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Autumn/Winter Collection 2015/16


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elcome to the autumn/winter 2015 edition of mmm’s The Best Places to Dine – what has now become an indispensable guide to some of Kent’s finest restaurants and eateries. Since we started producing this guide, the quality of dining opportunities in the county has rocketed and competition has never been so fierce. And the real winner of this race for perfection? All of us. Now the emphasis is very much of delivering an exceptional service with exceptional ingredients. Not to mention the considerable talents needed to take locally sourced produce and transform it into a mouth-watering meal. Whether that is a light, tasty, lunch-time snack or a three-course meal washed down with the finest wines and beers, the bar has been raised to a remarkable level. The biggest challenge facing the diner now is just where to go? And that’s where our guide comes in. We have compiled some of the very best establishments to get you started in your quest for a gourmet nirvana. We are confident every location inside will deliver you with a memorable experience. After all, we all work hard and if we decide to treat ourselves, friends and family to a meal out, we want to know we’re going to enjoy ourselves. So get ready for your taste buds to tingle and your appetite to be stoked as you look through the following pages. And when you book up a table at one of the restaurants listed here, don’t forget to tell them that mmm’s Best Places to Dine sent you!

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Topes Restaurant

The Limes

Pad Thai Restaurant

The Oyster Pearl

The Ringlestone Inn

Blean Tavern

The Vineyard Restaurant Rochester whitstable west malling

faversham

wrotham

sandwich

maidstone harrietsham

Canterbury

nettlestead Grafty green Tunbridge wells tenterden The Mallow Restaurant Mercure Tunbridge Wells

hythe

The Salutation Restaurant

The Hop Pole Inn

Who’d A Thought It Mercure Maidstone Great Danes Hotel

Castle View Restaurant Leeds Castle

Buenos Aires Nights Port Lympne Restaurant Raja of Kent London Beach Hotel

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Coast Restaurant at the Hythe Imperial


Castle View Restaurant Leeds castle

Address Leeds Castle, Maidstone, Kent ME17 1PL Telephone 01622 767777 Email dining@leeds-castle.co.uk

Website www.leeds-castle.com/restaurant

Opening Times Monday to Sunday - open for dinner at 7pm - 11pm

At Castle View Restaurant, our aim is to cook the best traditional ingredients as simply as possible and let the quality of the produce and the magnificent views across the castle’s moat speak for themselves.Our new seasonal menu uses the highest quality local ingredients. We use the most succulent and tender of lamb from the Kent South Downs. Our delicious warm artisan breads and locally grown fresh vegetables are the perfect accompaniment to your meal. For dessert, Solley’s Kentish ice-cream is delicious, creamy and fresh from the farm and leave room to try our cheeses, produced locally in Canterbury. The oak-beamed 17th Century setting, offers diners a relaxed atmosphere and spectacular views from the terrace of the 900 year old Leeds Castle beautifully lit at night.

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port lympne restaurant

Port Lympne Reserve, Aldington Road, Lympne, Hythe, Kent CT21 4PD

Website www.aspinallfoundation.org/hotel

Telephone 01303 234111 Email eventinfo@aspinallfoundation.org

Opening Times Lunch 12 noon - 2:30pm Dinner 6pm - 9pm

Address

There can be few more magnificent settings than the Port Lympne mansion house – set in 15-sumptuous acres and commanding views of the Romney Marsh and English Channel. And the splendour continues for those dining in the mouthwatering restaurant within its boutique hotel. Sat on the fringe of the famous wild animal park, the restaurant uses the very best seasonal and locally sourced ingredients wherever possible. It tirelessly works with Kentish suppliers and famers that are as passionate as its chefs about the best produce. Its chefs are committed to serving fresh, ethically sourced and sustainable ingredients Executive chef at the hotel and restaurant is Andrew Proctor. Well known locally, he has spent years in the local area working for the likes of Richard Phillips at the Pearson Arms in

