A couple of months ago The Old High Street underwent a bit of a transformation. After the dust cleared and the builders left, we were left with a beautiful cobbled street with freshly painted buildings filled with all manner of interesting things — from vintage and hand sewn clothes to vinyl and local gin and, of course, a few coffee shops.
As with most of the seaside towns along the Kent coast, Ramsgate has been heralded as ‘up and coming’, the next big deal, the place where it’s all happening. On a drizzly, dark October night, I can’t say this is the impression I got. However, once we sat down at our table at Kyoto Sushi and Grill and started reading through the extensive menu, I began to think that maybe there was something about this town that was slightly ahead of the Kentish curve.
Not far from Canterbury High Street, in what was formerly a sticky floored boozer, is The Ambrette. Miles of dark wood meet the eye as you enter, punctuated by colorful floor tiles and the glow of candlelight. The cavernous room has been cleverly designed to feel cozy while still allowing enough space between the tables for comfortable conversation.
Yesterday was the opening, or technically reopening, of Folkestone’s Harbour Arm. As part of the harbour regeneration, the harbour arm has been brought back to life after more than a decade of disuse. The arm itself has been lovingly restored to reflect the important role it played during World War I.
A couple weekends ago, in beautiful sunshine, we headed up to Margate to check out a new restaurant/art gallery for my second Olive magazine review. Hantverk & Found is the brainchild of chef Kate de Syllas, formerly of Unpackaged, and is a tiny four-table café serving up the freshest of Kentish seafood and promoting local artists in the equally tiny basement art gallery.
So I’ve finally succumbed and signed up for Beer52’s monthly beer delivery service. For just £24 a month you get eight craft beers delivered to your door. That means you can then consume, at your leisure, some of the newest and most unique craft beers being produced around the world.
Last weekend I had lunch in Tunbridge Wells at the recently refurbished Royal Wells Hotel. But this was not just any lunch, it was my first restaurant review for Olive magazine! The hotel has recently had a £2.4 million refurbishment undertaken by famous Kentish brewery Shepherd Neame and it’s looking pretty swanky.
When I first moved to the UK lots of people asked me if there was anything I would miss from California. I gave the obvious answers: family, friends, Californian zinfandel, sunshine. But it never even crossed my mind that there was something bound up in California’s identity that is nearly impossible to find in the UK: Mexican food.
So the next supper club will be at Follies on March 22 and, with enough support, I’m hoping to make it a five course vegetarian feast to ring in the spring equinox.