The farm-to-fork moniker has become common parlance in recent years, but few restaurants can truly claim to produce everything that they serve on the plate. In The Small Holding, though, Kent has a true farm-to-fork - or should that be plot to plate? - champion that produces almost everything it serves, from fruits and vegetables to mushrooms, ferments, eggs, meat and more. The small percentage of ingredients that aren't directly grown or reared at the restaurant are sourced from nearby producers. The rest is often picked mere moments before it is cooked and sent to your table.
Kent born-and-bred chef Will Devlin is passionate about his home county and that comes through in the menus, which celebrate produce the 'Garden of England' is known for, from cider and perry to summer berries and cherries. The Small Holding offers a ten course tasting menu at dinner and a seven or ten course tasting menu at lunch, both with optional drinks pairings. The menu is a reflection of what's available each day, so both tasting menus include a combination of meat, fish and vegetable dishes. This generally means that the restaurant can't cater completely for individual diets, but with advance notice the team can remove certain elements from the dishes.
You might expect to try mushrooms with eggs and asparagus, crab with pickles and rye, and cod with XO sauce and pumpkin. While sweets might feature apple with chestnut and rosemary.
As for the interiors, the restaurant used to be an old inn, and has been lovingly restored by Devlin and team. The restaurant also boasts a large terrace outside - perfect for al fresco dining in the summer - and you can wander around the restaurant allotment before or after your meal to take a peak at what's growing in the polytunnels and visit Devlin's chickens, ducks and pigs.
Image credit: Key & Quill