It’s been a long and arduous 18 months for us all, since the first rumblings of a global pandemic in 2020, but arguably restaurants and pubs have been among the businesses hit hardest of all.
For Spike’s at The Lodge, a casual fine-dining restaurant, things seem to be finally looking up. The Lodge is a small, independent hotel set in the picturesque Sussex countryside in the village of Winchelsea, near Rye, and Winchelsea is the final resting place of legendary British comedian Spike Milligan.
Spike was loved and respected not only throughout Britain and across the world for his surreal comedy, books, poems and radio shows, but particularly in the local area of Rye where he spent the last years of his life, and was well known in many cafes and restaurants in and around Rye. That’s what inspired hotelier and restaurateur Lee Stillwell to join forces with his business partner Martin Nathan (whose company owned The Lodge), to launch a restaurant in honour of Spike.
It was first intended to re-name and re-launch the restaurant in summer 2020, but difficulty finding the right chef, combined with the impact of the pandemic, forced a delay in opening. In late October 2020 head chef Lee Cosson joined the team and Spike’s had found its chef. Jane Milligan and her partner Wendy visited The Lodge shortly afterwards, and Jane and her sisters pledged their full support to the restaurant in Spike’s honour. Unfortunately, a further lockdown in November left head chef Lee cooking a basic takeaway menu only, which The Lodge served throughout the winter right up to May 2021. Now however, Spike’s at the Lodge is finally open.
The menu at Spike’s is modern British, in a casual fine-dining setting. The two Lees, restauranteur and head chef, share a philosophy that the dining experience at Spike’s should be one without too many frills or graces, but with an emphasis on high quality, fresh & local ingredients, expertly prepared to showcase exquisite food in a relaxed environment.
When you book a table at Spike’s it’s yours for the evening, and you’re welcome to spend hours there savouring fine food and fine wine. You can start with oysters or any number of small plates, through mains and desserts to a selection of local cheeses. If you order in advance, a sharing platter of Tomahawk steak and lobster is available, but Spike’s also offers excellent vegan and vegetarian options, and game meats such as pigeon or pheasant.
Everything is prepared fresh, in house, and delivered from within a 12 mile radius, with all meats coming from Jamie’s Butchers in Winchelsea, less than 2 miles from the restaurant. The menu is also set to change seasonally, in line with the availability of fresh ingredients and to ensure you’ll never get bored of coming back to eat at Spike’s. If you join the Members Club “Friends of Spikes’” you can also get picked up from your home for your restaurant reservation, and dropped back at your door afterwards; completely free of charge!
Jane Milligan will be back at Spike’s at The Lodge on July 10 for a small private event celebrating the fact the restaurant is finally open serving its full menu, both for dining on the new outdoor patio area and indoors.
The team at Spike’s is delighted to have one of Spike Milligan’s daughters at the event and to have her support. Lee Stillwell said “It won’t feel like Spike’s at The Lodge has truly been launched and opened until Jane and Wendy have been back.” and Jane herself said she “is really looking forward to joining Lee and his brilliant team on July 10th” and “Winchelsea and Rye are very special to me, it was Spike’s home for 20 years and the whole area is filled with happy memories, and it is of course Spike’s final resting place so being able to visit The Lodge and enjoy their great hospitality gives me all the home feels when I visit.”
Lee Cosson, Spikes’ head chef, has said “It’s good to be finally open serving our full menu, I’m looking forward to showing everyone what we’re about.”
In any case, you can book a table at Spike’s right now, by calling The Lodge on 01797226211, or find out more at the website
Image Credits: Devonshire Hotels Ltd 2021 .