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AA rating

About this rating

Restaurants are awarded from 1 to 5 Rosettes for culinary excellence. One Rosette restaurants are highly recommended in a local area and five Rosettes have reached the pinnacle of culinary excellence at a world class level.

Read more about AA ratings and awards

Strikingly refined cooking in an out-of-town hotspot

AA Inspector

At a glance

Vegetarian menu
Private dining
Wines by the glass
Wheelchair access
Service charge
Credit cards accepted

Out in the suburbs of Kent, a few miles from junction 4 of the M25, Chapter One proves that culinary excellence is alive and kicking beyond the bright lights of central London. In fact, the accessibility of the place works greatly in its favour, and on a practical note, there’s ample parking. The tone within is stylish, refined, with dark floorboards and smartly dressed tables, a feature wall upholstered in red silk and prints of food pictures in abundance. There is a strong classical base to Andrew McLeish’s cooking, reaching back to established standards of culinary excellence in flavour and presentation, but he has the confidence to confound expectations with some surprising twists. Things get off to a flying start when silky smooth velouté of potimarron (or butternut squash to its friends) is poured over of a single raviolo stuffed with chestnuts and trompette mushroom duxelles, while another dish of poached cod cheeks might show a broader global inspiration with its accompanying mushrooms, bok choi and Asian broth. Seafood cookery is exemplary, if pitched at the richer end of the spectrum, in a main course showcasing poached brill on a bed of crushed new potatoes, with samphire, mussels, tomato and an unctuous butter and chive sauce. The desserts are equally creative and refined: witness red wine-poached pear with pear sponge, vanilla espuma and morello cherry sorbet. One of the stand-out features of Chapter One is its relative value for money, with a three-course lunchtime menu du jour that is a real steal, and a tasting menu and carte that offer remarkable value at this level.

Opening hours

  • Closed: 2–4 January
  • Lunch served from: 12
  • Lunch served until: 2.30
  • Dinner served from: 6.30
  • Dinner served until: 10.30

Chef

  • Chef: Andrew McLeish

Food and drink

  • Cuisine style: Modern European
  • Vegetarian menu
  • Wines under £30: 65
  • Wines over £30: 153
  • Wines by the glass: 13

Price guide

  • Starter from : 6.50
  • Main course from: 17
  • Dessert from: 6.45
  • Service charge
  • Credit cards accepted

Accessibility

  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Accessible toilets
  • Assist dogs welcome

Facilities

  • Seats: 120
  • Private dining available
  • Private dining seats: 55
  • On-site parking available

Additional information

  • Seats: 120
  • Private dining available
  • Private dining seats: 55

Getting here

On A21, 3 miles from Bromley. From M25 junction 4 onto A21 for 5 miles

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Nearest train station

Orpington
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