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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London: Restaurant Ours

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One Friday night before it got cold out, I met up with Rowena after work for a drink at the bar at Restaurant Ours. We found some nice comfy bar chairs and just as we had ordered a glass of champagne each (to celebrate we survived the week!), the bartender asked if we wanted to eat and if so, he could find us a table. Sure, we thought, why not?!

We didn’t actually get a table, but the last two seats at the bar in the restaurant (not to be confused with the bar upstairs where we had drinks). We quickly decided we both wanted the lobster spaghetti (yum!) but to have starters as well.

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Ro had the excellent crab and apple starter, served IN an apple. It was a bit tricky to eat from but it’s a nice idea.

I had the steak tartare and enjoyed every single bite. It was almost as good as the one at Social Eating House, which is very high praise.

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After the starters we had a plate each of the creamy and delicious lobster spaghetti. Very enjoyable but I would have liked to see a bit more lobster meat.

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To finish off the meal we shared a bag of these light and fluffy salted caramel doughnuts. So good!

I really liked this place. The food is nice, the ambiance is great and so is the people watching. The service was good on the whole, although a little confused at times. Definitely a place to go on a buzzing Friday.

Restaurant Ours, 264 Brompton Rd, London SW3 2AS

Dinner at Tredwell’s, Covent Garden

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The Masterchef: The Professionals judge and famous chef Marcus Wareing, known for fine dining, opened the doors to a more casual restaurant in Covent Garden in September that I have been very curious to try since.

Two floors, the interior a flirt with art deco and trendy well-cooked food is certainly a good combination. Especially when located bang in the middle of Central London.

We had a lovely chorizo jam with charred bread as a snack while looking over the menu.

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My friend Tom started with slowcooked salmon with spirulina and cauliflower which was really nice and interesting.

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I went for a classic dish with a twist; incredibly fluffy chicken liver mousse served in a jam jar over bacon jam (yep, it’s all about meat jam at the moment), with toasted bread. The flavour of the mousse was amazing but it was incredibly rich.

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The main courses followed the same rustic no-fuss theme and the confit duck leg with charred cabbage was a show of simplicity. Incredibly tender meat!

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I had a gratin with smoked haddock, crab and courgette. It was fresh and although the smoked fish flavour was strong the other flavours came through well too. We both had mash as sides which was nice but nothing special.

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The portions were generous and we were pretty full after all that. But then we saw the pudding menu offering soft serve salted caramel ice cream and couldn’t resist. It was quite a milky ice cream (I prefer a creamier texture) but the flavour was nice and the honeycomb a nice touch.

Tredwell’s certainly feels like a restaurant from a team who knows what they’re doing. The decoration is nice and feels luxe although it is a casual restaurant, the food is very on trend (chorizo jam!) and what people want to eat right now as well as perfectly cooked. The waiting staff are all young people in casual uniforms and although the service was good when paid attention to, there was a lot of joking around with the colleagues instead of keeping track of the tables.

With the waiting staff being a bit more on the ball this restaurant is my new favourite casual restaurant in the area. With the close proximity to the West End theatres this is an area overpopulated with boring chain restaurants and Tredwell’s is a most welcome addition.

Tredwell’s, 4a Upper St Martin’s Ln, London WC2H 9NY