6 ISSUES FOR £6 Subscribe to Kent Life today click here

12 pretty places for al fresco dining in Kent

PUBLISHED: 09:50 01 August 2017 | UPDATED: 09:50 01 August 2017

Café des Amis, Canterbury (photo: Jim Linwood, Flickr, http://bit.ly/2rIdWFr)

Café des Amis, Canterbury (photo: Jim Linwood, Flickr, http://bit.ly/2rIdWFr)


During the warmer months, there’s nothing better than drinks and some good food taken al fresco. We have picked 12 of the best restaurants in Kent with outdoor seating to do just that

1. Café des Amis, Canterbury

Mexican restaurant Café des Amis du Mexique serves modern Mexican cuisine comprised of fresh ingredients and plenty of produce from the local area. Spiced with chillies from Mexico, the substantial menu includes tempting dishes such as crab and prawn tacos, spicy pulled pork enchiladas, or roast vegetable tostadas.

Location: perched along the River Stour right next to Westgate, the medieval gatehouse, Café des Amis has some seating at the front that’s perfect to watch the world go by.

2. The Mulberry Tree, Boughton Monchelsea

Located four miles from Staplehurst in the village of Boughton Monchelsea is the Mulberry Tree, a restaurant fusing British and European food for a diverse menu of dishes that make use of locally sourced Kent ingredients.

Location: nestled into the countryside, this restaurant has pretty views from the terrace and garden that make it great for a summer’s day – made that bit better with its extensive wine menu!

3. Posillipo Pizzeria, Faversham, Broadstairs & Canterbury

Traditional Neapolitan food finds a home at Posillipo. With locations across Kent, this restaurant serves up fresh seafood, pizza and pasta in three stunning spots.

Location: the Faversham restaurant evokes the feeling of sitting in a Naples market place; the beachside Broadstairs site has breathtaking views over Viking Bay on the balcony; and in the city centre of ancient Canterbury, the third restaurant provides a cosy and intimate dining experience.

A post shared by Georgia India (@georgiaindia) on

4. The Minnis Bay Bar & Brasserie, Birchington

The seaside location of the Minnis Bay Bar & Brasserie in Birchington betrays its speciality cuisine: seafood. With a focus on fresh and (very) locally sourced fish, the menu also features seasonally changing ingredients for a modern twist on British food. Expect dishes such as whole grilled lemon sole with garlic and lemon butter, crushed potatoes, tenderstem broccoli and cherry tomatoes, and more fresh treats.

Location: with a glass of your favourite tipple in hand, soak in the open skies and sea of Minnis Bay. Why not take a walk across the sands after your meal?

5. Thackeray’s, Tunbridge Wells

Say “bonjour” to your new favourite modern French restaurant, Thackeray’s in Tunbridge Wells. Fine dining is unassuming at Thackeray’s with menus that evolve with seasonality and reflect a diverse range of ingredients.

Location: wander through the chicly decorated interiors out to the terrace that’s perfect for whiling an evening away with gourmet food and plenty of drinks.

A post shared by Brian Serpis (@brianserpis) on

6. Five Bells Inn, Brabourne

Quirky pub, the Five Bells Inn is a maximalist’s haven that doesn’t shy away from a bit of colour and pizzazz in its interior design. Food is sourced locally, making the most of Kent’s talented producers for its meat, fish, beer, wine, cider and more.

Location: in the pretty village of Brabourne, surrounded by the North Downs, what better place to enjoy a peaceful meal and a few drinks than the patio garden at the Five Bells? If you want to extend your visit, book a room and enjoy a comfortable stay in one of the stylish rooms before a visit to the dining rooms for a hearty breakfast.

A post shared by Dee (@dee_aubeterre_blue) on

7. The Granville, Lower Hardres

Much raved about, the Granville in the village of Lower Hardres serves modern European food and good beers and wines too. Expect hearty dishes with starters such as chicken and chorizo croquettes with spicy sriracha mayo; mains including slow cooked pork belly with gratin potatoes, savoy cabbage and a tarragon cream sauce; and desserts of baked chocolate chip cookie dough with salted caramel and pecan ice cream – yum! This is elevated comfort food done right.

Location: nestled into the countryside, the pretty pub garden at the Granville is perfect for sipping your drink, sunning your legs, and digging into a plate of flavourful food.

A post shared by Richard Borle (@richardborle) on

8. Dunkerley’s Restaurant & Hotel, Deal

Fresh seafood is in abundance in Kent, with its stunning coastlines and nowhere more so than in Deal. Dunkerley’s Restaurant & Hotel makes good use of the fish that is readily available on our shores for its seafood dishes. Tuck into a Thai-style pan fried seabass fillet from Kingsdown with spring onion, garlic, ginger, coriander and soy or a lobster pot, with Deal lobster baked in ravioli with cognac and tomato on a bed of wilted spinach.

