THE FORDWICH ARMS, KENT
A 10-minute taxi ride from Canterbury station takes you to Fordwich (Britain’s tiniest town) and the recently refurbished Fordwich Arms, set on the banks of the River Stour. This is not pub food as we know it – instead, chef Daniel Smith (previously of The Clove Club) alongside pastry chef Natasha Norton-Smith and front-of-house Guy Palmer-Brown specialise in refined, modern dining. Indeed, a Michelin star was awarded last month.
The pub is split into two rooms – a traditional bar with pumps, open fire and green velvet banquettes; and a cosy, wood-panelled dining room (there’s also a pretty covered terrace and beer garden for warmer weather). A tasting menu includes six courses, plus snacks and homemade bread and butter, for £65. ‘Snacks’ is an understatement: miniature Westcombe cheddar cheese curd tarts with a wobbly filling, a single oyster poached in charcoal cream, and a crisp, thin wafer sandwich of creamy cod’s roe and dill pickle are all delicious. Mains include expertly grilled monkfish with cauliflower purée, smoked butter and caviar; and dessert delights with a refined riff on a mint chocolate Aero bar.
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