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Fine dining in Kent: 8 of the best restaurants

PUBLISHED: 17:04 25 April 2017 | UPDATED: 17:31 25 April 2017

Rocksalt, Folkestone (photo by Manu Palomeque)

Rocksalt, Folkestone (photo by Manu Palomeque)

Manu Palomeque

When in Kent, the ‘Garden of England’, it’s only natural to expect the freshest, home-grown ingredients sourced from local producers. With that in mind, here’s a list of our favourite quality restaurants to be found in Kent from Michelin star to gourmet pub

1. The Sportsman, Seasalter

A coastal mill-house in the village of Seasalter between Whitstable and Faversham this Michelin-starred restaurant serves unassuming yet sophisticated food. With locally sourced, fresh ingredients from lamb to oysters, the simple a la carte and country-inspired tasting menus are tempting and reasonably priced. Having been awarded a Michelin star in 2008, The Sportsman has never failed to excite critics and deliver top quality food and customer service.

The Sportsman, Faversham Road, Seasalter, Whitstable

2. West House, Biddenden

Located in the heart of the quaint village of Biddenden, West House is another Michelin starred gem with a 16th century exterior. With locally sourced seasonal produce from venison to monkfish on the menu, this restaurant has won the hearts of both local eaters and diners from across the country. The small team offers warm, personal service and strives for the best catering experience. Explore the historical village afterwards to walk off your dinner.

West House, 28 High Street, Biddenden

3. Rocksalt, Folkestone

Enjoy sea views with your food at Rocksalt on Folkestone seafront; floor to ceiling windows expose diners to views over the English Channel. With a range of fresh seasonal seafood, locally sourced meats and homegrown vegetables, Rocksalt’s aims for quality, locality, sustainability and provenance have lead to success. Rocksalt also have a hotel above the restaurant with antique beds and luxurious wet rooms, allowing you to relax in the tub with the sea rumbling nearby.

Rocksalt, 4-5 Fish market, Folkestone

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4. Five Bells Inn, Brabourne

There is quirky and cosy interior design, tempting lunch and brunch menus, and sympathetically-decorated rooms at the Five Bells Inn in Brabourne. Awarded Kent Life Pub of the Year, the Five Bells serves a range of seasonal and locally-sourced meats and vegetables, and offers a relaxed dining experience. Five uniquely presented rooms can be booked for those who wish to turn their dinner date into a relaxing overnight stay. The Five Bells Inn aims for a comforting casual experience “like an old pair of slippers”.

Five Bells Inn, East Brabourne, Ashford

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5. The Granville, Lower Hardres

Pub grub with a twist of sophistication is on the menu at the Granville, tucked away in the village of Lower Hardres. As far as possible, ingredients are fresh and local, from the classy take on a surf and turf platter to the traditional Sunday roast. The Granville maintains a friendly and open atmosphere, including hosting private functions and live music sessions from local talent. It’s no wonder that this restaurant holds widespread appeal.

The Granville, Street End, Lower Hardres

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6. Kathton House, Sturry

Offering a luxury fine dining experience, Kathton House just outside Canterbury in the village of Sturry boasts the tagline ‘no ordinary food, no ordinary restaurant.’ Offering a range of elegant dishes fillet of veal in creamed mushroom and Madeira sauce served with potato fondant to desserts of vanilla omelette soufflé with apricots served with toasted almond ice cream, Kathton House does its best to live up to high expectations.

Kathton House, 6 High Street, Sturry

7. Whits of Walmer

Whits is a fine dining restaurant serving seafood by the Walmer seafront. Managed by couple Steve and Eva and finalist in Newcomer of the Year and Restaurant of the Year in the 2016 Kent Life and Kent on Sunday Food & Drink Awards, this is a restaurant not to be overlooked. Serving everything from saffron and scallop risotto, cod and red wine and chocolate fondant, the appeal of this restaurant lies in the quality of its sophisticated dishes, and with an ever-changing menu dependent on season and available produce; you’ll never get bored of the options at Whits!

Whits of Walmer, 61 The Strand, Walmer, Deal

8. Restaurant Apicius, Cranbrook

The tempting and weekly-changing menu at Restaurant Apicius in Cranbrook is refreshingly simple. With the choice of two or six courses, dishes have included monk fish wrapped in Kentish style parma ham with a violet artichoke barigoule and praline cannelloni filled with a chocolate pastry cream with candied walnut and orange salad and banana ice cream. Unassuming, reasonably priced (£10 for two courses, £25 for six) and populated with friendly staff yet raved about with fine diners, Apicius is a gem worth visiting if you find yourself near Cranbrook.

Restaurant Apicius, 23 Stone Street, Cranbrook

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