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Spring/Summer Collection 2015


elcome to the spring and summer 2015 edition of MMM’s Best Places To Dine – your essential guide to some of the finest places to eat and drink in Kent. Our last edition proved extremely popular – you loved reading about some of the finest places in the county to enjoy the very best food and drink and flocked to those restaurants we highlighted. And now, with the lighter evenings and the weather getting milder, there is no better way to enjoy your free time than by setting your taste buds alive. But, just as important as well prepared, freshly cooked food and drink which scintillates, is to go out and enjoy an exceptional rounded experience. Good service, fine ambience, and décor to match. It’s an equation which amounts to an unforgettable experience. And, as every restaurant featured in this guide knows only too well, impress one diner and the goodwill and word of mouth will bring in a constant stream of many more. They know that going out for a meal, especially in these austere times, is often a rare treat. And there’s no room for disappointment. That’s why you can relax, safe in their hands. After all, we live in the Garden of England – a county rich in the freshest of produce and a booming industry in everything from fruit juices to beer and wine. So, if you need some inspiration about where to dine out next – whether it is for a romantic meal or a family reunion, you’ll find some of the very best eateries represented right here. And, as before, don’t forget to let them know where you read about them! Published by mmm Media Ltd GHL House 1st Floor 12-14 Albion Place Maidstone Kent ME14 5DZ

Tel: 01622 299035

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THE SWAN The Swan is an independent leading Kent restaurant bringing modern dining to the lively market town of West Malling. The recently refurbished restaurant and bar combines stylish design and bespoke furnishings, creating a relaxed yet vibrant atmosphere. Along with the sleek cocktail bar and restaurant, upstairs there is a lounge bar and three private dining rooms, perfectly suited for both social and business gatherings. In the warmer months, the elegant garden is open for diners, drinkers and events. The peaceful top terrace is the perfect wedding venue. Open all day the Swan offers imaginative dining seven days a week. The brunch is one of the best served in the area; healthy options such as granola, caramelised grapefruit, fresh juices or classic dishes including eggs benedict, salt beef hash and a full English. The a la carte menu reflects the best of British, with robust and creative flavours, with a selection of grills and seasonal classics. In addition, the midweek set menu also offers fabulous value. The bar is an inviting place to meet at any time of the day with creative cocktails, thoughtfully selected wines and great coffee. For more information please call 01732 521910 or visit

ELIZABETH’S RESTAURANT This beautiful 16th century Tudor building was opened as a restaurant in 1992. The restored beams, exposed brickwork and classic vintage design pieces create an elegant and comfortable space to enjoy a superb range of food to suit even the most discerning of palates. The menus reflect its signature European style with seasonal produce sourced from local markets and producers, ensuring the highest quality and freshness of flavours. Its cellar boasts over 80 carefully selected wines, ports and brandies to complement your own chosen dishes. It believes that when people visit one of Kent’s premier restaurants, they are looking for quality food, fine wine and attentive service, and this is exactly what it offers. For more information please call 01634 843472 or visit

LEEDS CASTLE The Great British Kitchen is a bistro-style evening restaurant set within the Leeds Castle estate, offering stunning views of the castle across the moat. Whether you are looking for a light meal or hearty three course dinner, it offers a wonderful setting for all occasions. The seasonal menus uses the highest quality local meat, including English Longhorn beef, bred in the surrounding local countryside. Every detail of the food is important and it believes in giving you a taste of the best of British. It bakes its own bread, uses ‘Kent’s Best Invicta Ale’ from Faversham in its pies and even cuts its own herbs fresh from the castle’s gardens. The oak-beamed 17th century setting, offers diners a relaxed atmosphere and spectacular views from the terrace of the castle; beautifully lit at night. Pre-book a special event evening throughout the year to enjoy a delicious themed menu. For more information please call 01622 767777 or visit

