For more Food & Drink
Want to go with the flow this summer? A new cafe has opened in central Maidstone this week and it gives visitors a chance to watch the world go by - by boat.
The Old Boat Cafe opened on the River Medway between Maidstone Bridge and St Peter’s Bridge on Tuesday.
It has been created from a 1911 former horse-drawn FMC narrowboat called Vienna/verbena, after loving restoration by Chris and Keira Stuart-smith.
It will be open seven days a week, between 10am and 6pm during the summer months, with customers able to sit back and relax as they watch boats, canoeists and swans drift slowly by. Its opening is also just ahead of the Maidstone River Gathering on Saturday, July 28 and Sunday, July 29, a scaled down version of what was the Maidstone River Festival.
The Old Boat offers a range of coffees, teas and cold beverages alongside locally-sourced, fresh or organic food, catering for healthy and ethical food diets.
The cargo hold, which still has many of its original features, has been decked out with tables and chairs, with the boat’s old top plank now a breakfast bar with panoramic views across the river. The local food and drink offering also includes coffee roasted in Rochester and tea blended in Sittingbourne, to apple juice pressed in Lamberhurst and cheese churned in Canterbury. Keira said: “We wanted to share our passion for this boat, our love of food and this wonderful river. The Old Boat is somewhere the whole community can come and enjoy. A space to talk or to dream.
From hours of painstaking renovation, our dream is now a reality and we’d love everyone to share in that and keep this workboat working.”
You’ll find the Old Boat Cafe in the central riverside area in Fairmeadow.