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Squirrelled away in a row of Flemish weavers’ cottages, The West House isn’t short on genuine Kentish character. The dining room may play up ‘Ye Olde English’ look with its weathered beams, open fire and bare floorboards, but smart, sympathetic restyling has added some easy-on-the-eye modern touches. It’s an unstuffy platform for chef/patron Graham Garrett’s confident, fine-tuned cooking, which is also reckoned to be “fantastically priced” for a Michelin-starred restaurant. His highly accomplished repertoire is driven by imaginative sourcing, and the result is “incredible food with bags of creativity but no pretentiousness”: consider eclectic ideas such as warm oak-smoked haddock with quail’s egg and bacon dressing, BBQ leg of lamb with spiced sausage, artichoke and white bean barigoule or chorizo-stuffed rabbit leg partnered by white asparagus, Welsh rarebit and hazelnut crumb. For afters, we’re intrigued by the malted milk jelly with ‘nuggets’, yoghurt powder and smoked milk ice cream. Service is praised to the skies, and the line-up of top-notch ‘natural’ wines by the glass or carafe is also greatly appreciated. “We always come out very happy”, notes a regular.
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