WHO’D A THOUGHT IT Who’d A Thought It is a lovely restored 16th century building set in the beautiful Kentish countryside and is the perfect setting for any occasion. It offers two distinctly diverse menus, each one providing a wide and varied choice of delicious home-made food, designed with chef ’s experience and imagination; it is very proud to have recently been awarded two AA rosettes. For lunch it has relaxed seating in the bar area and, in warmer weather, the terrace and delightful gardens provides guests with an al fresco dining experience. In the evening its sumptuously decorated restaurant offers a more formal choice of modern English and fine dining. The house specialities include Chateaubriand and the Who’d A Thought It’s signature Plateau Rouge, a delicious selection of mouth-watering seafood. It is enormously proud of its extensive Champagne selection which includes more than 60 varieties. It also has a broad range of wines and is always delighted to advise a perfect match to your food choices and to suit your individual palate. For more information please call 01622 858951 or visit

VILLAGE HOTEL Looking for the ideal venue for that special occasion? Then look no further than the Village Urban Resort in Maidstone. With a range of suites, the Village Maidstone is perfect for all private dining occasions. Whether you are looking for a graduation dinner or celebrating an anniversary, the friendly and helpful staff will take the stress out of your event – helping you to plan the perfect celebration. Dedicated to making sure your event goes off in style, the staff will work closely with you to run the event just the way you want it and they will look after all of your dining needs. With tasty, bespoke menus along with a range of wines and ales your celebration is sure to be a mouth-watering event for everybody attending. And what’s more, with everything under one roof there is no reason to leave. With modern bedrooms, a large leisure club, Starbucks and free car parking, the hotel offers your guests everything they need for their stay. Located just off Junction 6 on the M20, the hotel is also ideally located for any guests who are travelling. Why not contact the events team to see how they can help? Just call 0871 222 4598 (Option 2) or email

THE OYSTER PEARL Famous for its oysters, Whitstable now has another pearl in its collection. The award-winning Oyster Pearl Bar and Restaurant at Seasalter has set the taste-buds tingling of reviewers and judges with its high quality and creative dishes. All served in a pleasant environment with friendly and helpful staff, it’s little wonder its reputation is ensuring its popularity continues to grow. Voted best newcomer at a major food and drink awards last year, the Oyster Pearl prides itself on creating an eclectic menu. It serves up a British and Asian fusion with its seafood dishes and locally sourced seasonal ingredients – truly the best of all worlds. This transforms into an ever evolving creative menu that will suit all tastes. One visit and you’ll see just what all the fuss is about. For more information please call 01227 272705 or visit the website www.

THE COCK INN The Cock Inn is situated in the rural surroundings of the pretty village of Boughton Monchelsea, close to Leeds Castle. Surrounded by countryside, the Greensand Way path is nearby and it is a popular stop for walkers en route. It is chocolate box pretty, with flowers around the door and famously featured in the film ‘Kind Hearts & Coronets’ starring Sir Alec Guinness. Dating back to 1568, inside it has a large inglenook fireplace with blazing log fire in the winter months. Low ceilings and exposed beams add to the Elizabethan ambience. An oasis in the countryside, it offers a selection of well kept real ales along with a choice collection of fine wines. This consistently high quality pub - often quoted as being the best in Kent - is well known for freshly prepared country cuisine. Dishes are cooked from scratch using the best in seasonal produce. It is advisable to book for the restaurant, or you may choose to dine in the bar area – you will always be fed with or without a booking. Owned by local brewers Shepherd Neame and leased by Jo and Dave, the whole team are like a big family giving a genuine welcome to all. Many front of house and kitchen staff have been there for over five years. The atmosphere is relaxed, warm and friendly with soft background music to enable you to hold a decent conversation. If you are in the area, why not travel a little way further to try this rather special venue? For more information call 01622 743166 or visit

