Known as the “Garden of England” and famous for its spectacular coastline, historic cities, and areas of outstanding natural beauty, the county of Kent truly comes alive in the spring and summer months. Whether you’re discovering Royal Tunbridge Wells with your friends and searching for the perfect place to grab a pint, building up an appetite by exploring the Kent Downs with your family, or you’re a local foodie looking for a previously undiscovered place to dine, you’re in luck.

Here at Fed Up & Drunk, to make your life easier, we’ve rounded up 8 of our favourite eateries in the region for you to check out below this spring and summer. For a more comprehensive guide to eating out in Kent, be sure to pick up your FREE copy of our recently released Kent Food & Drink Guide here (
https://www.foodanddrinkguides.co.uk/get-the-guide) or read a digital copy of the guide here (
https://issuu.com/foodanddrinkguides/docs/kent).

Rendez-Vous TN1 2QP – Brasserie

Set over three floors, whether you’re searching for the perfect venue for a romantic meal, a get-together with friends, or a relaxed business meeting, Rendez-Vous’ unique layout makes it ideal. The ground floor, with its cosy bar and seating for 14, is a fantastic place to meet friends for a chilled-out drink and a quick snack, whereas the calmer environment of the mezzanine provides an intimate setting for a memorable evening out.

Offering a variety of dishes all prepared fresh to order, begin with the likes of chicken liver parfait paired with homemade piccalilli or leek, chive and potato soup accompanied by sourdough before tucking into mouth-watering mains like the slow-roasted pork belly atop mustard-seed mash and doused in red wine gravy.

The Kings Head TN25 5BN – Modern British

Having made a name for itself in the local foodie scene due to its commitment to local produce, The King’s Head in the historic, charming and picturesque village of Wye is one of Kent’s leading culinary destinations. Owners Scott Richardson and Mark Lightford left their careers in music and fashion to transform this former Victorian coaching into a must-visit venue, and their efforts clearly paid off, having received numerous awards and critical acclaim since opening in 2013 including winning Pub of the Year in the Kent Life Food & Drink Awards 2017. Other notable achievements include coming 25th in the prestigious Estrella Damm Top 50 Gastropubs list and being one of the finalists in the 2019 Taste of Kent Awards.

Boasting an innovative seasonal menu, head chef Carl Jordan’s skills and imagination will impress you with dishes such as venison loin with pommes Maxim, celeriac puree and remoulade in a juniper jus and desserts like warm chocolate brownie with milk sorbet, blackberries, and white chocolate sauce.

The Butcher’s Block Restaurant & Bar ME1 3SB – Modern British

The delightful country pub and restaurant which is The Butcher’s Block in Rochester is a must-visit establishment for meat-lovers all across the Kent region. Nestled within the captivating Kentish countryside, this beautifully decorated, elegant country chic-restaurant boasts two patio gardens, making it a simply idyllic location in which to really make the most of the sunnier months.

Savour delights such as wild boar and apple Scotch egg, juicy pan-fried Rye Bar scallops and chorizo with pea mayonnaise, and rich chicken and wild mushroom terrine with pickled girolles and truffle mayonnaise. Surprisingly, given the restaurant’s name, vegetarians are also well catered to here, with an impressive offering which includes the likes of Camembert, rhubarb and onion tart and rich wild mushroom ravioli sprinkled with roasted pine nuts and served in a burnt butter sauce.

Chapter One BR6 8NF – Fine Dining

First opened over 20 years ago, the three-AA-rosette-awarded Chapter One in Orpington has since gained a reputation as one of Kent’s finest dining destinations. Following a major refurbishment in early 2019, Chapter One recently relaunched with a more modern approach, offering even greater quality and variety than it did before – so if you haven’t visited Chapter One in a while, now is the ideal time to do so.  

Chapter One’s restaurant showcases sophisticated seasonal dishes served in a refined setting with a weekly changing three-course lunch menu priced at £24.95, a seasonally inspired seven-course tasting menu, and an à la carte option. Try enticing seasonal treats like their gin-cured chalk stream trout with compressed cucumber, dill and yoghurt dressing, and braised shoulder and roast rump of lamb with grilled aubergine, tahini yoghurt, and lamb jus.