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Whitstable and Michael Caines at the Abode in Canterbury as well in London’s West End. There he fine-tuned his butchery and seafood skills making him the ideal person to spearhead the restaurant’s ambition to be among the very best in the county. Main courses to whet the taste buds include slow cooked belly of port served with black pudding, bubble and squeak bon bon’s, apple puree and broccoli; pan-fried fillet of salmon with buttered potato, mussels, samphire and tomato beurre blanc; or 8oz 28-day hung fillet steak with dauphinoise potatoes, mushroom puree, celeriac and baby carrots. If you’re after a tasty light snack during the day, its lunch menu includes a range of gourmet sandwiches, snacks and afternoon teas to satisfy everyone’s appetite.

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The salutation restaurant

Address Knightrider Street, Sandwich, Kent CT13 9EW Telephone 01304 619 919 Email enquiries@the-salutation.com The Salutation is, without a doubt, the finest place to stay in Kent. Located in the heart of Sandwich, this stunning building was built by Sir Edwin Lutyens between 1911-1912 for William, Gaspard and Henry Farrer as a weekend retreat to enable them to enjoy the coastal air. Incorporating local produce with a European twist, the food in The Dining Room at The Salutation Restaurant is delicately prepared and accompanied by a wide variety of wines from around the world. Their dining environment is one you won’t find anywhere else in Kent. The Salutation Restaurant is a grade 1 listed building that marries Edwardian elegance with charm and character.

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Website www.the-salutation.com Opening Times Lunch: 12 noon - 3pm Dinner: 6pm - 9pm


topes restaurant

Address 60 High Street, Rochester, Kent ME1 1JY Telephone 01634 845270 Website www.topesrestaurant.com

Opening Times Wednesday - Sunday: Lunch 12 noon - 2.30pm Wednesday - Saturday: Dinner 6.30pm - 9pm Monday - Tuesday: Closed

Topes Restaurant in Rochester’s historic High Street is Medway’s only two AA rosette restaurant. The restaurant is housed in a Tudor, half-timbered Grade II listed building on the corner of Rochester’s Northgate. Chris Small, Head Chef and co-owner has an eye for presentation and a knack of putting together flavours and textures that make every dish interesting to eat and a delight for the palette. The menu is Modern British and for this season you can expect to see pheasant, partridge, grouse and rabbit from Necci Farm in Staplehurst, squashes and pumpkins from Beluncle Farm in Hoo and locally foraged wild mushrooms, amongst firm favourites and signature dishes.

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who’d a thought it

Address Headcorn Road, Grafty Green, Maidstone, Kent ME17 2AR Telephone 01622 858951 Email joe@whodathoughtit.com

Website www.whodathoughtit.com Opening Times Monday - Saturday: 11am - 9.30pm Sunday: 12 noon - 7.3opm 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. The new award winning chef has put together a selection of incredible menus to fit any occasion. Each one provides two distinctly diverse menus, offering 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. The sumptuously decorated restaurant offers a more formal choice of modern English and

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fine dining. 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. Choose between modern English dishes and fine dining; house specialities include Chateaubriand and The Who’d A Thought It’s signature Plateau Rouge, a sumptuous and eye-catching selection of seafood. Who’d A Thought It have a range of luxurious, highly individual decorated rooms and suites that make the perfect stay for any special occasion.

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blean tavern

Address 4 Blean Hill, Blean, Canterbury, Kent CT2 9EF Telephone 01227 504887 Email bleantavern@hotmail.com After having successfully opened The Oyster Pearl Restaurant in Seasalter, the owner Susan Lovett has now bravely taken over the Hare and Hounds pub in Blean. She has refurbished the premises and is now launching the pub under the new name, Blean Tavern. The restaurant is serving authentic pan Asian food, including dishes such as chicken yakitori (Japanese), beef bulgogi (Korean), slow cooked pork belly with adobo style sauce (Philippines) and chicken katsu curry. There is a lunch menu, Sunday set menu and tempting evening and dessert menu, including platters for sharing.

