County Restaurant at ABode Canterbury

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Michelin-starred Michael Caines and hotelier Andrew Brownsword have brought a huge dollop of urban chic to Canterbury, and the chef’s namesake restaurant promises finely wrought cuisine in a dining room that makes good use of light and space. The kitchen takes inspiration from top local ingredients including Kentish beef and Romney Marsh lamb, and the results show real thought and invention. A starter of tempura pork belly with sauce gribiche and crackling might be followed by pan-fried sea bream with braised lentils, herb purée and red wine jus or pan-fried chicken breast with pearl barley, leeks, tarragon and chicken jus. For dessert, try the fig soufflé with Mascarpone ice cream or raspberry mille-feuille with pistachio mousseline. All this indulgence comes at a price, but it’s not a greedy one for such labour-intensive dishes; the new lunchtime carte is also great value.

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Michael Caines

Michael Caines MBE celebrated two decades at Devon’s two-Michelin-starred Gidleigh Park in 2014 – a remarkable achievement, given that he lost his right arm in a car accident shortly after starting there.  In 2000, he teamed up with Andrew Brownsword to open the ABode hotel group and his self-named restaurants can be found in Exeter, Chester and Manchester. Caines credits French masters Raymond Blanc and the late Bernard Loiseau as his great teachers.

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