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Sustainable Restaurants in Kent

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Holly Loftus
12th February 2024

Before we get stuck in, we just want to warn you, don’t blame us if your stomachs start to rumble and you become tempted by the look of the delicious food. We know you said you were going to start cooking more (wasn’t that a New Year resolution?), but really, can you resist a meal out at a Kentish restaurant? Especially as the gems we’re sharing with you below are all doing their bit to help the planet by making a conscious effort to become a more sustainable restaurant.

You might have heard about our Impact Heroes? Hmm sounding familiar? You can jog your memory and read more about them here, but anyway, you might see a couple mentioned below. So, let’s find out which restaurants have made the cut, and discover their sustainable initiatives…

Corkk

In the city for a show at the Marlowe Theatre? Perhaps you’re planning your next date night? Corkk makes the perfect stop for a glass (or two!) of wine enjoyed with a selection of delicious nibbles. From bar snacks to food platters (the Cheese Board looks tempting), all locally sourced, reducing carbon emissions from transportation and supporting local Kent businesses!

Balfour Winery - Winemakers' Kitchen

There’s no surprise The Winemakers’ Kitchen at Balfour Winery is included in this list. Not only does their menu captivate you with delicious dishes, but their use of ingredients sourced from local suppliers means they are well worthy of being celebrated. Pairing your meal with the perfect wine to complement it is something Balfour Winery are experts in. Their chef and winemaker assess what’s available for the coming months to find the perfect pairing of ingredients and wine.

The Small Holding

Remember those Impact Heroes we mentioned? Enter, Small Holding. Located in Cranbook, The Small Holding offers a wonderful dining experience, with home grown food by their farmers and gardeners to create their ever-changing seasonal menu. With sustainability placed as a core value of the restaurant, The Small Holding are constantly working on reducing their environmental impact, striving for long term sustainability on their biodiverse farm. So, now you can see why they have joined the Impact Hero family huh?

The Foundry BrewPub

Go on then, we’ll mention another Impact Hero because we just couldn’t miss out Canterbury Brewers and Distillers. We’re sure you’ve heard of The Foundry BrewPub in Canterbury, located in the brewery, right? Maybe you’ve enjoyed a yummy lunch, Sunday roast, or simply been there for a drink, chin wag and a catch up with a friend. But one thing for sure, if you haven’t been, then now is your sign. The Foundry have taken some impressive steps to support their sustainability goals, taking action by capturing the heat from the distillation process to heat the restaurant and provide hot water for brewing the following day. But their sustainability initiatives don’t stop there, as they’ve embarked on an exciting venture – sustainable luxury mushroom growing at The Foundry Brew Pub.

Angela's / Dory's of Margate

Sea-foodies, you’ve come to the right place. Both Angela’s and its sister bar, Dory’s, are located in the popular seaside town of Margate. Angela’s - a small seafood restaurant with rooms, Dory’s - a seafood bar. So, we’ve established the cuisine of both, so what else do they have in common? They both have a key focus to minimise impact on the environment. From working directly with growers, fishermen and suppliers, to starting their own co-operative farm producing vegetables and fruit for both their restaurants as well as others in the area. The list goes on…

The Goods Shed

Heading to The Goods Shed to fetch your range of local produce? From exceptional meats to locally sourced vegetables and fish, a wander around the market has to be done every once in a while. So surely, you’d like to take your time whilst you’re there and enjoy a meal, right?  After all, being surrounded by all that delicious food, you’re bound to feel peckish. And, with a seasonal menu that celebrates local produce, the temptation is real.

The Sportsman

Michelin star restaurant, The Sportsman in Seasalter has made the shortlist, with their impressive five-course tasting menu and new three-course menu which boast with seasonal dishes curated using local ingredients. With recipes from the last twenty years, combined with new innovated dishes, oh, and the fact they made the top five of the Top 50 Gastropub’s list in 2023 and won first place in the National Restaurant Awards in 2015 and 2016. Have we convinced you yet?...

The Fordwich Arms

We thought you might like to know about another Michelin star restaurant, who also showcases the best of Kent’s local produce. Tucked away next to the River Stour, located in Kent’s smallest town (hint: the clues in the name), The Fordwich Arms brings a tranquil and traditional setting where you can enjoy lunch or dinner in the cosy environment of the pub, or alfresco style out on the riverside terrace. Whatever you decide, with ingredients sourced directly from local farms and producers, a visit to The Fordwich Arms is always a good idea, whatever the season.

Café Nucleus

The well-deserved winner of multiple awards, Café Nucleus is sure to make it in our top 10 sustainable restaurants. With four restaurants across Chatham, Rochester, and Rainham, offering a friendly, welcoming environment, serving up delicious coffee and food sourced locally. Café Nucleus also strives to support the Kent economy by promoting the works of the Halpern Charitable Foundation which founded Nucleus Arts. So, what do you think? Fancy lunch, brunch or afternoon tea? Café Nucleus has got you covered.

The Pig at Bridge Place

Last but by no means least, is The Pig at Bridge Place…we just couldn’t leave them out! Located just three miles from the historic city of Canterbury in the pretty village of Bridge, this Pig favourite welcomes you to eat, stay, and relax. With home grown ingredients and local produce placed at the heart of the menu, sourced from their Kitchen Garden where possible to create delicious, fresh dishes for you to enjoy. They also have a commitment to sourcing any other produce from within a 25-mile radius, from the freshest local fish and meats to delicious fruit and award-winning English wines.

The Ferry House Inn

The Ferry House revolves around five core principles - family, quality, commitment, consistency, and pride. Serving up the best of culinary Kent, their home-grown produce, family-farmed beef and game, and farm-grown spirits take 'pride of plate' on the menu. This is family land that they've farmed for three generations! Their kitchen garden and food ethos are at the heart of their offering - think, 'down to earth luxury'. The family-owned 16th-century country restaurant has been awarded a 2AA Rosette for culinary excellence and two 'Taste of Kent' awards. It's fruitful, beautiful, and tranquil.

The Culpeper's Restaurant

In the beautiful manor house of Chilston Park, The Culpepper Restaurant is a haven of locally produced food. With a kitchen garden providing plot to plate herbs and vegetables, plus their very own honey, they mean business when it comes to local produce. 

Frasers 

The award-winning Frasers of Egerton serves up a plethora of fresh, local produce. Enjoy gorgeous views across the open countryside, and choose between the tasting and feasting menus, crafted from local artisan producers, including fresh veg from the kitchen garden. What’s more, the restaurant operates on a pre-ordering basis to ensure food waste remains less than 5%, so you can look forward to your meal of choice all day.

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