Once upon a time, in a charming kitchen in Brighton, myself (Naomi) and Olly crossed paths. We both fell in love with the hospitality industry, as well as with each other.
We started a little restaurant together, Forte Kitchen, which went on to receive many awards. It was a busy hub of activity with people often queuing at weekends to get a table. A special place for any occasion, a relaxing coffee by yourself or with friends, a scrumptious family brunch, a celebratory Prosecco fuelled lunch, a casual business meeting point, or a place to escape with a good book. We couldn’t believe all the many different reasons that people came to visit, all drawn there by the exceptional standard of food and an incredible and welcoming team.
Our vision was to create a space just as special in neighbouring towns, staying independent and making sure each restaurant used local suppliers and became part of the community in the same way Forte Kitchen had.
So, in 2018 we opened the second restaurant and in 2019 we had plans for a third. It was extremely hard work and we felt we were spread too thin, therefore we could no longer ensure the highest quality that we were used to offering. Then, just as we were finding our feet, COVID-19 hit. Suddenly, both restaurants were closed and plans for the third restaurant were put on hold.
Fortunately, the story doesn’t end there! There are many reasons to speak against the impact of Coronavirus, it was devastating for so many of us in various ways. However, one positive outcome of the forced closures was the opportunity for Olly and me to reflect, reassess, and rediscover our love for the essence of hospitality, before it became overwhelming. It became clear that fostering a sense of community is vital. We believe in taking care of one another and nurturing our connections. The way we do this is through our exceptional food and outstanding customer service. We love our suppliers and strive to honour their incredible ingredients by offering simply delicious food.
Our team, customers and community mean a lot to us, and we are committed to making a positive impact on everyone around us while caring for our environment. We do this by offering employment to a diverse range of backgrounds and supporting other wonderful independent businesses. This has always been our vision, and we consistently prioritise keeping our core values at the heart of everything we do.
Just a stone’s throw from Winchester’s high street you will find our multiple award winning restaurant, Forte Kitchen. Our kitchen is at the heart of everything we do. Simple, yet flavoursome food is cooked and prepared fresh to order; with love, by our highly skilled chefs, and served by our passionate team in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere. We hope that you enjoy our food as much as we enjoy cooking it. Serving breakfast & lunch, and we also cater for private events – our hidden gem awaits your ascent.
A casual space offering indoor and outdoor seating as well as an outdoor ordering point, known as ‘The Hatch’. You can swing past and order from ‘The Hatch’ for a tasty treat or, take advantage of our inside dining area; a relaxed and casual space for you to connect with your friends, family, co-workers, yourself… or a lovely space to work from when you need to shake up your working from home atmosphere. Whatever the reason, we are here for you!
The Hatch is the cafe sister to the Forte Kitchen restaurant, offering lighter breakfasts and lunches as well as cakes and sweet treats. Amongst other delicious items the main menu includes, seasonal salads, nutritional soups and sourdough toasties.