the dove inn, dargate
i mentioned the linen shed in my last blog post. i just want to say again how much we enjoyed staying there. vickie and graham were incredibly welcoming and the setting is wonderful – the wealden times article is full of beautiful photos and tells you all you need to know about this unusual b&b.
i wanted to mention it again as i wanted to tell you about the breakfasts – pots of stewed rhubarb spiked with orange and ginger and topped with yoghurt, followed by a choice of cooked breakfast – between us, on the two mornings we were there, david and i had pancakes with bacon; roasted tomatoes with parma ham and basil oil; and potato rosti with a poached egg; plus toast and jams (the raspberry and lavender was particularly special). all eaten on the veranda overlooking their beautiful garden and under the supervision of their two cats, cecil and mr wilfred.
one of the nicest things about staying here was being able to talk food with vickie and it was thanks to her that we ate at the dove inn in dargate, a short drive from the linen shed.
this small pub serves very good food and our meal here was a lovely way to relax into the weekend. after a drink in the garden we were called in and settled down to several plates of deliciousness – david chose pressed ham hock with apple and walnut salad and i opted for the potted brown shrimp with toast. my shrimp were a classic and flavourful rendition of a much-loved dish and i really enjoyed eating it. david’s starter had lighter more summery flavours and i loved the purity of the ham and the freshness of the apple matchsticks in the accompanying salad.
this time i chose lamb for my main - confit shoulder and roasted loin of lamb with anchovy crushed potatoes and pumpkin puree. the meat was beautiful and abundant but it was the potatoes that had intrigued me. i’d expected them to be lightly flavoured with preserved anchovies but instead phillip macgregor, the dove’s chef, had used fresh anchovies. i wasn’t keen – it was too much like a fishcake plonked next to my lamb but this dish was a huge hit with one of the other guests at the linen shed and he thought it worked very well with the lamb. all down to personal taste, as ever!
again david had a lighter dish – tender braised rabbit with peppers and parmesan polenta. i really enjoyed this and it was just the sort of thing you want on a slightly chilly summer’s eve.
no pudding for me but david had vanilla crème brulee which was served with a gorgeous and intensely flavoured (and coloured) cassis sorbet which balanced the richness of the brulee very well. the lemon biscotti on the side was a bit bland.
so there you go, spend a weekend in kent, stay at the linen shed and eat at the sportsman and the dove inn. stop off at macknade’s for supplies and arrive home several pounds heavier with happy memories and ready for your next trip to explore kent’s foodie bounty.
the linen shed
104 the street, boughton under blean, kent me13 9ap
t – 01227 752271
the dove inn
plum pudding lane, dargate, kent me13 9hb
t - 01227 751360