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Al-fresco dining in Kent

Holly Loftus
14th March 2022

We’re looking ahead to long, sunshine-filled lunches at our local pub and balmy evenings accompanied by a stunning view and a crisp, cold beer in hand – but we’ll also brave the less-than-ideal weather conditions for our favourite meals at our much loved eateries! We’ve gathered the ultimate alfresco dining spots so you’re ready to enjoy outdoor dining in Kent this spring. 

Remember to check before you travel with guidelines and advice from our friends Southeastern.

Shepherd Neame for a summers dream

Well, the sunnier days aren't too far in the distance and the excitement for summer is lingering in the air. So, why not head over to a Shepherd Neame pub for charming beer gardens nestled in city centres, suntrapped countryside gardens after a long walk and spots for a sweeping sea view!

Picnic in the vines at Gusbourne

Wine and dine in the vine(s) at Gusbourne Vineyard! What better way to spend some time outdoors this spring than with a relaxed picnic surrounded by the fresh air at Gusbourne. With a specially created picnic spot at the top of their Boot Hill vineyard making the ideal spot to capture the views. All that's left is to enjoy your picnic full of the best of Kent and Sussex produce, such as artisan cheese and charcuterie, local fruit and homemade bread, accompanied by a bottle of Gusbourne Brut Reserve.

Mmm, Macknade Fine Food

The Food Village at Macknade is in full swing once again and will be launching on April 29th ready for the warmer days ahead. The launch day will include food from the best street food traders in Kent, a complimentary drink to get the party started as well as live music and a raffle. 

Are you a pizza fan? Because if so, take your pick from one of their authentic Italian pizzas from around the world. Round up the whole family, including your well behaved four-legged friends and soak up the summer vibes at The Food Village.

A pew with a view in The Isle of Thanet

Boasting some of the most beautiful coastal spots in Kent, it’s no surprise the Isle of Thanet has a spot or two for alfresco dining with a sparkling sea view. Head to Finbars of West Bay's balcony area to enjoy a sunset over the West Bay, Buoy and Oyster for uninterrupted views over Margate Sands or spot the boats docked in Ramsgate Marina at Royal Harbour Brasserie.

Make an afternoon of it at Balfour Winery

What do you need after a long, leisurely walk around Hush Heath’s sprawling vineyards on a warm spring afternoon? How about a spot on their sun-trap decking to tuck into a locally sourced food platter, enjoyed with a glass (or two!) of their exquisite wines? That sounds like the afternoon we’ve been dreaming of through the winter months…

Fine dining at Rocksalt Folkestone

A superb seafood selection awaits you at Rocksalt. Set out over the harbour of Folkestone, diners can experience panoramic views of the water whilst kicking back and relaxing on the glass fronted deck, and a menu that's earned them not one, but two AA rosette awards. 

Riverside drinks in Medway

If you're looking for outdoor dining with a waterside view this spring, then head up to Chatham and book your table at one of their riverside gems. The gorgeous Ship and Trades pub serves up a feast of treats alongside craft ales on its rustic outdoor decking, while the brand new Pumphouse restaurant at Copper Rivet Distillery allows you to sit back with one of their own distilled spirits and tonic, and enjoy views over to Upnor Castle. 

Foodies at Folkestone Harbour Arm

With a whole host of stalls serving everything from Champagne and craft beer, to Greek mezze and hand-stretched pizzas, the Folkestone Harbour Arm is the perfect spot to pitch up for a spot of summer dining – it’s pretty hard to beat those sensational sea views, and ample, spacious seating makes it ideal for enjoying an afternoon by the coast.

Munching in Maidstone

If you’re heading out for a spot of shopping in our county town of Maidstone take the chance to refuel at one of their best independent eateries. The Old Boat Café enjoys riverside dining right in the heart of the town, or head further out to The Potting Shed in Langley for an instagrammable brunch on a stylish and spacious outdoor decking. And who said indulging had to be unhealthy? Head to The Blackthorn Trust in Maidstone for delicious, vegetarian and plant-based food. Most of their produce is even grown on site, so you know it's full of the good stuff!

Indulge at Hythe Imperial Hotel

Hythe Imperial Hotel are ready to give you an afternoon of indulgence thanks to their afternoon tea in their outdoor heated ‘dining sheds’, ideal for spacious social distancing and colder days. Booking is essential, but they’re also offering their Martello bar menu alfresco with tables on a first-come-first-serve basis.

Food trucks at The Old Dairy Brewery

The Old Dairy Brewery in Tenterden is the perfect place to stop off for a pint thanks to their Taproom beer garden, but on Friday's and Saturday's they've partnered with a variety of amazing local Food Trucks - from Moretto's Italian BBQ to homemade pizza van, tacos, thai curries and more... And if you'd like to keep some spontaneity for your evenings out, you should know there's no need to pre-book for The Taproom! 

Alfresco in Ashford

Hop off the train at Ashford International and you’ll be greeted with a whole host of new outside dining spots ready for you to enjoy. Opt for a delicious brunch at Macknade Elwick Place and have a browse of their locally-sourced artisanal produce before heading to Unita 4 to be transported for your slice of Amalfi in Ashford. For those longer spring evenings, be sure to explore Coachworks. Adorned with fairy lights and retro deck chairs, this cool foodie destination and event space is one to remember for your summer celebrations - take your pick from their tempting street food stalls serving up everything from American BBQ to woodfired pizzas. Finally, end the night by heading down to the Curious Brewery for a refreshing, locally brewed pint.

Head over to Bouy and Oyster

Based in the ideal location, overlooking Margate beach, you'll find this gem of a seafood restaurant ready and waiting for your arrival this summer! The Bouy and Oyster use Kent based fisherman and Canterbury based butchers ensuring a delicious supply of local fresh ingredients arriving to their restaurant. Compliment your meal with must have cocktail, using premium spirits, fresh fruit & ingredients or choose from a selection of their local wines and spirits instead.

Afternoon tea at Port Lympne

Text a friend or grab a family member for a well deserved treat at Port Lympne with summer. Sit back and relax on the sunlit mansion terrace or Moroccan courtyard, located right in the heart of the Port Lympne Hotel & Reserve. With tea served on traditional tiers, layered with a selection of finger sandwiches, savoury bites, delicate pastries, desserts and scones with plenty of clotted cream and jam, it’s the perfect way to end a day of exploring the 600-acre Reserve!

Time to try The Minnis Bay

Spend a summers day overlooking one of the picturesque beaches on the North Kent Coast, relaxing and indulging in delicious food whilst sipping on a glass of their crisp wine. Offering classic British cuisine with a 'contemporary twist', and of course seafood is their speciality, using only the finest locally sourced, seasonal produce.

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