If you find yourself down Whitstable way, and you want to have a fantastic meal (Michelin starred no less) in a very relaxed environment (run-down looking pub) off the beaten track (in the middle of nowhere), then I can highly recommend The Sportsman.
This pub is located in Seasalter, a couple of miles from Whitstable in Kent. We trekked down from London one Friday specifically for lunch at The Sportsman, as the reviews were good, and the menu sounded even better. Make sure you pre-book. When we arrived, several groups of people were being turned away as they were fully booked.
We were given a very warm welcome and allocated a huge table for the four of us, in the main bar area. The menu was blackboard style, and the emphasis was on seafood. Service was relaxed and incredibly friendly - just place your order at the counter and your meals will be delivered when ready.
Favorite Dish: The meal started with the appearance of a large bread board with some warm foccacia and sour dough, and some tasty little olives, all complimentary. For our first course we chose the Mussel & Bacon Chowder; the Lobster Raviolo with Lobster Bisque; and the Smoked Mackerel, Bramley Apple jelly & Soda bread. The chowder was good, but the Lobster dish was amazing - so rich, creamy, delicious. Wow.
Main courses chosen were the Poached Duck Egg, new season asparagus & Seasalter ham salad (actually a starter); the Seared Thornback Ray with brown butter, split peas & sherry wine vinegar; and the Roast Monkshill Farm Pork Belly & apple sauce. The standout was the Pork Belly - the pork really melted in your mouth, and although the other dishes were excellent we all had pork-envy.
Pretty full by now, but wanting to enjoy all that The Sportsman had to offer, we shared a couple of desserts - the Warm Chocolate Mousse with salted caramel, and milk sorbet; and the Blood Orange Ice Lolly, cake-milk & Moscow Mule. The mousse was like a very thick hot chocolate and the salted caramel worked so well.
Absolutely loved our lunch at The Sportsman and have already put it back on the to-do list!
The Old Neptune is a cool pub that is right on the beach in Whitstable. There are benches on the gravelly beach outback, where you can enjoy a pint in decent weather. According to the posters on the wall, they often have live music. Check their website for info on that.
The Old Neptune also has some history. It was featured in a Peter O'Toole movie called 'Venus' and has had it's run ins with the sea as well, which you can learn about on the website.
Neppy's is a nice stop on your stroll along the shore.
This tiny little ice cream shop near the High Street of Whitstable sells amazing homemade ice cream.
There is no printed menu, but they will tell you all the flavours. This may be because they vary. The icecream cones are freshly baked and you can choose a chocolate dipped variety. What a difference from the horrible cardboard tasting factory cones you normally get in English seaside resorts! Extras include a dollop of clotted cream, chocolate flake or fudge stick.
This shop looks very quaint and charming. There is little space inside, and I imagine big queues on a hot summer day.
Favorite Dish: I had one scoop of rocky road flavoured icecream in a chocolate dipped cone, and my friend had caramel flavour. Both were delicious, but I liked the rocky road best.
this restaurant receives rave reviews in the press & so gets booked up pretty quickly - it's essential to book especially at weekends.
it's right by the sea but best of all is the food - authentic meze, simple, locally sourced & in season and absolutely delicious. Great buzzy atmosphere.
Well worth a visit.
Wonderful restaurant with good wine list, locally brewed fantastic beer and some of the best seafood I ever had. The Moules Mariniere as a starter are wonderful, as is the brown shrimp salad and (if the pocket stretches a bit further) the Whitstable Fishery Oysters (GBP15.50 for 1/2 dozen). Wonderful, big, meaty - simply delicious. Book a table in advance, otherwise you might be turned away. They are closed on Mondays. Highly recommended!
Favorite Dish: Whitstable Fishery Oysters - just the best ever. The season has just started (Sep).
Also very good is the meringue with passion fruit and vanilla icecream.
Loads of seafood usually fresh from the sea given the snooty treatment. ;)
Expensive but the food is good.
Favorite Dish: Dover Sole and Oysters