The next day, all this living the high life caught up with me and I came down with this evil cold. Do you ever go through phases where you manage to avoid getting sick for ages and ages, but then you finally catch something, and it's like getting six different bugs at once and it totally knocks you out? Well, that's what happened to me. I'm just about over it now, so I thought I'd share this lovely restaurant with you.
Isn't it fancy? It's called Read's and it's located in Faversham, near Canterbury, in Kent. Eight of us went for lunch last Saturday. And just in case you were wondering who that tiny figure on the doorstep is...
That's right. It's me. Here's a close-up with some pumpkins.
Jeans, Blazer - Topshop, Blouse - River Island, Shoes, Bag - Zara
The setting is a Georgian manor house and it really feels more like that than a restaurant. It's incredibly peaceful and relaxed, as though you have been invited to lunch at someone's beautiful family home. Even when the dining room was full, it still kept that intimate feel.
Inside, it looks like this.
The food is locally sourced. In fact, some of it is grown in the grounds of the restaurant and I am kicking myself that I didn't pop outside to take a look. I guess that's a good excuse to go back!
I went for three courses, starting with a ham hock and vegetable broth with a chestnut brioche.
The broth was beautiful. Generous chunks of tender, salty ham, crunchy vegetables and a piping hot clear soup. The only problem was, it was a meal in itself, and when there are eight of you all talking at once it can be difficult to do justice to such a dish. Before I knew it, everyone else had finished their starters and I had barely got going with mine. Still, I thoroughly enjoyed what I had. I can't say I was crazy about the brioche, but then I'm not a fan of them in general. It was the broth I wanted - the brioche just happened to come with it.
For my main course, I chose the filet of hake with mashed potato, spinach and broccoli. This was simply cooked and really delicious, particularly the fish. The white sauce it came in was lovely but deceptively rich, and I couldn't quite finish the dish in the end.
My favourite course was definitely dessert. I ordered a chocolate delice with peanut brittle, banana ice cream and slices of caramelised banana. The desserts aren't actually listed on the menu. Instead, the waiter tells you what's available. I have to be honest - he had me at the word "chocolate". I actually had no idea there was any banana in the dish until it was sitting in front of me. If I had, I probably wouldn't have ordered it, as it's not really a favourite of mine, but I'm so glad I did. The combination with the smooth chocolate and crunchy, caramel flavours was perfect and I finished every last scrap.
Once lunch was over, we were invited to have our coffee (or peppermint tea in my case) in the lounge. This was also where we had enjoyed pre-lunch drinks while studying the menu and was a lovely relaxing space with arm chairs, sofas and coffee tables.
It was a mild, sunny day, but I can imagine this room being really cosy in the winter with the fire lit.
I would definitely recommend Read's if you're in the Canterbury area. The food was great and the surroundings were even better. Definitely a lovely setting for a family celebration.
I''ve got some fashion and beauty posts coming up next week, so stay tuned!