A new team is in place and running The Picture House Restaurant which can be found across the road from The Picture House Cinema in Uckfield.
Leading the line-up is Tansy Markwick, who with husband Kevin, owns the restaurant. Tansy divides her time between the kitchen and front of house.
She has spent the past seven years teaching Food Technology at Uckfield Community Technology College but before that worked in London and helped run two previous restaurants owned by the couple, first Cains, now known as the Maximum Diner, and then Markwicks, now Blue Asia.
Working closely with Tansy are restaurant manager Gary Mitchell and chef Barry Ashford.
Gary has more than 30 years of experience in hospitality both in the kitchen and front of house, from Baltimore to Hamburg, London to Sydney and then back to East Sussex to the wedding venue Barnsgate Manor Vineyards and now The Picture House Restaurant.
Barry trained and has worked with many top chefs including John Wood and David Genaro.
Tansy is excited about the future. The Picture House Restaurant is completely different from both Cains and Markwicks, not least because many more people dine there.
Cains was a small operation with up to 30 covers a night, while Markwicks would have 40 to 50.
The Picture House Restaurant can have a very high turnover and on one Friday night recently more than 100 people dined there.
Customers at Markwicks would book a table and relax over a three course meal for the whole evening.
But at The Picture House Restaurant people start eating early in the evening before going to watch at film at the cinema and turnover at the tables can be high with busy times coinciding with the end of films across the road.
“At The Picture House Restaurant we have to be all things to all people,” said Tansy. “Families like to eat here, we have kids’ parties, some people want a light bite before going to the cinema while others want a full a la carte three course meal.”
There is a set menu – including children’s choices – which changes every three months and also a specials board where the chefs can decide on dishes at the last minute according to which fresh produce is available. It is for that reason that fish is found on the specials board rather than the set menu. Look out for dishes such as stuffed squid, swordfish steam and sardines.
“We have some fun with that menu,” said Tansy. “We can decide to try a dish the next day and if it works that’s great, if it doesn’t we just take it off. If it proves popular it might go on to the a la carte menu at a later date.”
The restaurant will be working increasingly closely with the cinema. A VE night proved popular, a Bond themed night is planned in November when there will be casino tables and a three-course meal and also the opportunity to see the new Bond film Spectre.
An 80s night is planned for Friday, August 7, combined with a screening of the film Dirty Dancing and there is a possibility of regular dance nights being held from next year.
There’s a special Northern Soul All Dayer coming up on Monday, August 31, too with Adrian Corbin as the DJ.
If you want to hold an event do get in touch with the restaurant. The space there is versatile for private functions.
Look out for movie inspired specials on the menu and remember that two pizzas are available for the price of one on Tuesday and Wednesdays at The Picture House Restaurant.
The restaurant is open from 10am daily and caters for coffee and cake, lunch and dinner.
Follow this link to menus on The Picture House Cinema and Restaurant website and call 01825 766555 to book a table.