29 Michelin-recommended restaurants in Kent
PUBLISHED: 10:13 27 July 2015 | UPDATED: 12:28 27 July 2015
Wherever you live in Kent you are never to far away from fine dining. Here are our favourite 29 Michelin recommend restaurants, including 4 that have been awarded a coveted star
Tel: 01227 273370
Don’t be fooled by this unassuming ordinary façade – this is no run of the mill pub with average pub grub. For inside this ramshackle exterior lies a restaurant that has held a coveted Michelin star since 2008 and serves exquisite country-inspired dishes created lovingly out of local produce. Menu prices range from £35- £65.
What the Guide says: An unassuming-looking pub serving top class food: dishes feature just four or five complementary ingredients and are prepared with precision; flavours are extremely well-judged and presentation is original. The full tasting menu must be booked in advance; the 5 course option can be ordered on arrival.
Tel: 01892 511921
Situated in the quaint Kentish spa town of Tunbridge Wells, the Michelin starred Thackeray’s Restaurant occupies one of the oldest buildings in the town; a Grade II-listed clapperboard house filled that once belonged to Victorian author William Makepeace Thackeray. The menu prices range from £17-£75
What the Guide says: It has two stylish dining rooms and a delightful terrace; original features include lovely oak flooring. Exacting, skilful cooking has clear, well-defined flavours: classical dishes display modern elements.
Tel: 01580 291341
The West House, a 16th century weaver’s cottage in the beautiful village of Biddenden in the Weald of Kent, is the Michelin-starred restaurant of chef/patron Graham Garrett. Menu prices range from £20-£60
What the Guide says: Characterful beamed restaurant with contemporary oil paintings and a wood-burning stove - one of a row of old weavers’ cottages in a picturesque village. Original, modern dishes display global influences and the occasional playful touch, and top quality ingredients allow the natural flavours to shine through.
Tel: 01580 714666
Situated in the small town of Cranbrook, this restaurant has three rosettes from the AA and, the accolade every restaurant wants, a coveted Michelin star. The menu prices range from £28- £43.
What the Guide says: Personally and passionately run restaurant in a pretty market town; its rustic walls filled with framed menus from the great and the good of the restaurant world. Skilfully prepared dishes use the best local ingredients in classic, tried-and-tested flavour combinations. The place has a warm, intimate feel.
Tel: 01303 212 070
This stunning harbour-side restaurant, which enjoys fantastic views over the English Channel, is particularly known for its fresh fish and seafood menu, with the produce usually caught from local day boats throughout the year. Menu prices range from £22-£57
What the Guide says: Set within a stylish harbour front eco-building affording lovely sea views. Smart cantilevered dining room with full-length windows opening onto a terrace; semi open air bar upstairs. Menus mix seafood and local meats; veg is from their farm. Nearby, bedrooms boast antique beds, Egyptian cotton linen and wet rooms.
Tel: 01304 873410
This contemporary restaurant with rooms, set in the idyllic Kentish village of Alkham, serves modern imaginative dishes that are locally sourced where possible and has been awarded two rosettes by the AA. Menu prices range from £32-£46.
What the Guide says: “Fashionable former pub with a smart bar, a stylish dining room and a relaxed atmosphere. Accomplished cooking features classical combinations with original touches; portions are generous and presentation is modern. ‘Foraging’ and ‘Tasting’ menus are available. Chic, sexy bedrooms boast luxurious bathrooms.
Tel: 01303 813334
Voted Kent Life Pub Of The Year, Five Bells Inn has plenty of character, good food, and company. The inn dates back to the 16th century and would have been used by travellers on their way between London, Canterbury, Dover and France following the Pilgrims Way. Menu prices range from £21-£41
What the Guide says: “Characterful 16C building: a glorious candlelit hotchpotch of exposed beams, hop bines, open fires, butcher’s block tables and an appealing deli. The gutsy menu ranges from eggs Benedict to wood-fired pizzas and fish from the local boats. Service is chatty and welcoming, and the bedrooms, delightfully busy.”
Tel: 01227 700402
Situated in the village centre The Granville has been the hub of village life since the 1900s. Today it is both a restaurant and a pub, and serves classic British dishes, as well as ones with Italian and French influences, which are full of local produce. Menu prices range from £18-£39.
What the Guide says: “Sizeable family-run pub on a village T-junction. The open-plan interior has a high ceiling, exposed afters and a Scandinavian feel. Constantly evolving blackboard menus offer unfussy, generous dishes; veg is from their allotment.”
Tel: 01304 375016
Just a stone’s throw away from the beach, this restaurant’s mouth-watering menu includes fresh, local seafood and an extensive choice of fine wines, including classic French varieties as well as more exciting discoveries from the New World. There is also a terrace where you can soak up the sunshine and take in the sea air. Menu prices range from £22-£42
What the Guide says: “Traditional hotel restaurant with original stained glass windows, a terrace and views over the Channel. Cooking is hearty, with plenty of seafood on offer. Specials usually come from the day boats and there’s a good range of wines.”