THE VINEYARD RESTAURANT The Vineyard is one of the finest restaurants in the region, where your dining experience will almost certainly exceed your expectations. Boasting a diverse European menu and a carefully handpicked list of fine wines, having something to offer all customers who are looking for an excellent culinary experience complimented with attentive service second to none. Reputed for its exquisite, specialised Seafood Menu as well as its French and Italian specialities, offering authentic dishes cooked with fresh ingredients carefully market sourced by its team. Also having over 20 years of experience in cooking authentic European cuisine for the region, and is the winner of the 2008 Kent Messenger ‘Best Restaurant in Kent’ award. The Vineyard offers fine dining for an affordable price, and warmly welcomes couples, groups, parties, and families for an enjoyable meal. For more information please call 01732 882330 or visit

THE SECRET GARDEN Whether you’re in for a quick coffee and cake, would like to enjoy a full afternoon or chocolate tea, cream tea, pudding night or a delicious lunch, The Secret Garden is the perfect place to relax and unwind with friends and family. Located on the stunning Mersham Hatch Estate, formerly owned by Lord Brabourne, this 19th century coach house – once home to the estate’s horses and carriages – has been lovingly converted. Now it is a much loved restaurant with a reputation for outstanding food and service, Unsurprisingly, given its rather magical gardens, it is a popular wedding venue too – you can hold your reception in a marquee on the lawn, The Coach House or in The Glass House, a beautiful light conservatory. Those simply visiting for a meal can expect exquisite dishes incorporating fresh produce from the kitchen garden, with an accompanying well-matched wine list. For more information please call 01233 501586 or please visit

MERCURE MAIDSTONE GREAT DANES HOTEL The Mercure Maidstone Great Danes Hotel is a beautiful place to spend a lazy afternoon, or to relax in the evening - whether you’re after a light bite, an evening meal, an afternoon tea or possibly a private function for your special occasion, they are happy to cater for all your requirements. In the restaurant, starters range from beetroot gravlax, well-matched with wasabi potato salad, to wild mushrooms and cream on a toasted ciabatta. Mains encompass juicy steaks, delicious confit duck leg with Toulouse sausage and tomato and white bean cassoulet, and the sea bass fillet, accompanied by a bubble and squeak potato cake, ratatouille and crispy leeks. On a summer’s day, make the most of the sundrenched terrace or stroll around the vast, scenic grounds. Contact the team at Mercure to make your reservation or to discuss your special event. Please call 0844 815 9045 for more information, or why not come in and try its new autumn/winter brasserie menu.

LONDON BEACH HOTEL The London Beach is situated just outside the historic town of Tenterden and is surrounded by beautiful countryside with stunning views across the parkland golf course and beyond. The hotel has a superb restaurant with mouth-watering starters, delicious main courses and sinful desserts. The head chef makes it a priority to source local produce whenever possible, while the extensive wine list includes wines from famous local vineyards. The restaurant menu changes regularly – just see the website to whet your taste-buds. In addition to the main restaurant there is an excellent brasserie-style restaurant that serves all day with breakfast starting at 7am and a wide range of enticing meals from sandwiches and baked potatoes to lasagne or steak and chips and much more available throughout the day. There is also a new Sunday carvery with a choice of roasts and an exceptional selection of vegetables to choose from. There is a large conservatory and terrace with wonderful views across the golf course where you can relax and enjoy your meal and perhaps watch a magnificent sunset. There is plenty of free parking available. Please call 01580 766279 for more information or visit the website

THE FERRY INN A 17th century former smugglers haunt, this pretty little pub is in a lovely marshland setting with tables and benches on the front terrace and in a back garden alongside the riverbank. Inside, it’s very easy-going and informal. The main bar has hop-draped painted beams, a green dado, stools against the bar where it serves a beer called Oxney Ale specially brewed for the pub by Westerham Brewery. Other popular beers also include Harvey’s Best, Sharps Doom Bar and guest beers on hand-pumps. To the right is a cosy eating area with wheelback chairs, ideal for a banquette with friends around a few long tables, a log fire in the inglenook and candles in sconces on the walls to either side. Up a couple of steps you will find the restaurant with modern chandeliers. Throughout, there are wooden floors, all sorts of pictures and framed maps, a stuffed fish, beer flagons, an old musket and various brasses.

