The Curlew in Bodiam, East Sussex, has closed
Published 02 November 2022

The Curlew in Bodiam, East Sussex, has closed (Credit: JNAD Design Studio)

The Curlew restaurant in East Sussex will close ‘with immediate effect’, its chef-owner Will Devlin announced on Wednesday (2 November).

Devlin, who opened the highly regarded restaurant in Bodiam, East Sussex, just three weeks before the first lockdown, said the current economic situation has rendered the business unsustainable.

‘This has been a very hard decision but after a period of difficult trading conditions it’s the best one we can make’, he said.

Devlin said that ‘the rollercoaster of successive reopening and closing’ left the restaurant facing insurmountable circumstances, ‘despite loyal guests and acclaim from national restaurant critics’.

He added: ‘The current climate and substantially increased energy bills have forced our hand to make this decision.

‘We have told the team and will be doing our best to relocate them to our other sites, which are unaffected.’

Devlin, 34, was named ‘Chef to Watch’ by The Good Food Guide in 2020, and The Curlew was included this year following the Guide’s relaunch. Our entry talked of ‘straight-to-the-point cooking, rooted in great British ingredients’ – sentiments echoed among food fans the country over.

The Good Food Guide editor Elizabeth Carter said of the closure: ‘I am really sad to see such a good country restaurant close – one I know so well.

The Curlew was the slightly cheaper, more attractive of Will Devlin’s two fine dining restaurants. But in its offering, including the wine list, it was very similar to The Small Holding, which offered more interesting cooking. And they are only 10 miles apart.

‘But, on the upside, Birchwood, Devlin’s latest opening is a perfect fit with the nearby Small Holding – casual, simple, honest and generous, it’s a delicious alternative. I wish them both every success for the tough winter ahead.’

Devlin also thanked his team for their hard work and his customers for dining at the restaurant.

‘You have made it possible for us to do what we love and we are truly grateful for the experience you have made possible for us,’ he said.

This article was originally published on our sister title CODE Hospitality.