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The George & Dragon at Chipstead reviewed

PUBLISHED: 11:36 23 May 2011 | UPDATED: 19:26 20 February 2013

The George & Dragon at Chipstead reviewed

The George & Dragon at Chipstead reviewed

Kent Dining Pub of the Year runner-up in the Taste of Kent Awards, The George & Dragon at Chipstead offers seriously good cooking in a chic setting

The George & Dragon at Chipstead reviewed


Kent Dining Pub of the Year runner-up in the Taste of Kent Awards, The George & Dragon at Chipstead offers seriously good cooking in a chic setting


Dont let the classic coach house exterior or quaint village setting fool you this 400-year-old pub is run by a bright young team who in just 16 months have turned a run-down inn into something very special.


Ben and Sophie James quickly sussed that the Sevenoaks area attracts a cosmopolitan clientele, many who may have moved down from London to start a family and think their party days are over. Until they walk into the bar, that is, with its vintage green and cream walls, heavy beams and artfully mismatched wooden tables and chairs, and are offered a cocktail of the month. A delicious Apple Mojito in our case.


Its not all trendy young things, however. Families love the Japanese-style tree house private dining room part of the additional upstairs seating and everyone adores the suntrap garden, where raised planters filled with herbs, green beans and nasturtiums


(the flowers are used in salads) supplement a constantly changing menu based firmly on seasonal local produce beef from Highfield Farm, Chart Farm venison, Winterdale Shaw cheese, Chapmans for fish.


Head chef Ollie combines these great ingredients with flair but a refreshing lack of pretentiousness. My Artist Friends venison with watercress and cucumber jelly not only looked striking on the plate but was meltingly tender, cripsy pancetta perfectly offset the softness of the scallops I chose, while my roast duck breast, served pink with wild garlic, was one of the best examples Ive ever tasted.


Our one tiny niggle would be an excess of purple sprouting broccoli. MAFs tasty roast chicken was served on a bed of it yet we were strongly recommended to add it as a side order.


Generous portions left me only room for my favourite ice cream in


the world (Taywell honeycomb and pistachio), but MAF managed the Kentish apple tart and declared it superb.


Just a week later we were back, a visiting friend in tow, for a real meat feast (great ribeye steak). Try and keep us away.



Head chef: Ollie Cheetham


Tell us a bit about you:


Im originally from Manchester but have lived in Spain and New Zealand and am now based in Tunbridge Wells. I love Kent, it has the best quality produce Ive seen anywhere.


Cookery tip:


Look out for those stalls on the side of the road, theyre always going to have the first of the new seasons produce.


Must-have kitchen gadget:


Id hate anyone to know it, but I do have a collection of favourite spoons!



We ate - dinner for 2



Scallops with cauliflower pure and crispy pancetta 7.50. Chart Farm venison with watercress and cucumber jelly 7.50


Garlic and thyme roast chicken breast, sauted potatoes and purple spouting broccoli 13.50. Roast duck breast, Savoy cabbage, wild garlic and fondant potato 14.75


Kentish apple tart with honeycomb ice cream 5.00


Taywell ice cream with biscotti, two scoops 3.75



GET IN TOUCH


The George & Dragon at Chipstead


39 High Street, Chipstead TN13 2RW


Tel: 01732 779019


Email: info@georgeanddragonchipstead.com

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