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Sophie Hewitt
10th May 2021

From 17th May, restaurants across Kent will be reopening their doors and welcoming us back inside for delectable dining and sensational local produce, and we cannot wait! Wave goodbye to takeaways, ditch the dish washing and put the cookery books aside – dining out is back on the menu in Kent.

In celebration, we’re dishing up a selection of some of our favourite restaurants that are reopening for indoor dining from 17th May, so you can start dreaming, take a peek at the menus and begin planning those first long-awaited meals out.

Please be sure to follow government guidelines when visiting, always check the website for the latest opening and booking information and take a look at our top tips to #RespectProtectEnjoy Kent.

The Pumproom at Copper Rivet Distillery

How long has it been since you’ve had the chance to enjoy a little relaxed fine dining? Unless you’re a gourmet chef, we’re guessing it’s been a while, so allow us to introduce you to one of Kent’s newest restaurants, the Pumproom. Sitting in Chatham’s Victorian pumphouse, overlooking the River Medway, the location and architecture alone are enough to have us dreaming, but with local produce, seasonal ingredients, and a glass or two of Copper Rivet’s Dockyard Gin to accompany it all, the menu looks outstanding.

The Foundry

Canterbury spirits, beer tasting boards and a setting in the heart of historic Canterbury…The Foundry Brew Pub is back from 17th May and we can’t wait! With the promise of a new grain to glass vodka, whiskey and a new IPA on the bar, it’s safe to say the team has been very busy brewing and distilling during lockdown, so we’re looking forward to paying them a visit and sampling the latest tastes of Canterbury. Fancy joining us? We’ll see you at the bar.

Tunbridge Wells

Colonnaded walkways, beautiful Wealden villages and a spa town at its heart, trust us, an evening out in Tunbridge Wells has got to be on the cards this summer! In Royal Tunbridge Wells, choose from authentically delicious tacos and burritos from The Superfood Company, Champagne and seafood at Sankey’s in the Pantiles, or seasonal dishes and cocktails at The Ivy. Or enjoy a taste of rural life at the historic, timbered Elephants Head in Lamberhurst, wood-fired sour dough pizza at The Great House in Hawkhurst and a good old Sunday roast at The Hop Bine in Matfield. Oh, country pubs, have we missed you!

Salomons Estate

Just the thought of a scone with cream and jam has us dreaming, so you won’t be surprised to hear that we’ll be first in line for Salomons’ quintessentially English afternoon tea, with sandwiches, scones, handmade cakes and Champagne for the ultimate indulgence. But if it’s a proper Sunday roast you’ve been dreaming of, you’ll be pleased to hear their Sunday feast is back, with two or three course dining on the menu (we’d go for the three) all made with local ingredients.


Remember when we said Tunbridge Wells was a must-visit this season? We’ve got another reason for that as brand-new quirky restaurant STEAK is reopening just a few steps away from The Pantiles. Mouth-watering steak cooked to perfection from local Southborough Butchers, along with plenty of vegan and vegetarian dishes are all served up in this charming Chapel Place restaurant for a relaxed evening of delicious dining.

The Isle of Thanet

This great-for-gourmets corner of Kent has a growing reputation for fine produce and award-winning places to eat and drink. From  sitting and watching the boats bob in the Royal Harbour in cosmopolitan Ramsgate, enjoying fresh seafood or tapas, and the timeless charm of Broadstairs with 1950s ice cream parlours, and tasting menus, to enjoying the setting sun with fish and chips or pizza in Margate, we’re gearing up for a foodie summer in the Isle of Thanet this year!

Hythe Imperial Hotel

Sea views and fine dining await at Hythe Imperial this season as award-winning AA Rosette Coast Restaurant is reopening their doors. Choose from the seasonal a la carte menu, or treat yourselves to a three course family Sunday lunch (this summer is all about reconnecting with our nearest and dearest). Or enjoy afternoon tea in the Windsor Parlour with a glass or two of fizz for the chance to truly mark those missed occasions from the last year.

Elwick Place

Pay a visit to Ashford this season and you’ll find plenty of new dining hotspots to choose from. Taste freshly made pasta and authentic pizzas at brand new Unita 4 for a real flavour of Italy, book an exclusive evening of food, wine and tastings at The Gastronomist, or enjoy wings, shuffleboard, a round of craft beers, and unmissable sport with friends at Matches Sports Bar, Grill & Social. While at local favourite Macknade, you’ll find the best in local produce for an afternoon of Kent-sourced casual dining.

Mercure Maidstone Great Danes

Chef’s signature dishes, hearty food and specialty beers and wine…it’s all on offer at The Brasserie at Mercure Maidstone Great Danes. Whether you choose to tuck into a classic like beer battered cod and chips, or indulge with a delectable burger, we can promise you’ll be in for a treat, with a range of tempting dishes on the menu and a warm welcome. Plus, with extensive grounds and even a peacock or two to spot, you can enjoy a post-dinner walk through the gardens to really round of the evening.

Coachworks Ashford

From the Yard Bar's tempting cocktails and craft beers fresh from local brewery Boutilliers, to wood-fired pizza crafted by Il Pakkero, authentic tacos from California Cravings and BBQ perfection from Street King Smoke Shack, trust us when we say you could spend the whole afternoon supping and sipping at Coachworks. With the Yard ready for those sunny days and plenty of indoor seating in the Hothouse for the classic British summer, this is the ultimate spot for a relaxed day meet up with friends. 

Ashford Designer Outlet

Enjoy retail therapy with a side in delicious dining from 17th May as Ashford Designer Outlet will once again be throwing open the doors to their range of sensational restaurants. Take a visit and you'll have 14 eateries to choose from, including favourites Wagamama, Pizza Express, Five Guys, Comptoir Libanais and Yo! Sushi. Shopping, followed by a marvellous meal? It doesn't get much better than this!

Travel Safely with Southeastern

As our worlds begin to open up again, Southeastern Railway are looking forward to welcoming you back on board their trains. Whether you’re continuing to travel for work, starting to think about returning to the office, planning to meet friends and family, or are looking forward to visiting one of the wonderful destinations in Kent, Southeastern are there to help and support you every step of the way. Travel looks a little different from before and Southeastern want to reassure you that they are doing everything they can to help make you feel more comfortable, such as cleaning trains more frequently with anti-viral products, regularly wiping high touch areas and supplying hand sanitiser points at busy stations. So, whenever you are ready and when it feels right for you, whatever journey you are taking, Southeastern want you to feel you can travel safely and with confidence.


As restrictions start to lift and the government’s plans to ease out of lockdown come into effect, Arriva are here to support our local communities. Plan your journey, track your bus in real-time, buy, store and activate tickets all in one handy app. Search Arriva UK Bus app in your app store which is free to download or visit www.arrivabus.co.uk/app. You can also plan your journey, buy tickets and check out the latest news and offers online at www.arrivabus.co.uk. All Arriva buses are COVID-19 secure, to find out more please visit  www.arrivabus.co.uk/help/coronavirus