Kent: Michelin star luncheon at The Sportsman

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This Michelin star restaurant has been on my to-eat-list (yes, I have one of those…) for quite some time and I was thrilled when my Kent-based friends Helen and Pete suggested we go there for lunch together. We booked it several months before and finally went in May this year (sorry it’s taken me forever to do the write up!).

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Quite unlike most other one star places The Sportsman is really relaxed and rustic. You place your order at the bar (while looking at the daily changing menu noted down on the black board next to it) and go sit down.

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The food takes a similar approach and is really well prepared out of the best ingredients but with a rustic no-fuss approach. Which people love! Especially chefs, who vote this as their favourite restaurant year after year.

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I obviously like the approach too, and from the get-go it’s pure perfection. The three different types of bread are all very good, the olives are of the buttery kind and the butter is just heavenly. A good start.

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Pete and Helen are just as excited as I am, although they’ve been here before and Pete and I can’t resist the oysters, which were served two ways and both delicious!

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It was only also Pete and I who ordered starters, but we shared them at the table. The terrine with mustard, pickles, grilled sourdough and crispy scratchings was so nice. Everything was just perfectly executed.

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My tomato, burrata and pesto may look simple, but it was perfectly put together and had the best pesto I’ve ever tasted.

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Helen had the beef and Yorkshire pudding which was pure perfection as well. Just look at that plate.

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My pork was incredibly tender and was served with a deliciously fluffy mash and a mustard jus. Just perfect.

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Pete had cod, again cooked to perfection, with asparagus and a delicious chorizo sauce. It’s classic food, but still with a few twists.

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I was quite full after my pork but would not turn down pudding in a place like this and so ordered the rhubarb soufflé with rhubarb ripple ice cream. It’s was amazingly good. Strong but subtle flavours and the softest soufflé!

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Helen’s warm chocolate mousse with with salted caramel and milk sorbet was equally dreamy and although familiar flavours, the fun texture is a great addition.

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The whole lunch was really relaxed and cosy, with two well-behaved children, and such a treat! Afterwards we went out into the sunshine and down the beach to look for sea shells and fossils. Such a wonderful day – and lunch!

The Sportsman, Faversham Road, Seasalter, Whitstable, Kent CT5 4BP

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Friends, sunshine and Michelin star lunch

Last week was quite busy work wise so I took it so I didn’t book that much in during the week.

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On Monday I made Jerusalem artichoke soup and had a chilled evening.

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Tuesday I made steak sandwiches and finally finished the last season of Homeland. I’m so far behind on series at the moment, but slowly catching up. Tackling Billions next.

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I also found British strawberries in Waitrose so had to have that for pudding, with pouring cream and sugar. So yummy!!

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On Thursday Ro and I went to Photo London to check out some cool (and some weird) photographs, and afterwards we had steak frites in Côte Brasserie.

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Friday after work I went straight to my friend Anna’s in Surrey and was spoilt rotten with lots of lovely food. We had fish pie, lasagne, asparagus with a little vinegar (new for me and totally yummy) and the most lovely salad. The next day I woke up to asparagus omelette and lovely coffee in Moomin mugs!

 

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On Saturday I managed to combine sunbathing with watching the royal wedding for a little while before heading out again for drinks.

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Sunday I took the train to Kent and had lunch with my friends there at a lovely Michelin star restaurant I’ve been wanting to go to for ages. It was amazing and I can’t wait to tell you all about it in a different post.

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The weather was lovely so I managed to take in some of the lovely seaside and countryside as well before heading back to London for dinner with a friend. More weekends like this, please!

A little trip to Canterbury

Last weekend when Maria and Daniel were visiting we decided to escape rainy London for a day and got on the train to Canterbury in Kent. Kent always remind me of home because of all the rapeseed fields – love it.

When I lived in England the first time around (ten years ago now) I lived in Kent, not too far away from Canterbury so I have been there quite a lot, but not for a few years. Apart from the fact that it was nice and sunny and it felt like we were abroad, it is a very cute town with old gates around the town centre, a famous cathedral and university.

We had a look around a few shops, had lunch and went to the cathedral. Sadly we couldn’t see it all because of a Sunday service, but what we saw was really pretty.

England: Chapel Down

The English vineyard Chapel Down is situated among rapeseed fields in the southwest corner of England – Kent. At the vineyard they sell their wines as well as other local products, i.e. cider, preserves and crackers.

They also provided maps of the grounds so we could go for a walk around the vines and the herb garden before we left to find our b&b, get changed and come back again for supper at their restaurant: Richard Phillips at Chapel Down.

The restaurant is on the first floor (above the shop) with its own entrance. It had a cosy feel to it and a band played music all through the evening. You could choose between the simpler music menu or the a’la carte. We chose the latter since the music menu seemed a bit dull in comparison.

Christopher chose their amazing platter as a starter with charcuteries, baked brie (have to try this at home), chutneys and pickles.

Mum and dad both tried the crab and crayfish tian with deepfried cauliflower and enjoyed it very much.

I chose mixed mushrooms on toasted brioche with a fried duck’s egg, and apart from the seasoning it was very nice. I desperately needed salt and it tasted a lot better when I adjusted the seasoning.

Dad opted for the beef with blue cheese dauphinoise potatoes which was lovely. Christopher went for the rabbit which was nice but a little dry while mother and I chose fish; seabass with herb gnocchi and asparagus.

It was nice but didn’t feel like a dish, it was more different things that didn’t really come together. And we needed sauce. Fish needs sauce.

Edit: My friend Gaby commented: What about the wine? And rightly so. Christopher had the red Trinity which was really nice and complemented his rabbit. Mother and I went for the white Bacchus Reserve and found it a bit unusual. It seemed like it was slightly sparkling in itself I still haven’t made up my mind if I liked it or not. We bought a bottle of the Bacchus (not Bacchus Reserve) and when we have opened it, I will let you know how that is in comparison.

England: Kent

We’re back in London now and mum and dad are on the plane back to Southern Sweden (although they land in Denmark..). We have really enjoyed our mini break and it has been lovely to explore the UK together. The weather has been fantastic; clear blue sky, warming sunshine and over 25C most days. Love it!

We started our tour in Kent, where the first stop was cosy Royal Tunbridge Wells before we continued to Tenterden and Chapel Down (will write about it separetly). On the second day we went to beautiful Sissinghurst, a garden my mother has talked about for at least ten years. She was as happy as a child at Christmas when we were there, and it sure was a beautiful garden.