THE FORD­WICH ARMS, KENT

Olive - - EAT - ford­wicharms.co.uk

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.

Best forfine din­ing

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