No Expert Guide to East Kent/Isle of Thanet

If you fancy a trip to the Seaside or have recently moved to this beautiful part of the UK, here is some guidance to help you find some of the better places to eat, drink and shop in East Kent/Isle of Thanet. The information provided is based on local knowledge and should help you avoid tourist traps.

The Guide focuses on the seaside towns of RamsgateBroadstairsMargate and Deal.

The Guide also covers the nearby town of Sandwich and the village of Minster.

FOOD AND DRINK

 

SHOPPING

Some of the more interesting independent shops are highlighted in the following sections of the guide, other useful information covers local supermarkets, and where relevant Retro and Gallery shops :-

 

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Harveys Fish Market, Oyster Bar & Restaurant – not the plaice to go!

Harveys of Ramsgate, part of Kent Inns of Distinction, is marketed as a dedicated seafood restaurant  using locally landed fish. A fabulous idea, in theory.

Celebrity TV chef John Burton-Race of the Michelin-starred New Angel in Dartmouth is connected with it, loosely I hope, based on the standards achieved here, both in terms off food and service.

I can not see this place, surviving  the winter. I certainly will not be returning or recommending this unjustifiably overpriced venue. Neither the food quality or the level of service matched the look of the venue. Bland Fish, and one of the worst deserts I have ever had (hard meringue!). Plates passed across my companion at the table, come on – anywhere that typically charges £20 for mains, needs to deliver something a bit special. Then there is the ambience issue,  sitting next to a large noisy table of 10 in a half empty restaurant is far from ideal. This is most definitely not my idea of “fine dining”.

Its pretension without the quality, delivering expensive badly cooked food. Just another “Faux Gourmet” experience.

They could have done so much more in this prime location overlooking Ramsgate Royal Harbour.

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UPDATE October 2009 : Made a return visit to Harveys after all, in light of comments and the award of an AA Rosette. For details see Harveys Fish Market, Oyster Bar & Restaurant – still not the plaice to go!.

UPDATE April 2010 – Back in Ramsgate, this time to try Eddie Gilberts. For details see Eddie Gilberts – reasons to leave London? (Eddie Gilberts 7, Harveys 2)

UPDATE October 2010 – About time!  Harveys is finally closed – RIP please! For more information see post from Isle One.

 

LOCATION INFORMATION
Browse Google Map© :- NoExpert Food Blog – Kent, UK

Abode – not so inviting!

Before I visited Abode in Canterbury, I had read a  review by a well known food critic which I thought was a bit harsh, this is after all one of Michael Caines projects.  Boy was I wrong, if anything he was being too kind!

When we arrived we were left waiting for what seemed an age as there was no staff in the dining room. Not a good start.

The food when it arrived was totally underwhelming, some of it was just downright unpleasant.  One desert tasted like play doh© and another tasted like cigarette ash.

The kitchen also recently came under criticism from other sources, see Caterersearch.

The service was in general chaotic. What was particularly hard to swallow was that they charged London Michelin star prices. You would get better value taking the train to London than eating here. Sadly another “Faux Gourmet” experience to chalk up.

Abode apparently merits 2 AA Rosettes – the definition for this is “Innovation, greater technical skill and more consistency and judgement in combining and balancing ingredients are all needed at this level.”

On leaving our opinion was that the only talent there was the busker playing outside.

Michael Caines Restaurant at ABode on Urbanspoon

LOCATION INFORMATION
Browse Google Map© :- NoExpert Food Blog – Kent, UK

Reads – got the looks but not the substance

A while back Gordon Ramsay described Michelin-starred David Pitchford restaurant Reads, just outside Faversham as his 11th favorite restaurant in the UK (in the Sunday Times if I remember correctly).

Unfortunately our visit was a bit of a disappointment, at least on the food front, which was a real shame as the venue is quite lovely.

It is really sad that so many places get this balance wrong.  The restaurant has 3 AA Rosettes, which is 2 too many in my view.

Marks out of 10

Food 4

Service 5

Ambience 7

LOCATION INFORMATION
Browse Google Map© :- NoExpert Food Blog – Kent, UK