Tel: 01304 374389
Situated down a narrow street, this hidden gem serves dishes influenced by global food cultures and culinary traditions, using locally sourced produce. Menu prices range from £22-£42
What the Guide says: “Found down a narrow passageway, this enthusiastically run restaurant is named after the victuallers who supplied the local ships. Classic dishes are given modern twists; try some small plates followed by a tasting plate at lunch.”
Tel: 01233 758302
A new entry in the guide for 2015, the Crown Inn is a beautiful historic pub that offers comfortable, contemporary dining at honest prices. It is set in the charming village of Stone-in-Oxney in an Area of Outstanding Beauty. Menu prices range from £20-£33
What the Guide says: “A self-taught chef offers tasty comfort food in this rural pub, with chutneys and preserves for sale at the bar, and pizzas from the oven on summer weekends. Not-to-be-missed puddings include homemade ice cream. Smartly decorated bedrooms come with modern shower rooms and a continental breakfast.”
Tel: 01795 535344
When you pull up at this stunning Georgian country house you will definitely feel you have arrived somewhere special. Their seasonal dishes blend herbs and vegetables grown in the manor’s own walled kitchen garden with local game and fish fresh from the quayside at nearby Whitstable and Hythe. Menu prices range from £26-60
What the Guide says: “An elegant Georgian manor house in landscaped grounds, with traditional country house styling, antique furnishings and lovely oil paintings. Classically based dishes have subtle modern touches and make use of seasonal produce from the walled kitchen garden and the nearby quay. Comfortable bedrooms are full of period charm and thoughtful extras provide a sense of luxury.”
Tel: 01580 291472
The historic Three Chimneys derives its name from during the Seven Years’ War (1756-1763) when French prisoners were only allowed to wander as far as the pub, which they called Les Trois Chemins, after the three road junction it is situated on.
This stunning, character-filled, traditional country pub serves dishes created from, where possible, local produce in an informal dining experience in exceptional surroundings. This year the pub won best dining pub in Kent for a fifth time and
Menu prices range from £24-£37
What the Guide says: “Delightful pub with a charming terrace and garden, dating back to 1420 and boasting a roaring fire, dimly lit low-beamed rooms and an old world feel. Dishes are mainly British based; there are some tempting local wines, ciders and ales too.”
Tel: 01795 830279
A traditional family run country pub, set in the pretty rural village of Milstead, with modern European influenced menu. Menu prices range from £22-£40
What the Guide says: “Simple, cosy country pub, personally run by an experienced couple. Ever-changing blackboard menu offers French-influenced country cooking. Dishes are honest, wholesome and richly flavoured.”
Tel: 01227 459 153
A daily farmers market with an on-site restaurant, set in an early Victorian locomotive shed, The Goods Shed is a champion of great local produce and serves great traditional British food in unpretentious surroundings. Menu prices range from £26-£42
What the Guide says: “Daily farmers’ market and food hall in an early Victorian locomotive shed, selling an excellent variety of organic, free range and homemade produce. Hearty, rustic, daily changing dishes are served at scrubbed wooden tables.”
Tel: 01227 751360
A small country pub, which dates back to the 18th century, The Dove lives up to its aptly-named address as a centre of great food. They serve British traditional food and all their dishes are all locally sourced. Menu prices range from £23-£46
What the Guide says: “Red-brick Victorian pub in the heart of a sleepy hamlet, on the aptly named Plum Pudding Lane. Open fires, wood floors and old black and white photos give it a cosy, rustic feel. Dishes would be equally at home in a restaurant.”
Tel: 01227 274591
Featured in The Guardian’s Top 10 budget restaurants and cafes on the north Kent coast this fun, atmospheric and innovative restaurant serves Mediterranean influenced dishes, such as gorgeous Greek salads to grilled sardines with lemon and black pepper, mouth watering mutton and feta koftas, marinated olives and authentic chorizo. Menu prices range from: £12-£33
What the Guide says: “Unusually converted from a supermarket, this buzzy coffee shop, deli and restaurant offers good views over the Thames Estuary. The self-taught chef offers a large menu of Mediterranean and meze-style dishes and sharing boards.”
Tel: 01227 281180
With stunning views over the coastline, the East Coast Dining Room serves great modern British dishes at great prices with fish a particular speciality. Menu prices range from £13-£36
What the Guide says: “Find a spot on the terrace or head inside, where you’ll find reupholstered chairs from the 1960s and 70s, along with pictures of designer chairs. Concise, modern British menus offer fresh, flavoursome dishes; fish is a strength.”
Tel: 01227 276 856
A charming, quirky and rustic restaurant, proud of its seafaring heritage, that serves great fresh seafood, including, as the name suggests, oysters. Menu prices range from £29-50.
What the Guide says: “An old seafront oyster warehouse with a rough, rustic interior and a great informal atmosphere. Blackboards list simply prepared seafood dishes; from Sept-Dec try oysters from their own beds - the staircase leads to the seedling pool.”
