JSW, short for Jake Saul Watkins, is a highly stylish yet simple restaurant in Petersfield serving delicious food. JSW seats 48 in the main dining room overlooking one of Hampshire's premier town's main streets and up to 18 in the private dining room off the courtyard. Secluded, smart outdoor seating under cream umbrellas can be found in the courtyard at the rear of the restaurant.
The 17th century former coaching inn has all the prerequisites of this era: old beams, a well, a cellar (now stocked with 900 wine choices) and three tunnels to other buildings in the ancient town including one to a past nunnery, a surprising, hidden entente cordiale between inn and nuns. However, the 17th century is a backdrop for modern living and dining.
Jake, who has a Michelin star for his food as well as entries in all major guides, believes in total simplicity in décor as well as on the plate. Well-spaced tables, a rarity in too many restaurants of such calibre are a feature in the cream-coloured dining room and give an air of relaxed informal elegance. Jake doesn't believe in turning tables. Your booked table is yours entirely, for either lunch or dinner.
Jake also believes resolutely in British seasonal food, fish sourced from the nearby Solent, lamb, beef and pork from Cumbria, the vegetables and soft fruit sourced locally. He, however, goes to France for his chicken, guinea fowl and duck as he as yet to find top notch quality in the UK. 'Technically brilliant', according to one guide, his food is beautifully presented. This is cooking by someone who cooks not with the corporate bottom line in mind but with a passion for his work, sensible pricing demonstrating this wish to share his culinary prowess.
A menu with four choices per two courses is offered at £35.00/£45.00 at lunch and dinner £45.00/£55.00. A 6 course tasting menu is £50.00 at lunch and £65.00 at dinner, a firm favourite by many who choose to dine in the private dining room. An 8 course tasting menu is offered at £90 at lunch and dinner. You may also add to the experience with an accompanying wine flight, 6 course at £30 and 8 course wine flight at £45 per person. There is an optional 10% service charge.
JSW is in the AA, the Good Food Guide, Hardens, Square Meal and Egon Ronay RAC as well as being awarded a Michelin star.