Location: on the seafront at Deal, diners can enjoy the stunning views from the sun terrace at the front of the restaurant. Enjoy a glass of wine before your meal with views across the sea and walk off your meal afterwards with a beachside stroll.

A post shared by David J Whyte (@linkslandmag) on

9. The Three Mariners, Oare

The Three Mariners in Oare is housed in a grade II listed 18th century building and serves great food alongside hefty bar and wine menus. Indulge in the three course set dinner menu or the three course set menu on a Sunday for lunch or dinner. There’ll be lots to choose from; why not start with Scottish smoked salmon, toast, horseradish crème fraiche and salad before a roast leg of lamb with mint sauce, roast potatoes and vegetables. Desserts have included a passion fruit cheesecake with lime ice cream or lemon panna cotta with strawberries.

Location: the pretty pub garden at the Three Mariners is packed with greenery and looks out over fields and rural countryside – perfect to enjoy a cold glass of ale in the sun before your meal.

A post shared by Harriet (@tigs_hh) on

10. Rocksalt, Folkestone

The head chef at Rocksalt, Marcin Szelag, was a finalist in the 2016 Kent Life Food & Drink Awards, and it’s not hard to see why. Contemporary interiors, weekly changing menus that reflect the seasons and local producers, and an attention to detail that runs through everything it does, this restaurant is a firm favourite with customers and has received accolades left, right and centre.

Location: a terrace runs the length of the restaurant that is directly on the water with views of the Channel and across to Folkestone Harbour. This is a perfect summertime spot for a few drinks and some good food.

11. The George and Dragon, Chipstead

One of our favourite historical pubs, the George and Dragon in Chipstead focuses on seasonal and locally sourced produce for its ever changing menus. Inventive dishes include a blue cheese and jalapeno venison burger with cranberry mayonnaise, dressed leaves and chips or spiced lamb cutlets with sautéed potatoes, black olives, cherry tomatoes, charred artichoke with salsa verde.

Location: the pub itself is hundreds of years old, first built in the 16th century, but has been refreshed and its garden makes for a beautiful place for a meal and drinks.

A post shared by Liz (@lizmpower) on

12. Red Sails Restaurant at the Faversham Creek Hotel, Faversham

The AA Rosette-awarded Red Sails Restaurant is part of the Faversham Creek Hotel. With a bar snack menu including tempting bites such as ballotine of confit rabbit leg wrapped in parma ham with carrot and sourdough croutons, you can nibble away with a drink in hand. Alternatively, head straight for the three course lunch menu with its varied selection of expertly created dishes.

Location: perched next to the Creek, there is ample outdoor seating at Red Sails, great to look out over the water.

A post shared by Angie (@hugsonpaper) on

Take our poll and let us know your favourite al fresco style:


Follow Kent Life on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Kent Life visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Kent Life staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Kent Life account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from Food & Drink


After much deliberation, our judges have whittled down the nominees and we have our list of finalists for the Kent Life and Kent on Sunday Food & Drink Awards 2017

Read more

Nothing beats a burger to curb those hunger pangs! We pick some of the best spots to enjoy a burger in Canterbury

Read more
Yesterday, 15:59

From the classic battered cod and chips to vegan ‘fish’ and deep fried gherkins, everybody loves a good fish and chip shop. We have picked 10 of the best places for fish and chips by the sea in Kent

Read more

This is your last chance to make your personal nominations in the Kent Life and Kent on Sunday Food & Drink Awards 2017. To help you, read what our judges will be looking for in the 12 diffrent categories.

Read more
Monday, August 14, 2017

With training at its heart, The Yarrow in Broadstairs is a first in the UK

Read more
August 2017
Monday, August 14, 2017

Summer in the city is best spent in a beer garden so we have selected some of the best pubs with beer gardens for al fresco drinks and tasty food in Canterbury

Read more
Thursday, August 3, 2017

Beer and ales brewed in small batches with locally sourced ingredients and a community spirit; microbreweries are on the rise. Here are 10 of the best in Kent

Read more
Tuesday, August 1, 2017

During the warmer months, there’s nothing better than drinks and some good food taken al fresco. We have picked 12 of the best restaurants in Kent with outdoor seating to do just that

Read more

The chef-patron of award-winning restaurant Chapter One on a simple salad that not only tastes great, but also sneaks in broccoli...

Read more
August 2017
Tuesday, July 25, 2017

We all know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so what better way to spend your morning than by indulging in a leisurely brunch with friends? In Kent you’ll be spoilt for choice with places to go, so here is our pick of some of the best breakfast spots in the county

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Kent Life Food & Drink awards 2016. Open for entries.

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad
Kent Life Application Link

Follow us on Twitter

Like us on Facebook

Local Business Directory

Kent's trusted business finder

Job search in your local area

Search For a Car In Your Area

Property Search