Gravesend, Kent, home to a clock tower, Pocahontas statue, the Guru Nanak Darbar Gurdwara, New Tavern Fort and the Tilbury-Gravesend Ferry to name a few. Gravesend is a river side town and has witnessed rejuvenation since the introduction of the High Speed 1 rail service.
Now Gravesend is not somewhere I would usually choose to eat out, to be honest I think my Gravesend eating experiences are limited to a sausage roll from Greggs after visiting Primark.
I received some Insta love from The Clarendon Royal Hotel. I returned the love and had a look at their pictures. Wow, really delicious looking food, I looked at their bio, located in Gravesend! No way!
The Clarendon Royal Hotel were reaching out to Kent based bloggers via Twitter to try out their restaurant and being a fifteen minute drive away from home I responded. Me and hubby were booked in for dinner.
I drove to the venue which fortunately has its own car park. We were warmly greeted and shown to our table. The manager Stephen greeted us and told us all about the visions for the hotel and restaurant and raved about how talented and passionate his chef was. We were impressed of his restaurant knowledge and felt confident the food would be of a ‘foodie’ standard.
We browsed the menus and chose our starters.
Drinks. A delicious Virgin Mojito & Hop House 13
While we waited we wondered whether the food was going to be as good as it appeared on Instagram. When the starters arrived I was pleased to see that they were photogenic but what did they taste like? Bloody good!
Ham Hock &Pig Cheek Terrine, Cauliflower Puree, Black Pudding Bonbon, Piccalilli, Popcorn Crackling
Goats Cheese on Croute, Honey, Beetroot Puree, Pear Puree, Rosemary, Honeyed Walnuts, Frisee Leaf
I chose the Ham Hock, mainly because it was served with a black pudding Bonbon. The Bonbon was as good as I hoped and I loved the popcorn crackling. I was impressed that the piccalilli was homemade. We also went for the recommended goats cheese on croute. The flavours were great. Beetroot and goats cheese is always a winning combination
My husband and I exchanged approving nods and smiles, so far we were really impressed with the food.
Next came the main courses of a twist on fish & chips and medallions of lamb rump. Again, we were just so impressed by the standard of food. The portions are huge, much bigger than the usual London fine dining portions.
Bawley Bay, Butter Poached Cod Fillet, Driftwood Chips, Gin Vinegar Batter Pebbles, Samphire, Clams, Mushy Pea & Cured Bacon, Pickled Cockles, Tartar Sauce
Medallions of Lamb Rump, Puled Lamb Stack, Chorizo Dauphinoise, Pea & Mint Puree, Baby Carrots, Broad Beans, Petit Pois, Jus
The fish and chip dish was fantastic, such a clever and creative dish inspired by the river Thames which can be seen from our table. As well as tasting amazing it was so beautifully presented. I loved the crunch of the gin pebbles. Such a fun plate of food and the flare and creativity of the chef really was showcased in this continuously evolving signature dish.
The Lamb was equally good, I liked the chorizo hidden between the layers of potato in the Dauphinoise. The lamb portion was very generous and the Jus was gorgeous.
The choice of desserts was hard to make. I was torn between the cheesecake and fondant. Fondant won! Hubby was torn between the soufflé and chocolate brownie, the brownie won for him.
Both desserts were delicious. We had been sharing each other’s plates but I begrudged sharing this one. The molten chocolate lava was encased in a crisp shell and spilled out perfectly when broken open with the spoon.
Black Forrest Fondant, Chocolate Fondant, Sour Cherries, Ice Cream
Chocolate Brownie, Vanilla Ice Cream
We just had three amazing courses, over looking the Thames, a fifteen minute drive away from home, in Gravesend. It’s exciting to have experienced such high quality food made with love and passion so close to home. As I mentioned earlier Gravesend is known for a lot of things but not its food scene, but with the town slowly receiving a breath of new life through regeneration I’m excited for The Clarendon Royal Hotel Restaurant’s future and eagerly anticipate the tasting menu that will hopefully be launched in 2017.
Thank you to Stephen Ruffle for inviting my husband and I for dinner at The Clarendon Royal Hotel .