My first supper club has come and gone, hopefully leaving all the guests feeling like they couldn’t eat another bite, but leaving me hungry for another and another and another wonderful event where I can cook great food for people and watch them mingling and enjoying the company of their fellow diners. The next opportunity is already booked into the calendar and the preparation is well underway.
My mind is reeling. I’ve just got back from lunch at the Saltwood on the Green, a new restaurant offering Kent a rare taste of simple food, done exquisitely. Set in the picturesque village of Saltwood, just outside Hythe, it is exactly what I would hope for in a neighborhood restaurant: intimate and welcoming, but classy enough that it still feels a bit special.
After a few months of success as a café, Follies on Sandgate Road in Folkestone is spreading its wings and on Friday, August 1, they will launch their bistro. For a lucky few, there was a sneak peek on Sunday with a counter full of the beautiful, fresh salads and charcuterie that Follies owner Ami will focus on in the bistro.
When it comes to the world’s favorite cuisines, Italy is up there. I mean, they did give us pizza and pasta so it’s not hard to figure out why Italian food is so popular. But with the popularity of Italian cooking there’s also been compromise, adaptation and copycatting – and not in an ‘imitation is the sincerest form of flattery’ way either. I think any Italian would run a mile if you tried to serve them up a gloopy plate of spaghetti carbonara or a pizza topped with canned pineapple and dry pieces of ham. For this reason I’ve become very mistrusting of Italian restaurants. That was until we stumbled into Briciole.
Many of you will have read my first post about Salt back in November of last year. The Canterbury restaurant has built a great reputation for itself and its philosophy of small plates and local, seasonal produce. With a ‘restaurants to try’ list that could circumnavigate the earth, we only managed to visit Salt a second time a couple weeks ago. As always, the food was fresh, interesting and delicious. We also caught word that Emma and Lee were looking into a new place in Whitstable. Saltdog opened yesterday and is cranking out gourmet hotdogs and beer on the Whitstable seafront. So now the lucky people of Kent have not one, but two ways to enjoy the creativity of this pair and the beauty of local Kentish produce. So what are you waiting for? Continue reading
Sandgate Road in Folkestone has had a much needed boost with the opening of Follies, a new cafe/restaurant/awesome hangout. Filled with antique furniture and vintage knickknacks, all of which are for sale!, and with a great laidback vibe, I’m sure it won’t take long for Folkestonians to fall in love with this place. The building itself, which used to house a furniture shop, is a tardis with three floors of seating and what seems like an endless number of rooms. Despite the space, there is already a great community vibe and the array of seating options means you can bring a book and curl up on a sofa in a quiet corner, host a study group upstairs or enjoy a family breakfast in the window seat while you watch the world go by. Continue reading
Hello? HE-LLO-OO? Anyone there? I know I’ve been MIA recently, but I hope the world hasn’t moved on too much and that there’s still someone out there who wants to hear about another great place to eat in Canterbury! Over the last few weeks I’ve been here, there and back again − actually just to California and back, but you get my drift − and I’ve been doing a lot of eating and cooking, so I have lots to share! It’s just a matter of getting the time to sit down and write. First on the list is Café Mauresque in Butchery Lane in Canterbury which we visited way back in December.
The slogan of many a Texas barbecue joint (sub BBQ, Bar-B-Cue, barbeque − I’m not trying to upset any of the barbecue factions here) is this: “You don’t need teeth to eat our meat.” And right they are. Proper barbecue should be melt-in-the-mouth, tender, moist pieces or, more appropriately, hunks of meat served up in large portions with delicious and plentiful sides. And I expected no less from Texas Joe’s BBQ.
Well, once again Giles Coren has pointed us towards a winner. Briciole in Marylebone grabs your imagination as soon as you walk in. The Italian deli counter, gelato cart and shelves of wine and pasta transport you immediately to a small trattoria in Italy − at least they transported me there. Once through the front bar area, the place takes on a more London look; a bit more shabby chic than Italian side street, but still charming.