The Three Mariners

2 Church Road, Oare , Faversham, ME13 0QA

5 reviews

32 Gastropub Kent

SquareMeal Review of The Three Mariners

At the buzzy Three Mariners, gastropub minimalism shows itself with a simple palette of linen-free tables, an open log fire & wood floors. On fine days, warm yourself on the terrace & enjoy a light lunch of, say, pan-fried soft herring roes with garlic & capers on toast. The menu eschews fashionable posturing in favour of good taste & very local, seasonal sourcing: potted brown shrimps with cucumber & crème fraîche, slow-braised ox cheeks with morels & red wine, mash & spring vegetables, & citrusy St Clements posset with buttery shortbread, for example. Amiable service adds to the pleasure, as do good-value wines, ales from the nearby Shepherd Neame brewery & decent set-price weekday lunches from £11.

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Food & Drink: 7.4

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 5.4

Value: 7.2

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 5.0

Joe B. silver reviewer 05 September 2013

The Three Mariners has enjoyed a lengthy reputation for serving good food. It is widely known to anyone with an interest in this county’s restaurant scene. And in October 2012, the Oare pub was granted a Bib Gourmand, which the Michelin guide awards for “good cooking at moderate prices”. Being of sound mind, the thought of excellent food without having to dig too deep in the pocket is surely a no-brainer. It would appear I’m not alone in thinking this as the place was packed on the sunny Monday evening we visited. Its old-school feel is heartening and there’s no sign of the trendy modern décor associated with many gastropubs. The menu is pleasing, too, with a mixture of meat and fish without so much fancy-pants cuisine. Using Ray Winstone’s voice to describe the place, I would say “a proper pub”. We were seated at the table, with home-made bread, salty butter and oil at no charge (always gets a thumbs-up). A conversation with the waitress made it clear that the £16.95 set dinner menu wasn’t some sort of joke – neither was it left over from lunch to entice passing trade. Three courses it is, then! I started with a fresh crab cocktail. The lemony taste of the salty crab-meat was served on a bed of cucumber, tomato and olives, with a suc-culent slice of avocado for good measure. The tangy Thousand Island sauce set all off perfectly. My adventurous guest chose from the à la carte menu the grilled vegetables and burrata. The burrata is a Mozarella casing with a cream and Mozarella centre and made for a melt-in-the-mouth, rich starter. For the main course I went for the fillet of farmed sea bass. The fish was cooked beautifully, with a crispy skin and flesh that fell apart as you touched it. It was served with a zingy tomato and piquillo pepper salsa, which was delicious and I would have liked to have seen more of, as well as new potatoes, vegetables and a generous serving of spinach. My guest chose the herb-crusted rump of lamb in a thick red-wine jus, with thin, crispy potatoes and vegetables. There was real plateful and I was delighted to take part in consuming it, but the sumptuous meat and strong jus beat both of us by the end. The servings were on the large side and so we opted to share a dessert of chocolate mousse with raspberries resting on slices of banana and dripped with raspberry and chocolate sauce. The mousse was infused with popping candy, which made for a fun and imaginative end to the meal. Here comes the Bib Gourmand bit – the total bill, including three drinks, came to a staggeringly low £51.55. The set menu is not afraid to appeal to the masses and the quality of food is outstanding. My recommendation is to get in there quick before the Mariners team realises the ridiculously good value that it is offering.

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 5.0

Gordon S. 30 May 2011

What a shame some of the reviews have shown the Three Mariners in such a bad way. Let me assure all those wishing to visit the pub things have changed. I live in the village and use the place to eat and drink on a regular basis. The Three Mariners has changed hands and is now run by the chef who had produced the food that gave the pub such a good reputation. New bar staff, new front of house manager and a new approach to customer service has really helped to make it a delightful place to eat and drink. The menu goes from strength to strength and now includes a great value for money 3 course meal in the evenings. The lunches for walkers and business users are always popular and in demand. The main point of my review is to stress the quality of the food in this little village pub. Most of the food is locally sourced and the fish is selected by the chef for it quality and freshness. I have never had a bad or indifferent meal here and find it difficult to eat elsewhere as its so good. Am I a little biased as a villager? you bet I am. Come and try for yourself and join the ever growing army of diners that enjoy this little part of Kent that offers so much. You too will leave feeling a little biased towards this pub. Check out John Lanchester in The Guardian, Saturday 28 May 2011 and look at his very recent review . Gordon Sutton.

