Woods restaurant, Tunbridge Wells, tried and tested

PUBLISHED: 15:59 14 December 2010 | UPDATED: 17:52 20 February 2013

Woods restaurant, Tunbridge Wells, tried and tested

Woods restaurant, Tunbridge Wells, tried and tested

Owned by the Wood family, with daughter Claire in the kitchen heading up an all-female team, this Tunbridge Wells restaurant is a real Pantiles favourite

Woods restaurant, Tunbridge Wells, tried and tested


Owned by the Wood family, with daughter Claire in the kitchen heading up an all-female team, this Tunbridge Wells restaurant is a real Pantiles favourite


Music lovers in Kent will immediately associate Woods Restaurant with balmy nights on the Pantiles. Those in the know book an outside table to not only enjoy a delicious meal al fresco but also to gain a guaranteed seat for the hugely popular free jazz nights held on the bandstand every Thursday throughout summer.


But if the holiday season is a distant memory now, rest assured that this Tunbridge Wells favourite is a pleasure to visit throughout the year with the added bonus of having its own local produce store attached thats celebrating its first anniversary this month and gaining new fans all the time.


Formerly a ballroom, the restaurant is immensely appealing with its eclectic mix of wooden tables and chairs, chequered marble floor and Art Deco mirror; theres


a minstrels gallery fronting the intimate upstairs bar and the produce store also doubles as a bar area for about 50.


On jazz nights, theyll turn round 200 meals, while the music festival on the Pantiles over the August Bank Holiday weekend saw the team do a record 300 meals a day.


Head chef Claire Wood, together with her father Sheridan and stepmother Karen, own the business and it has a genuinely friendly, family feel about it.


Chatting to Claire, we decide that Woods is neither a brasserie nor a bistro, but rather the all-important criteria is that its regional, seasonal and contemporary.


More than ready to tuck in, My Gorgeous Daughter and I spend ages over the intriguing menu (everything from cooked breakfast to weekend brunches, snacks and tapas as well as lunch and dinner).


We fight over the potted crab served with gooseberry compote; naturally I lose, but am granted a taste in between her oohs of delight. An inspired combination, the fruit cutting through the richness of the crab, while the bread (Southboroughs Rusbridge Bakerys seed variety) is sublime.


I cant complain: my grilled goats cheese with a sparklingly fresh rocket and walnut salad and home-made Bramley apple chutney is bursting with flavour and goodness: simple but inspired.


Even after a suitable rest (portions are definitely on the generous side), MGD still doesnt quite make it through her perfect pancakes just thick enough to hold a substantial filling of spinach, mushroom, tomato and mascarpone finding the Cheddar cheese topping just a touch on the strong side.


No such problem, of course, with my pan-fried sea bass on a bed of roasted red peppers with gorgeous little new potatoes. Apparently there was fennel in there, so it must have been good, as that little horror usually stops me in my tracks. Ive even noted how great the scent was as my fish arrived.


I cant possibly eat pudding too! MGD protested right up to the point when she tasted her giant meringue with vanilla ice cream and Baileys and white chocolate sauce.


A huge fan of both white chocolate and real vanilla, MGD admitted you need a sweet tooth for this one but described it as a wonderful indulgence ecstacy on a plate!


My lemon cheesecake with a raspberry coulis was less dramatic but just as yummy, with that unmistakable taste of buttery biscuit only home-made versions deliver.


As well as supporting local food producers (fish is courtesy of Sankeys Fishmongers just up the hill, Overtons Butchers of Pratts Bottom provide the ham, bacon and sausages, fruit and veg is from Taywells), you can do your bit for Kents vineyards too by choosing an English wine with your meal. I had my favourite Gribble Bridge Ortega Dry by Biddenden Vineyard, while MGD loved her organic Bodiam Harvest from Seddlescombe Vineyard.



GET IN TOUCH


Woods Restaurant


62 Pantiles, Tunbridge Wells TN2 5TN


Tel: 01892 614411


Email: info@woodsrestaurant.co.uk


Typical prices: potted crab with gooseberry compote, 6.75, sea bass with roasted peppers 14.75


Restaurant open: Mon-Sat 8am-midnight (closed Mon eve), Sun 8am-9pm, Produce store 9am-6pm

More from Food & Drink

Yesterday, 00:00

The hamper includes the original London Dry Gin, the loved Yorkshire Rhubarb Gin and the brand’s latest launch, Slingsby Marmalade Gin.

Read more
Tuesday, September 8, 2020

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

Read more
Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Win a beautifully presented willow and faux leather strap hamper containing a bottle of both Rare Bird London Dry Gin, Rare Bird Rhubarb & Ginger Gin, along with 2 x branded glasses and a beautiful Rare Bird Gin & Tonic candle.

Read more
Tuesday, August 18, 2020

From saving money to helping the environment, there are many reasons to embrace shopping local

Read more
Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Get a half price meal at these great Kent restaurants, pubs and cafes with the government’s #EatOutToHelpOut scheme

Read more
Monday, August 10, 2020

Our new map shows every Kent restaurant, café and pub taking part in the government’s Eat Out to Help Out money-off scheme

Read more
Monday, August 3, 2020

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
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 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

Latest from the Kent Life