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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, combining a “gorgeous setting” with personable service overseen by the hosts themselves. 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). For more than three decades 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 ‘fruit-fed’ loin of pork with spinach, pickled Russet apple and pork jus as well as roast breast of pheasant with spiced red cabbage, blackberry purée and celeriac, but the repertoire also accommodates more eclectic ideas – crispy crumbed king prawns with smoked paprika and lime aïoli and compressed watermelon, for example. To conclude, try the famed deep lemon tart or the hot blackberry soufflé. Impressive wines too.
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