Chapter One’s more informal brasserie offers a selection of favourites cooked to perfection with the finest ingredients including Josper-grilled burgers, steaks, chicken Milanese and fish and chips.

Vittle and Swig TN1 2PT – Bar and Restaurant

There are few venues in the Kent region as unforgettable or as individual as Vittle and Swig in Royal Tunbridge Wells. Blending an industrial style with an enchanting idiosyncrasy, the interior features quirky touches like top hat pendant lights, urban works of art adorning the walls and chic leather booths, resulting in a cool bar and restaurant which is equally well suited to anything from Friday night cocktails to a lazy Sunday brunch.

Changing regularly to keep up with the seasons and making use of the finest and freshest Kent produce, owner and head chef Alex Blaber borrows from flavours and ingredients all across the world to create modern British dishes that are guaranteed to delight. Expect the likes of miso cauliflower with goat’s cheese, pickled pear and dukkah, and Chateaubriand for two with wild mushrooms, hand-cut fries and Béarnaise.

Vittle and Swig is also a popular events venue, with an upstairs cocktail bar that is perfect for a gathering of up to 30, while the larger private room can accommodate up to 80 guests for anything from wedding receptions and birthday parties to private dinners and conferences.

The Warren Restaurant TN1 1UL –Fine Dining

Combining classical elegance with a characterful charm, The Warren is a rare gem of Royal Tunbridge Wells’ dining scene. An extension of the nearby Crowborough Warren Estate, the restaurant receives daily deliveries of the estate’s home-grown and –reared produce, resulting in exciting and seasonal fixed-priced and à la carte menus that are guaranteed to please.

When we visited earlier in the year, we began with their signature crispy goose egg starter, which was complemented by smooth pea puree, pancetta and wild garlic, before moving onto a main of perfectly cooked venison loin in Port jus, accompanied by potato terrine, flavoursome watercress puree, confit Roscoff onions and girolles. To finish, we opted for their rich treacle tart with brown bread ice cream – the perfect combination of quirky and conventional. Striving for greatness with every dish, The Warren more than succeeds with beautifully presented dishes that are as appealing to the eye as they are to the palate.

Leicester Arms Hotel TN11 8BT – Modern British

This spring, take a scenic drive through the charming Kent countryside and discover the Leicester Arms Hotel, a characterful 17th-century hotel situated close to Penshurst Place in Tonbridge. Enter through the enchanting Tudoresque gable porch and you’ll be wooed by the hotel’s interior, featuring large windows, squashy leather armchairs, and exposed brick and wooden beams that combine to create a cosy, home-away-from-home experience you’ll wish to return to again and again.

Take a seat in the hotel’s light and airy restaurant which boasts stunning views of the gardens and peruse the innovative menu, featuring tempting, seasonal dishes such as crispy soft-shell crab with Asian-style slaw and a tart blood orange dressing, pan-seared duck breast with baby beetroot, earthy Romanesco broccoli and burnt cauliflower puree, and indulgent desserts like the creamy vanilla pannacotta with mixed berry compote. Each and every plate that leaves the kitchen has been meticulously thought out, combining exquisite flavours with an artful flair for presentation that promises each course is a multi-sensory delight.

The Green Man TN15 7LE – British

An independent family-run pub tucked away in the picturesque Kent Downs opposite Hodsoll Street village green and a popular pit-stop for walkers, The Green Man is known for its excellent locally sourced fare, great selection of guest ales, and warm and friendly environment. Sourcing their meat, fish, and other seasonal produce locally, their menu features all your favourite pub dishes along with an inventive selection of vegetarian options and chef’s special dishes. The large beer garden, which includes a delightful play area for children, also makes the perfect setting to soak up the sun this summer.

Start with the likes of juicy king prawns with piquant chilli sauce before moving onto mains like the harissa salmon with Moroccan-spiced quinoa, lentils and spelt, accompanied by a bed of olives, roasted butternut squash, lime yogurt and pomegranate molasses. The irresistibly tangy lemon and stem ginger cheesecake or the indulgent hot chocolate fudge cake with ice cream make incredible finishes to a fantastic three-course feast.

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