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Square Meal Review of The Sportsman ?

Overlooking the desolate Kent marshes, this shabby-chic roadside boozer doesn’t create much of an impression, but “what a transformation inside!” exclaimed one visitor. The Sportsman is still a bona fide pub with mismatched farmhouse furnishings, blackboard menus and real ales at the bar, although it’s better known as a maverick Michelin-starred eatery. Chef Stephen Harris has bags of self-sufficient cred and is zealous about local sourcing, but this is no worthy New Age outpost. Brilliant home-baked breads and home-churned butter set the tone, while the kitchen delivers “incredible” fresh flavours ranging from slip sole grilled in seaweed butter or braised brill with mussel and bacon tartare to roast Waterham Farm chicken with sausage and truffle cream sauce. Readers have also “fallen in love” with the pudding selection – from apple sorbet with burnt cream to jasmine tea junket with rosehip syrup and breakfast crunch (a taste of pure childhood nostalgia). We’d also recommend booking up for the eight-course tasting menu designed to showcase the local environment and its indigenous ingredients (a pared-down daily version is also available without pre-booking).  Cheerfully informal service and “praiseworthy” wines complete a remarkable package.

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  1. Published : Monday, 11 November 2013

    Kavey Eats :: Me and The Sportsman in Seasalter, Kent

    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...
    More from Kavey Eats »

  1. I don’t even think it would be rude to describe The Sportsman as a run down old boozer – if anything it might even be a compliment. But that is most certainly its charm. Along with it being by the sea, if the weather is good, it’s all rather beautiful. It’s even got a Michelin star.
    It’s as unpretentious as it gets; there’s a bar, which quickly fills up with empty glasses, wicker chairs (the arm was broken on mine) and some not-very-good framed photos on the walls with eye-poppingly high price tags dangling down. But I sat there sipping my pint of ale and I loved it.
    More from Samphire and Salsify | just another food blog »

Stephen Harris

He’s the ‘chefs’ chef’ but Stephen Harris wasn’t trained professionally in the catering trade: he actually started out as a history teacher and city boy. He taught himself to cook by eating at most of the great restaurants of the 1990s, among them Chez Nico, Restaurant Marco Pierre White and La Tante Claire. He took over The Sportsman pub near Whitstable in 1999 and was awarded a Michelin star in 2008.

Essential Details for The Sportsman

  • Cuisine: Gastropub
  • Area: Kent
  • Price: £54
  • Wine: £16.95
  • Champagne: £54.95

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