There is an extensive menu which includes fresh fish from the daily catch from Rye, Hastings and Folkestone, and seasonal changing dishes, such as new season Rye Bay Scallops, Romney Marsh lamb, sharing boards, charcuterie and tapas, as well as traditional dishes such as crispy battered Dungeness cod and roast Angley School Farm bacon steak. Head chef Julie Newar’s emphasis is on the best locally sourced meat, fish and game and all food is prepared to order, Julie prepares bespoke dishes for vegetarians and diners with allergies. The Ferry Inn at Stone-in-Oxney has its own large car park, is wheelchair friendly on the front terrace and in the bar. Dogs are welcome in the gardens and bar. Children are welcome and there is a separate playroom to keep them amused that includes a pool table, Sky TV, suitable arcade machines and various board games. The Ferry Inn is a warm, welcoming family and community public house. For more information please call 01233 758 246 or visit

THE RED LION A picturesque 14th century pub situated in a small village near the town of Faversham. Surrounded in history the pub dates back to the 1300s and still contains many original features. The Red Lion offers a selection of traditional English food alongside the frequently changing seasonal specials. Facilities include an upstairs restaurant, available for dining or large functions, a front patio overlooking the church and village green and a well established pub garden with many historical features and a large play area for children. A new champagne lounge bar is now open too. Whatever your event The Red Lion can cater for you, in the newly refurbished function room. For more information please call 01227 751207 or visit

THE HOP POLE INN The Hop Pole Inn is located in the pretty village of Nettlested, a 17th century country pub in the heart of the Medway Valley. Run by landlords Mark and Kirsty, it is a traditional family friendly pub which prides itself on freshly prepared food which is produced on the premises along with a range of delicious home-made desserts. Renowned for its carvery, served from Tuesday to Sunday, it also boasts a mouth-watering a la carte menu from Monday to Saturday. It boasts a large conservatory dining area, and when the weather is good there’s a sheltered beer garden, complete with swings and a slide for children to enjoy. The garden itself is the ideal place to relax with a drink or a bite to eat – overlooking the beautiful open countryside. Getting there is easy too, with a large car park. For more information please call 01622 816916 or visit

PAD THAI RESTAURANT West Malling, near Maidstone has become one of the places to eat, having a varied choice of restaurants and gastro pubs. Over the last ten years, Pad Thai Restaurant has built an enviable reputation as possibly one of the best Thai restaurants in the south east. This is due entirely to Manta, the owner, whose family in Thailand has worked in the Royal Thai kitchens. With fresh ingredients flown in direct from Thailand the authenticity is guaranteed which has culminated in Pad Thai being one of the first Thai restaurants to receive the prestigious award of a Thai Select Plaque, from the Ministry of Tourism and Foreign Affairs at the Royal Thai Embassy. For more information please call 01732 870000 or visit

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Woolly Pig Cider & Brogdale Juices The first shop to open in the newly refurbished Brogdale Farm marketplace back in September 2007. We specialise in Artisan Ciders (including our own Woolly Pig Cider and Perry, made on site using fruit from the National Fruit Collections) local ales and wines and Brogdale Apple & Pear Juices. Tastings always available! Brogdale Farm, Faversham, Kent, ME13 8XZ

01795 529100

Mondays - 12pm till 4pm Tues to Sat -10am till 5pm Sundays - 10.30am till 4.30pm Longer hours operate over festival weekends and during December

Spring/Summer Collection 2015

Best Places to Dine  
Best Places to Dine  

Spring/Summer Collection for inspiration about where to dine out - whether it is a romantic meal or a family reunion, you will find some of...