Restaurants: Farmyard, Hastings

The Farmyard restaurant and wine bar is just the sort of place I like to eat. It’s in Saint Leonards, the swankier bit (just) of Hastings, and it’s small and perfectly formed.

Ceviche
Oysters were excellent
Such a good wine from Cota 45 – unfortified Palomino with some flor influence

There’s no fussiness here: it’s all about the food, and – in particular – the wine. The list is excellent, and all the bottles are on display on shelves on the walls, as this also doubles up as a bottle shop. It’s a mostly natural list, although I’d describe some of the wines more as authentic than strictly natural. Lots to choose from, prices starting at c £30, with a lot of wines in mid-£40s to mid-£50s. This is where the fun is: lots of really great wines, well chosen, with a nice balance to the list. Indigo and Les Caves feature strongly as suppliers.

Cauliflower
Sweetbreads

The decor is spot on for this sort of place. There aren’t many covers and the reservations (essential, it’s popular) are well staggered so the kitchen (single chef plus KP) isn’t overwhelmed, meaning the pace of the meal was just right.

Tomato salad

Food was excellent, and quite creative. We ate well and drank very well too, with two contrasting wines. Highly recommended.

Ethereal, elegant Garnacha