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Website www.bleantavern.com Opening Times Monday - Thursday: 12 noon - 11.30pm Friday - Saturday: 12 noon - 12.30am Sunday: 12 noon - 10:30pm


the limes, faversham

Address 59 Preston Street, Faversham ME13 8PG Telephone 01795 532007 Email thelimes@uesltd.co

Website www.thelimesonline.com Opening Times Monday - Thursday: Lunch 12 noon - 2.30pm Dinner 6pm - 9.30pm Friday: all day from 12 noon Saturday - Sunday: till 9.30pm The Limes Public House and Dining in Preston Street Faversham has returned. Following an extensive renovation in early 2015, The Limes now offers a totally revamped menu. The team understand that Kent has a lot to offer and therefore so much of their produce is sourced locally, from their cheeses and meats to their ales and wines. They use only 100% British beef, lamb and pork from a Faversham premium butcher, and their fish is delivered daily from the Hythe landing beach. Specialist ales are brewed in the local town of Faversham; even their bar nibbles are produced locally.

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the London beach restaurant

Address Ashford Road, Tenterden, Kent TN30 6HX Telephone 01580 766279 Email enquiries@londonbeach.com

Website www.londonbeach.com Opening Times Monday to Sunday: 7am - 9pm

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 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. A wide range of sandwiches, baguettes, toasties and jacket potatoes. Served from 11am till 6pm.

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Light bites and starters, sharing plates, a wide range of fish and meat dishes, pasta and salads plus sinful desserts and lovely cream teas, afternoon teas and high teas. Try their exciting new sharing plates. Served from 12 noon till 9pm. There is also a 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.

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the mallows restaurant Mercure tunbridge wells

Address 8 Tonbridge Road, Pembury, Tunbridge Wells TN2 4QL Telephone 0844 815 9074 Email csales.mecuretunbridgewells@jupiterhotels.co.uk Take afternoon tea in the Oast Bar or dine in contemporary surroundings in The Mallows Restaurant. Choose from a diverse collection of mouth-watering dishes such as Goat’s cheese, beetroot and Rocket Salad, King Prawn Linguini and 21 day aged Cumbrian Steaks. To compliment your meal, choose from a selection of fine wines; from Australia to Italy there’s something to suit every palate. Finally, indulge in one of their desserts before sitting back, relaxing and allowing our experienced and helpful restaurant team to provide you with everything you need. To finish why not chose a Bailey’s Creme Brulee with hand made shortbread.

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Website www.mercuretunbridgewells.co.uk Opening Times Monday - Friday: 6.30pm - 10pm Saturday - Sunday: 6.30pm - 10pm


pad thai restaurant

Address 15 High Street, West Malling, Kent ME19 6QH Telephone 01732 870000 Email manta@pad-thai.co.uk

Website www.pad-thai.co.uk Opening Times Tuesday - Saturday: Lunch 12 noon - 2.30pm Dinner 5.30pm - 10.30pm Monday and Sunday: Closed 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.

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The Ringlestone Inn

Address Ringlestone Road, Harrietsham, Kent ME17 1NX Telephone 01622 859900 Email theringlestoneinn@hotmail.co.uk Website www.theringlestoneinn.co.uk

Opening Times Monday: Lunch 12 noon - 3pm Dinner 6pm - 11pm Tuesday: Closed Wednesday - Friday: Lunch 12 noon - 3pm Dinner 6pm - 11pm Saturday: 12 noon - 11pm Sunday: 12 noon - 9pm

The Ringlestone Inn, located in the beautiful North Downs near Hollingbourne, has been serving the local community for 400 years. Built in 1533 as a hospice for monks, the building became one of the earliest ale houses in 1615 and has been serving up a warm welcome ever since. With such a rich history and plenty of ghostly visitors the pub is a magnet for those interested in all things old and spooky. These days however you can also enjoy some of the best pub food in the county, with an unpretentious wholesome menu, a range of unusual fruit wines, and well-kept cask ales and beers.

