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 ingredients.