Away from the madding hype, a strike back for tradition

PUBLISHED: 11:27 22 April 2014 | UPDATED: 12:03 22 April 2014

The Vine, Sevenoaks

The Vine, Sevenoaks

Archant

Restaurant Review: The Vine, Sevenoaks

Sevenoaks, it is fair to say, has not been a part of Kent’s culinary revolution in the way that the county’s coastal towns have over the past decade or so.

In truth, that has been down largely to the fact that the establishment of an increasingly sophisticated food-and-drink sector has comprised a substantial part of the much-trumpeted rebirth of, for example, Whitstable and Margate.

Sevenoaks, of course, needs no such helping hand. Sevenoaks, as we all know, is the posh bit of Kent. And so it goes on in its quiet, understated manner.

What it has it keeps, and no one seems overly bothered in changing things. Why should they? This is a town that works, in every sense, while those who want, say, a choice of dishes from the four corners of the planet probably work in London anyway. If I sound flippant, it’s unintentional, and you get the drift.

The Vine is a Sevenoaks mainstay. Set in a conservation area and opposite England’s oldest cricket ground, it has a lot going for it. We visited on a Monday evening. The place was not wildly busy, but neither was it so bereft of diners that we felt awkward. In short, a nice number.

We were in the restaurant’s glass-fronted extension and I had wondered if it might lack a little atmosphere, especially in comparsion with the older, more traditional, section.

Any such fears were misplaced. We sat next to said floor-to-ceiling window and savoured the immaculate layout of our surroundings. This is an extension that has been done well.

With unobtrusive and friendly service to match, it left only the small matter of the food to impress.

I chose cock crab, crispy salt cod, pickled cockles and new-season peas to start. It was grand and perhaps the reason it carried a £2 supplement.

For reasons best known to herself, my companion chose not to have a starter. She looked hungrily over at mine and the temptation to offer her some fluttered briefly but died.

Her time would come and it did in the form of sea bream, potted brown shrimp, white asparagus and new-season wild garlic. She was delighted it with it, her only mild criticism when pushed (reviewers have to do such things) being that it was a touch oily.

It was, coincidentally or otherwise, the only flaw I could muster during the whole evening and it applied to the dauphinoise potatoes I had as a side dish. In no way enough to spoil it, but worth a mention.

I had pot-roast guineafowl, cured bacon, charred leeks and winter truffle as main. Lovely... end of.

The price is set at £27 for two courses and £32 for three. With apple tart tatin as dessert, a couple of glasses of superb Sauvignon Guy Allion and coffees, the bill pitched up at £91. Not cheap maybe, but neither did we feel cheated. We were, when all said and done, in Sevenoaks.

■ The Vine

11 Pound Lane, Sevenoaks

TN13 3TB

(phone 01732 469510, web www.vinerestaurant.co.uk)

More from Food & Drink

Yesterday, 13:53

It wouldn’t be a British summer without a scone or two, so we’ve teamed up with Rodda’s to offer a luxury cream tea hamper

Read more
Thursday, July 23, 2020

It’s that time again, the Kent Life Food & Drink Awards are open for nominations

Read more
Tuesday, July 14, 2020

There’s nothing like finding a quiet spot in a beer garden with the sound of a river running along beside you. We have picked 10 places to do just that

Read more
Wednesday, July 8, 2020

From 4th July, pubs will be reopening their doors in the first time for months as lockdown restrictions ease. We’ve gathered some must visit pubs in Kent to revisit

Read more
Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Three Thanet fishermen are supplying fresh fish and shellfish direct from their boats and delivering them to people across the entire Thanet area

Read more

Kent Life’s 2019 Pub of the Year, the Three Mariners, is living up to its top award by helping its community during these difficult times

Read more
Tuesday, May 26, 2020

The farmers’ market has scooped a prestigious award again

Read more
Tuesday, May 12, 2020

‘Kent, sir, everyone knows Kent. Apples, cherries, hops and women,’ proclaims a character in Charles Dickens’ The Pickwick Papers. We have gathered some traditional dishes from around the county that were borne of the fruitful orchards and seas of Kent

Read more
Friday, May 1, 2020

These Kent restaurants are offering delivery and takeaway services during the lockdown – so keep supporting local businesses while enjoying delicious local food

Read more
Wednesday, April 15, 2020

A new small batch craft gin called Cantium, the ancient Roman name for Kent, truly honours its origins

Read more
Kent Life Food & Drink awards. Open for entries.

Subscribe or buy a mag today


subscription ad


Follow us on Twitter


Like us on Facebook


Local Business Directory

Search For a Car In Your Area

Most Read

Latest from the Kent Life