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They claim to serve the best burgers in the county and one of their specialities is the 12 hour slow roasted pork belly. Everything is freshly prepared and from local suppliers so you can be confident you are getting the best quality. They have a large beer garden with children’s play area and also a pair of resident owls that are kept in the garden. They are dog friendly but disabled access can be limited due to the building being listed so please call ahead if you have any mobility issues. Kevin (the Chef) and his partner Christina run the pub. To find out what’s going on, visit the oldest pub in Kent.

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raja of kent, TENTERDEN

Address Biddenden Rd, High Halden, Tenterden TN30 6SX Telephone 01233 851191 Email info@therajaofkent.com

Website www.therajaofkent.com Opening Times Monday - Saturday: Lunch 12 noon - 2.30pm Dinner 5.30pm - 11.30pm Sunday: Lunch 12 noon - 3pm Dinner 5.30pm - 11.30pm Kent restaurateur Rezaul Raja who owns The Raja of Kent group of restaurants welcomes you to The Raja of Kent at Tenterden. Rezaul Raja’s reputation is such that customers are drawn from across Kent, with many regulars travelling on a weekly basis. New to the menu are some specialist dishes that are created authentically so they are exactly as they would be served in Bangladesh. The exciting new dishes include Mozadar Mangosh (diced beef & aromatic Bangladeshi spices), Chicken Raas (flawlessly cooked chicken leg), Lamb Shank (slowly cooked perfect for the season, Spicy Sea Bass and Kuda Goost (sweet pumpkin with Lamb)

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The Tenterden restaurant is the current holder of the Best Indian (Kent Restaurant awards) and is named in the top 100 Indian Restaurants in the British Curry Awards. Recently, Rezaul Raja was honoured at a special seminar and dinner at the House of Commons for his contribution to the UK economy. He has also had the pleasure of being asked to be a judge in the Channel 4 production ‘Secret Supper Club’. Essential to their success and seamless high quality cooking is that Rezaul Raja has personally trained all of the chefs at each restaurant; most have now been within The Raja of Kent group of restaurants for many years.

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coast restaurant at the hythe imperial

Address Princes Parade, Hythe, Kent CT21 6AE Telephone 01303 267441 Email fb@hytheimperialhotel.com

Website www.hytheimperial.co.uk Opening Times Open daily for breakfast and dinner also Sunday lunch. Open daily for breakfast, dinner and lunch on Sunday the Hythe Imperial’s new restaurant offers modern British cuisine and a daily changing menu. With all fish and seafood sourced from Griggs of Hythe and its meats provided by Huntley’s of Tenterden, it takes pride in sourcing its ingredients locally. Its jams are made locally at Wooden Spoon Preserves in Wye and its eggs are from the free range hens at Coastal Farm based in Canterbury. Whether it be the lamb from the Romney Marsh or Dover Sole caught from the fishing fleets that sail the southern coast its insists on providing its guests with the highest

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quality ingredients. Coast’s breakfast offers a huge variety and is open to the public daily. On Sundays it offers a traditional roast with a selection of meats. Its children’s menu is extensive and has numerous healthy options available. When it comes to drink, its wines are carefully selected with a range boasting over 30 wines from around the world. It also offers local real ales from the microbrewery Hot Fuzz to compliment its other more established selections. And all set within the beautiful 18th century Victorian mansion with views across the English Channel.

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the hop pole inn

Address Maidstone Road, Nettlestead Green, Maidstone, Kent ME18 5HH

Telephone 01622 816916 Email info@hop-pole-nettlestead.co.uk 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 homemade 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.

