end of London and Goodwood Motor Circuit, capturing the classic and exotic car set as they journey south.

As much is clear from the car park (two Ferraris, one classic Porsche during GQ’s visit), even more so the menu. Considering the 15th-century country cottage was once a spit-and-sawdust local it’s bravely gastronomical, eschewing traditional pub grub for roasted guinea fowl with crushed artichoke, beef cheek on truffle-flecked pappardelle and crumbly pan-fried hake with king oyster mushroom, which GQopted for.

A dollop of artichoke purée and pickled shimeji added punch and nuance to the featherlight fish, which was artfully prepared by executive chef Paul Welburn’s team. Other highlights include the sticky, meaty pork belly and dense but light buttermilk sponge, served with crunchy honeycomb and honeycomb ice cream.

The menu here changes every couple of months but it’s always good. The Half Moon also throws special event dinners around four times a year, often showcasing regional fare (the latest included Sussex wagyu). No surprise – and somewhat fitting – that it’s recently been awarded a second AA Rosette. It’s every bit worth the drive out of Mayfair, regardless of what’s happening in the Duke’s garden.

Story by Matt Jones

Illustration by Joe McKendry