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 0.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 5.0

Mary R. 25 September 2010

What a shame that such a great place to eat is being spoiled by some poor front of house staff. The food is consistently excellent and amazing value for the money. I have eaten there many times and seldom been disappointed. The decor is relaxed and with the right staff the atmosphere could be excellent. The younger waiting staff are always pleasant and attentive. Some members of staff, (well – just one really) however, whilst sometimes friendly, at other times are rude, aggressive, unwelcoming and unsmiling. I was recently there with some friends and was embarrassed by the rudeness – especially as they were there on my recommendation. That is five people who probably won't come back. Please sort out your staff or run the risk of losing regulars. I know I am not alone in my opinion. This brings down a score which really deserves to be excellent all round.

Food & Drink: 3.0

Service: 0.0

Atmosphere: 2.0

Value: 2.0

Katina D. 24 May 2010

This pub has a lovely location, looks inviting from the outside, has a highly welcoming interior, lovely terrace and desirable menu, it certainly appears to be the kind of establishment you want to go in to. However, the compliments stop there. On both occasions we were told that the restaurant was fully booked and the first time this seemed likely and even though the greeting from the bar lady was somewhat terse and unfriendly (we put this down to a bad night’s sleep or mood thing initially), the pub did appear to be busy, so we left after a couple of drinks. Recently we dropped by again at 12.45 to be greeted (unfortunately) by the same bar lady, ‘short cropped blond hair and a face like a slapped …,’. On viewing the menu, we thought a quick snack and a cold drink would be welcome after 10miles hiking, only to be told the pub was again fully booked. We noticed soup on the menu and asked if we could perhaps have a bowl each, as it’s something quick to prepare. An unfriendly no was the answer. We ordered a cold drink and went outside onto the terrace to see that only 2 tables were occupied and when we left 40mins later at 1.30, still only one further couple had arrived. The pub certainly didn’t look busy and in the 40mins we were there 5 tables on the terrace remained empty. We could have eaten in that time almost and gone. Very odd situation indeed. For us though it was the initial welcome on both occasions. I can only describe it as ‘highly’ unfriendly, if not prickly. The bar lady in particular should not be serving customers, her manner is truly brusque, verging on rude, not a welcoming smile in sight. The other lady, whom I presume to be the restaurant manager, hasn’t managed a smile on our 2 visits either. Everything about this establishment appears to entice, but their philosophy to be ‘inclusive, not exclusive’ certainly doesn’t stretch to the Bar Lady and Restaurant Manager’s customer service skills. Highly disappointing experience, one I certainly wouldn’t want to repeat a 3rd time!

Food & Drink: 0.0

Service: 0.0

Atmosphere: 0.0

Value: 0.0

Lynn F. 06 April 2010

Truly disappointing, as The Three Mariners had been recommended by a friend, who had been to a ‘taster’ session during the week, and loved it. We arrived a little early, but were told in no uncertain terms, that although our table was ready, we would not be served immediately. Eventually, a waitress arrived to take our drinks order, but refused to take our food order – again we were told that we would have to wait until they were ready. The starter I ordered was not available (crab and avocado), so I had the potted shrimp with “cucumber and creme fraiche”, which was just 2 slices of peeled cucumber with a dollop of creme fraiche on top. Before our main course was served, we were asked if we would like the dessert menu !! Duh! I had veal with saffron risotto for my main course ; not only did it look sloppily presented, but also I have never had such gristly, unpalatable veal in my life – in my experience, veal is tender and fat free – but not here – in fact, I am not even sure it was veal, but I will give it the benefit of the doubt. I couldn't taste any saffron in the very runny risotto. My partner had sea bass (which the waitress mistakenly announced as cod), on top of some spinach, and the grand total of TWO tiny new potatoes. We left, finally, with a bad taste in our mouths – and to top it all, the waiting staff didn't even bother to ask if we had enjoyed our meal. In fact, we had the impression they wanted us out as quickly as possible (we were a late-ish sitting – 9pm). All in all, I feel we were not made welcome, the food was pretentious and poorly presented, and the staff by turns ditzy and arrogant – very unprofessional. I certainly would not return, nor would I recommend this ‘gastropub’.