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It was an inspired idea: take over a striking, yet neglected, listed Victorian railway shed and turn it into the country’s first full-time farmer’s market; add an in-house restaurant driven by Kentish produce from the stall-holders themselves, keep it simple, and hey-presto, you have a sure-fire winner. That was back in 2002, and since then The Goods Shed has improved and expanded by leaps and bounds, although the space is as dramatic as ever with its exposed brickwork and massive windows soaring up to exposed rafters. For lunch and dinner, expect a roster of ingredient-led seasonal dishes ranging from fish stew with mussels and rouille or rolled shoulder of lamb with Jerusalem artichoke purée and crisps to steamed hake with wilted chard, croquettes and alioli, guinea fowl with lentils, spinach and black pudding or “the best pork belly I’ve ever tasted”. For afters, consider vanilla and goats’ curd cheesecake with Cointreau oranges. Drinks are out of the same mould, and The Goods Shed is also open for breakfast – a boon for commuters en route to the nearby station.
Squaremeal’s Best Restaurants in the UK 2016 is compiled using votes from our annual survey, last conducted in spring 2016. Thousands of readers and bloggers took part and the results were moderated by the Squaremeal editor and his nationwide team of professional reviewers. The survey does not ask for or include any restaurants in London. Click here for a full list of Squaremeal’s Best Restaurants in the UK.
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