The Stables by Mark Charker – Fine dining at The Bell in Ticehurst
“The Stables tasting menu deserves a Michelin star or two – superb.” Guest, Autumn 2022
“The flavours were amazing, the presentation of the food was beautiful, incredibly warm welcome from the team and service impeccable. Wonderful evening and experience, thank you.” Guest, Autumn 2022
The Stables by Mark Charker at The Bell in Ticehurst has been transformed, once again, into a fine- dining experience. Having launched for the first time in Autumn 2022, the menu has been created by Head Chef Mark Charker. Launching on Wednesday 8 th February, and available on Wednesday – Saturday, the five-course tasting menu is offered alongside paired wines and bespoke cocktails.
This special occasion menu will take guests on a journey from the sea to the best lands in Sussex and the garden of England, including locally sourced meat, fantastic day boat fish, seasonal fruits and vegetables, and cheeses. It’s a surprise menu on the night but to whet the appetite, sample dishes might include Lamb with Jerusalem Artichoke and Hen of the Woods and Caramelised Milk Chocolate, Toffee and Fig Leaf Milk Sorbet.
Suppliers include local crab, scallops and halibut from Chapmans, Wagyu Sussex beef from Trenchmore Farm, goat meat from Cabrito, free-range eggs from Spurs Farm and a bespoke chocolate made from scratch, using fresh cocoa beans, from J.Cocoa in West Sussex.
Hanging alongside The Stables is a limited edition signed print by Francis Bacon. A triptych in a riot of reds and oranges, the magnificent work is a guaranteed conversation starter.
The Stables tasting menu costs £65 for five courses and £35 for the wine flight pairing, per person.
Reservations can be made via www.thebellinticehurst.com or by calling 01580 200300.
About The Bell
For centuries, The Bell has been at the very heart of Ticehurst village, geographically and emotionally. After closing in 2008, The Bell underwent painstaking renovation, opening in November 2011 welcoming locals and visitors from further afield.
The Bell’s design is eclectic in the truest sense of the word – the building looks as if an eccentric nobleman has travelled the world and filled his house full of curiosities from his travels. The result is quirky and utterly charming. The eleven guest rooms offer a highly individual design, with features including silver birch branches (a nod to the derivation of Ticehurst’s name, which is “the wooded hill where goats graze”), huge copper bathtubs, upside-down tiles and randomly placed light features. Eschewing room numbers, each of The Bell’s guest rooms has its own distinctive name, from “The Benefit of the Doubt” to “Smiles of Memories.”
Quirky touches continue in the public areas, from bowler hat lights and a floor-to-ceiling book pile in the main pub area, to mismatched vintage-style wallpaper and Wagner Tubas for urinals in the gents. Each room offers the curious visitor a feast of visual surprises, not least a fine collection of art by Tracey Emin, Henry Moore, Banksy, Graham Sutherland, and Picasso. The neon sign in the aptly named Stable with a Table, a dining room with a unique sunken oak table for groups of up to 18 feasting friends or family, fondly observes “I will always love you my friend”, summing up the sense of constancy yet originality awaiting visitors to The Bell.
Head Chef, Mark Charker, cut his culinary teeth at Ockenden Manor Hotel, working under their Michelin Star chef. At just 23, he was the youngest successful candidate for the Roux Scholarship. Mark believes in cooking for the guest, not the chef, and promises a creative menu of essentially British cuisine with French influences at The Bell.