Silver Award

SquareMeal Review of Read's

Silver Award

David and Rona Pitchford’s covetable Georgian manor house on the outskirts of Faversham is the very model of an unpretentious country restaurant-with-rooms (there’s six of them), combining a “gorgeous setting” with personable service overseen by the hosts themselves. Dubbed by one fan as “simply the best restaurant in the area”, it is known to consistently excellent food and impressive wines for a reasonable price.

Inside, all is cosily domestic, although the refreshingly restrained menu suggests serious culinary intent (despite some determinedly old-fashioned touches and a sprinkling of food-related literary quips on the menu card). For more than three decades, chef David has honed his own version of Anglo-French cooking, relying on top-drawer ingredients and well-tutored expertise to deliver the goods. The seasons matter here, with pickings from the manor's own walled garden, local game and fish from south-coast boats deployed in harmonious ways.

Examples of his “beautiful fresh local food” might include roast breast of Gressingham duck with squash, duck pie, pickled chanterelles and toasted hazelnuts, or roast Kentish lamb with smoked potato puree, haggis and lovage tart, roasted onion and lamb sauce. From the starters, though, lighter options such as the Salcombe crab with black raddish, XO sauce and brown crab cracker impresses, alongside beef tartare with smoked mayonnaise, raw yolk and sourdough crutons, and even the salt-baked celeriac with green apple, mushroom ketchup, pickled celery and autumn truffle. To conclude, try the famed deep lemon tart or the dark cherry soufflé. The cheeseboard is well worth a try, too.  

The surroundings do their bit, too, with the manor being situated in Kent’s luscious grounds, studded with cedar trees, weeping willows and horse chestnut trees. Just outside Canterbury, other attractions are never far away, either, so why not make a weekend out of it? We promise you, it will be worth it.

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - £50 - £79
Food Hygiene Rating


Macknade Manor, Canterbury Road, Faversham, Kent, ME13 8XE

01795 535 344


Opening Times

Tues-Sat 12N-2pm 7-9.30pm


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6 Reviews 

Claire G

29 March 2019  
Excellent all counts - food, drink, service, surroundings. It is formal but with a relaxed atmosphere. David and Rona Pritchard are very welcoming, as are the other staff.

Claire G

15 June 2017  
Always excellent food, wine and service; nothing is too much trouble; always well looked after and made to feel special.

Hazel H

28 May 2017  
Simple but elegant French cooking, superbly presented in pretty dining room Ample wine list, good selection from new and old world Service exquisite, personal service from husband and wife owners Cosy, small dining rooms with wonderful views of gardens, quiet but not stuffy Excellent value especially for dinner, bed and breakfast.

Cathy W

04 May 2017  
Beautiful couintry house with the most fabulous food and several beautiful rooms for overnight stays, my dream destination for a really spoiling weekend away as service is friendly, knowledgeable and au point. .

Paul A

19 April 2016  
Food & Drink 2.5
Service 2.5
Atmosphere 2.5
Value 2.5
Rather sad
The first thing we noticed was that the premises were much more suitable for a fine-dining restaurant than when we last dined at Read’s rather a long time ago. The rooms have a certain restrained elegance, and we took our aperitif in the ante-room which we enjoyed with some decent mixed olive bread and canapés in the form of cheese on toast, olives and an anchovy pastry. We started the tasting menu with parsnip and apple soup, which could have done with some seasoning and perhaps a different type of apple, and this was followed by salmon, endive, seeded rye toast and some tangerine purée which made very little difference to the dish. The bacon-wrapped terrine gave a good taste of chicken though the vinegary white cabbage and the poorly distributed Agen prune added little. The monkfish on parmesan rice was quite acceptable and improved by the accompanying Chardonnay beurre blanc sauce and fennel, and it served as a nice introduction to the main of local lamb, loin and breast (we preferred the latter), and mixed vegetables. The English cheeses, Folkestone goat’s and Colston Bassett the best, which were served with an 80s selection of cream crackers, were succeeded by a very light Grand Marnier soufflé with vanilla ice cream to feed into the top. Very much as had been the case some 20 years ago we were struck by the ho-humness of this experience, which was more brasserie than manoir, and we had the impression of being in a time-warp with the old-fashioned approach - where else these days would you find the complete set of cutlery for the tasting menu set out for each diner at the start of the meal and have the vegetables (including mini corn on the cob?) for the main course individually served in a mini copper pan? Presumably there is a demand for this kind of restaurant in this neck of the woods, but it is not difficult to see why it has not kept its one-star status.

Daniel H

10 January 2013  
Food & Drink 4.5
Service 4.5
Atmosphere 4
Value 4
The wife and I decided to celebrate our first year of marriage at this place. Now being a foodie, I have heard good things about Read's, it's had a Michelin star for some time, so there standards are very high. We arrived on time and were shown to the drinks lounge, where we would have a drink and mull over the food menu, we felt a little edgy and a bit out of place, all very swanky, but after being there for a bit, we settled into the settings and the people around us. After looking at the menu we couldn't quite decide on what to have, so we opted for the seven course taster menu. The food was amazing, fine dining at it's best and the service matched the food, they really did look after us. The price of the seven course was £60 a head, quite pricey but for Michelin star service and food, it's pretty reasonable. Our whole experience was great and one will won't forget in a long time. Well recommended.
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