On the Saturday of 21 January 2017, the picturesque village of Firle, situated in the South Downs, East Sussex, played host to the world’s first drive-through to serve food prepared by a Michelin Star chef, courtesy of Land Rover.
Open for one day only, award-winning chef Simon Rogan served up a three-course meal for 60 specially invited guests using locally sourced, seasonal ingredients. A celebration of all things wintertime, this new approach to dining is part of #Hibernot, an annual campaign by Land Rover to encourage Brits to avoid “hibernating” through the winter months and explore the beauty of the British countryside instead.
On the menu: Land (meat), Sea (fish) and Earth (vegetarian) dishes, specially designed to reflect the Great British landscape. Guests had a taste of the “future of fine-dining” and culinary innovation at its best, with the earthy-sounding dessert of Carrot, Sea Buckthorn, Parsley and Liquorice going down well with guests.
Arriving at the Firle estate in Range Rover vehicles, guests pulled up to the drive-through and placed their orders at the intercom. Continuing upwards, towards Firle Beacon, guests were then invited to make their way to a bespoke “pop-up” dining area where they enjoyed their exquisite three-course meal.
Large enough to seat 60 diners, including outdoors enthusiast and TV presenter Julia Bradbury, the sleek architectural structure created a stunning juxtaposition of modernism against a quintessentially British country landscape and offered diners spectacular 360-degree views of the beautiful South Downs.
An innovative backdrop to a truly unique culinary experience, the food was described as “a taste sensation” by one guest, while another commented, “this is such a great way to experience the beauty of Britain’s countryside”.
Continuing the #Hibernot theme, guests then took time to explore the Firle Beacon area in suitable style driving Range Rover, Range Rover Sport and Range Rover Evoque vehicles. Naturally, Land Rover’s sophisticated off-road technology was deployed to take on the rural terrain, allowing them to explore the stunning vistas and learn more about local produce as they toured the area.