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This shabby roadside boozer overlooking bleak salt marshes is a world away from trendy Whitstable, yet hides a highly accomplished operation touting a Michelin star. In short, it’s a serious
restaurant in pub clothing. Chef/co-proprietor Stephen Harris delivers inventive menus that name-check first-class local ingredients, but it’s not just his cooking that makes a virtue of simplicity
and economy: dishes are listed on a blackboard, orders placed at the bar, seats taken at plain scrubbed tables and service is cheerfully informal. Brilliant breads and home-churned butter set the
tone, while fish is as fresh as can be – perhaps thornback ray with brown butter, cockles and sherry vinegar dressing. Elsewhere, plates of perfectly roasted chicken and Monkshill Farm pork belly
with apple sauce cater for other tastes, but give the kitchen 48 hours’ notice and you can look forward to an eight-course tasting menu designed to showcase the local environment and its indigenous
I am not a classy bird. The truth is that words like elegant, sophisticated and lady-like are not ones you’d choose to describe me… and that’s OK by me. On the inside, I’d like to think I’m intelligent, fun, passionate, surprising and all kinds of other interesting things… and I reckon those aspects of me are far more worthy of attention than my body, my clothes, shoes and handbag, how I wear my hair, the fact that I don’t wear make-up or that I walk a little pigeon-toed.I say this because The Sportsman in Kent reminds me of myself in pub form.On the outside, the pub looks a little tatty, perhaps...
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