Fordwich Arms

British, Gastropub·
Gold Award

SquareMeal Review of Fordwich Arms

Gold Award

Officially the smallest town in Britain administered by a council, sleepy Fordwich (not far from Canterbury) got a wake-up call when a chef and sommelier from London’s Michelin-starred The Clove Club took over their spit-and-sawdust local boozer. The building itself is ridiculously photogenic, a 1930s redbrick classic with a dreamy setting next to the river Stour, and the pub still has its trademark fixtures (roaring fires, panelling, local ales on the handpumps). But while the location is pretty as a picture, these days it’s all about the food.

Taking The Sportsman at Seasalter as its blueprint, the Fordwich Arms offers inspired upscale food in seriously unfussy, easy-going surroundings – no fawning waiters or horrendous bills here. Instead, whizz-kid chef Dan Smith and co serve up obsessively local ingredients in clever combinations with no holds barred: hay-smoked confit trout with courgette, spiced butter and horseradish; roast lamb with black garlic, morels and crisp potato; ‘hen of the woods’ mushrooms with pickled walnuts, hispi cabbage and chickpea pannise; Fordwich ‘Snickers’.

There are home-cured meats, house pickles and rock oysters to nibble, while wine drinkers can pick from a nifty list courtesy of sommelier Guy Palmer Brown.

Prices, admittedly, are more restaurant than pub, but there’s a weekday set lunch menu offering three courses for £35. Really, though, this is no place to be abstemious, and we’d recommend going instead for the nine-course tasting menu for £95, with matched wines another £85; a vegetarian version is also available. If that sounds too formal, Sunday lunch brings roasts of middle white pork chop, rack of Black Faced lamb, rump of Hereford beef or roast Hereford cote de boeuf, with all the traditional trimmings.

“The quality is almost beyond compare”, enthuses one fan, while another chimes “this is a great place for a really special meal, with stunning food and amazing service.”  One to watch, we think.

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - £50 - £79
British, Gastropub
Cosy, Lively, Romantic, Traditional
Food Occasions
Dinner, Lunch, Sunday roast
Alfresco And Views
Outside seating, Terrace, Waterside
Special Features
Vegetarian options
Birthdays, Celebrations, Romantic, Special occasions
Food Hygiene Rating

Fordwich Arms is featured in


King Street, Fordwich, Kent, CT2 0DB

01227 710444


Opening Times

Tues-Sun 12N-11pm (Sun -6pm)


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3 Reviews 

John H

09 April 2019  
Just a couple of years ago this was a fairly unremakable pub but it has now been transformed into a destination restaurant. The food and service are first class and the little village in which it is situated is very charming. Expensive but worth it.

Sara B

05 April 2019  
Excellent in every aspect, country feel, relaxed, great food and lovely wines.

Richard C

21 March 2018  
Fantastic authentic Italian food in an "honest" and down to earth setting. Always full which is testament to the food.
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