Tel: 01227 361199
Situated near the old pier on Herne Bay’s sea front this restaurant has a continental style interior and specialises in fish dishes accompanied by fresh produce from ‘the garden of England’. Menu prices range from £12-£36
What the Guide says: “Head for the terrace of this whitewashed building opposite the pier. The split-level interior boasts flagged floors, exposed brick and eye-catching mosaic art. Constantly evolving blackboard menus offer tasty, unfussy seafood dishes.”
Tel: 01795 533633
The Three Mariners is a Grade II listed building that dates back to the 18th century. The interior is welcoming and character-filled and they serve dishes influenced by Britain and the Mediterranean. Menu prices range from £13-£39
What the Guide says: “Welcoming 500 year old pub set in a sleepy hamlet and boasting views across the marshes to the estuary. Constantly evolving menus offer an extensive range of British and Mediterranean-influenced dishes.”
Tel: 01843 823000
2015 is proving a good year for this restaurant as it not only won Kent Restaurant Of The Year in the 2015 Taste of Kent Awards but also made it into the prestigious Michelin Guide 2015. This restaurant’s head chef is Matt Sworder, who has worked at a number of London restaurants including Gordon Ramsay’s La Noisette. Menu prices range from £13-£29
What the Guide says: “Pass the stone bar inset with a cart wheel, and the small lounge and terrace, to the characterful dining room with its low beamed ceiling and quarry tiled floor. Classic recipes use good quality produce; the dishes for two are a hit. Bedrooms have smart feature walls and modern facilities.”
Tel: 01843 231 504
Although many of the dishes have South Asian influences, this is no typical Indian restaurant. Chef Dev Biswal prides himself on using fresh, sustainable and local ingredients combined with aromatic herbs and spices and an aesthetic style of presentation to produce a totally innovative menu. Menu prices range from £20-£35
What the Guide says: Quirky restaurant with modest surroundings. The concise menu showcases Kentish produce in an original modern style; freshly prepared dishes offer well-balanced flavours and subtle Indian spicing - you won’t find any curries here!
Tel: 01843 600991
Listed in the Sunday Times top 130 value for money restaurants in the UK 2014-15 and described as “Could be the best tapas in the UK, all from one English man, this Spanish restaurant is definitely worth a visit. Menu prices range from: £13-£28
What the guide says: “Run by a husband and wife team and named after her favourite wine. Freshly prepared, full-flavoured tapas dishes; 3 per person will suffice - let the chef choose. Counter seating for 7. Good views of the Channel.”
Tel: 01843 851515
This family-run restaurant, café and bar serves seasonal food, fine wines and cocktails in a charming Victorian warehouse set within a beautiful secluded courtyard, just a minute from the sea. Meal prices range from £13-£35
What the guide says: “Attractively converted wine warehouse in a pedestrianised courtyard - the name stuck after the initial ‘P’ fell off the wine merchant’s sign! Breakfast is offered on the ground floor; above is the formal ‘Age’ restaurant and below is the moody ‘Son’ bar. Interesting modern dishes are gutsy and flavourful.”
Tel: 01795 428020
Treat yourself to dinner in this stunning restaurant that forms part of a luxurious Victorian country house hotel and you could feel yourself back in the Downton Abbey era of elegance.
What the Guide says: “Set in the conservatory of a well-run Victorian hotel, this formal conservatory restaurant features Georgian columns, crystal chandeliers and smartly laid tables. Menus are classical. Start with a drink in the homely sitting rooms.”
Tel: 01227 773133
Winner of the Kent Dining Pub of the Year in 2012 at the Taste of Kent Awards, this traditional pub has everything, great menu, real ales, fine wines, lots of character and a welcoming atmosphere. Menu prices range from £13-£37
What the Guide says: “Characterful refurbished pub in a great spot, with the Thames Estuary stretched out in front. Busy ground floor bar for nibbles like jellied eels; top floor dining room serves reassuringly familiar dishes, with Kentish produce to the fore.”
Tel: 01634 361363
Situated in a 17th century character-filled traditional black and white timber barn this family-run restaurant serves British traditional dishes with modern touches and influences. It also has a Certificate of Excellence by Trip Advisor. Menu prices range from £33-£42
What the Guide says: “Black and white timbered barn transported from Essex and reconstructed on this site. It’s heavily beamed throughout, with a rustic dining room and an upstairs lounge. The enthusiastic owner offers a menu of elaborate modern dishes.
Tel; 01732 779019
Built during the reign of King Henry VIII, the historic and character-filled George & Dragon serves a tasty menu, which uses the best of what the local, organic farms in Kent, Sussex, and Surrey have to offer. The interior includes real open fire, heavy oak beams, upstairs and downstairs, solid furnishings and original features. Menu prices range from £18-£36
What the guide says: “Superbly set, 450 year old inn with a beamed bar and a wonky-floored upstairs dining room. Delightful garden with terrace and children’s play area. The menu is a roll call of seasonal English classics; herbs and salad are home-grown”