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Website www.hop-pole-nettlestead.co.uk Opening Times Monday and Sunday: 12 noon - 8pm Tuesday - Thursday: 12 noon - 10pm Friday - Saturday: 12 noon - 11pm


The oyster pearl

Address 185 Faversham Rd, Whitstable, Kent CT5 4BJ Telephone 01227 272705 Email oysterpearlrestaurant@hotmail.com

Website www.theoysterpearlrestaurant.com Opening Times Monday - Thursday: 12 noon - 11.30pm Friday - Saturday: 12 noon - 10.30pm Sunday: 12 noon - 11.30pm 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.

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The vineyard restaurant

Address London Road, Wrotham Heath, Kent TN15 7RU Telephone 01732 882330 Email dine@thevineyardrestaurant.co.uk

Website www.thevineyardrestaurant.co.uk Opening Times Tuesday to Saturday: Lunch 12 noon - 2.30pm Dinner 6pm - 10.30pm (last orders) Sunday: open all day Set in the picturesque village of Wrotham Heath, 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, they have something to offer all customers who are looking for an excellent culinary experience complemented by attentive service which is second to none. Reputed for its exquisite seafood menu as well as its French and Italian specialities, The Vineyard offers authentic dishes cooked with fresh ingredients that have been carefully market sourced by the team.

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They also have over 20 years’ experience in cooking authentic European cuisine for the region, and are 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. It can also be booked for wedding receptions and other special functions. Arriving there is hassle-free as they have a large car park, and the atmosphere is relaxed, warm and friendly. If you are in the area, why not try this rather special venue?

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Buenos Aires Nights steakhouse

Address 63 High St, Kent, Maidstone ME14 1SR Telephone 01622 688655 Email info@ba-nights.co.uk

Website www.ba-nights.co.uk Opening Times Monday - Tuesday: 6pm - 10pm Wednesday - Saturday: 6pm - 11pm Sunday: 5pm - 10pm Located in the heart of Maidstone town centre you will find an elegant and cosy ambience with the best meat from Argentina charcoal grilled, and wines. Buenos Aires Nights are an international english-spanish group where Head chef and Managing director are original from Buenos Aires Argentina. They will offer you a high quality steak, service and a list of the best Argentinean wines. There are many different varieties of grapes cultivated in Argentina, reflecting the country’s many immigrant groups. The French brought Malbec and the Italians brought vines that​they called Bonarda and Torrontés which

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makes most of Argentina’s best known wines. Today, Argentina leads with over 75% of all the acres of Malbec in the world. You can find in Buenos Aires Nights this three grapes with a long list of Malbec wines. Buenos Aires, the world’s most intense city, quantity is not as important as quality, and one thing that makes the dining experience here so special is that they serve natural grass-fed beef. Argentine cuisine may be described as cultural blend and influence by Italian and Spanish, and their style of cooking and eating steak make is unique and may be interesting to the hungry carnivore. Don’t wait to long to come and try this great experience.

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the Brasserie mercure maidstone

Address Ashford Road, Hollingbourne, Maidstone, Kent ME17 1RE Telephone 0844 815 9045 Email FO.mercuremaidstone@jupiterhotels.co.uk Website www.mercuremaidstone.co.uk 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. The management are delighted to offer Best Places to Dine readers 20% off your food bill when dining from the main menu.

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Opening Times Monday - Friday: Breakfast 6.30am - 10am Saturday - Sunday: Breakfast 7am - 11am Lunch - Variety of snacks and meals served from 10am Friday - Sunday: Snacks in restaurant 12 noon - 2.30pm Everyday: Dinner 6.30pm - 9.30pm


We also fit new kitchen doors! Visit our showroom, or call to book a free home consultation, and we’ll show you how easy it is to transform your kitchen with our granite, quartz or recycled glass and porcelain worktops.

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Autumn/Winter Collection 2015/16

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Kent's Best Places to Dine  
Kent's Best Places to Dine  

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

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