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Christmas (and Boxing Day) Dinner is served!

There is so much to be loved about the traditional Christmas dinner, and of course its Boxing Day sequel, which can be a rerun of the main event or a day-long graze of leftovers…preferably sandwiched between two slices of bread. The gravy, thick and luscious, covering those crispy-on-the-outside-soft-in-the-middle roast potatoes;  Brussels sprouts which, even if you wouldn’t go near them during the rest of the year, are mandatory on a Christmas dinner plate; and succulent turkey (or whatever floats your Christmas boat). Add to this all sorts of sauces and condiments and all the little extras like moreish pigs in blankets and maybe even a Yorkshire pudding or two (perhaps not for the purists…), and you’ve got a meal that is going to last for hours, if not days…

The only downside to this mammoth fabulous festive feast is making it. There is a lot of effort that goes into creating so much delicious food and, when you just want to be enjoying the fun with everyone else, it can sometimes feel as though you’ve drawn the short straw.

This year, why not do something different? Why not shun the kitchen and spend your precious hours socialising and drinking fizz instead of peeling spuds and sprouts? A great idea – and one that’s becoming evermore popular – is to book yourself and your family into a gorgeous Kentish restaurant where all the hard work will be done for you. It’s a memorable and indulgent way to spend Christmas Day, and insideKENT has the ultimate Christmas and Boxing Day dinner guide for you. All you need to do is turn up and eat…

 

The Dog At Wingham // Wingham

www.thedog.co.uk

Sample menu choice:

Starter: Crown Prince squash soup, Jerusalem artichoke crisps, pumpkin seeds and white truffle

Main: ballotine of turkey, duck fat sautéed potatoes, sprouts, carrots and black cabbage

Dessert: green cardamom chilled rice pudding with pear and brandy sorbet

Price: £110 per person.

The Bull // Wrotham

www.thebullhotel.com

Sample menu choice:

Starter: smoked kipper paté, pickled fennel, sourdough bread

Main: turkey with all the trimmings

Dessert: chocolate hazelnut brownie, orange sorbet

Price: £25 per person.

 

Tudor Park Marriott // Maidstone

www.marriott.co.uk/hotels/travel/tdmgs-tudor-park-marriott-hotel-and-country-club

Sample menu choice:

Starter: poached and smoked salmon, tiger prawns, crab cocktail,

smoked assorted fish

Main: roast sirloin of beef with traditional Yorkshire pudding from the carvery

Dessert: Christmas pudding with brandy sauce

Price: £89 per adult, £44.50 per child (5-12).

 

Frasers // Egerton

www.frasersegerton.co.uk

Sample menu choice:

Starter: beetroot-cured salmon, pickled fennel, wasabi

Main: Frasers Estate game casserole, Kentish blue cheese croute, Chapel Down nectar infused pear

Dessert: pear and almond frangipane tart, spiced damson and apple compote, amaretto ice cream

Price: £32.50 (3 courses), £26.50 (2 courses).

 

Eastwell Manor // Ashford

www.eastwellmanor.co.uk

Sample menu choice:

Starter: Muscat pumpkin soup, parmesan crouton

Main: free-range turkey with all the trimmings

Dessert: coffee and mince pies

Price: £42 per person.

The Kings Arms // Westerham

www.greeneking-pubs.co.uk/pubs/kent/kings-arms

Sample menu choice:

Starter: duck and fig terrine

Main: trio of wild Scottish venison medallions

Dessert: lemon and stem ginger brûlée cheesecake

Price: £62.99 per adult, £21.99 per child.

 

Royal Wells Hotel // Tunbridge Wells

www.royalwells.co.uk

Sample menu choice:

Starter: Blacksticks blue cheese and walnut soufflé

Main: roast turkey breast and thigh

Dessert: luxury boozy Christmas pudding

Price: £69.95 per adult, £35 per child.

 

The Mulberry Tree // Maidstone

www.themulberrytreekent.co.uk

Sample menu choice:

Starter: wild mushroom bruschetta, melted truffled Brie

Main: pan-fried monkfish, crispy cod cheek, tempura fennel, mussel and prawn fish sauce

Dessert: glazed lemon tart, blackcurrant sorbet

Price: £110 per person.

 

Rocksalt // Folkestone

www.rocksaltfolkestone.co.uk

Sample menu choice:

Starter: Rocksalt prawn and crab cocktail, Bloody Mary rose sauce

Main: maple-and-mustard-glazed ham, charred hispi, crushed swede and apple

Dessert: Ada Sargeant’s Christmas pudding with brandy custard

Price: £125 per person.

 

Chilston Park Hotel // Lenham

www.handpickedhotels.co.uk/chilstonpark

Sample menu choice:

Starter: carpaccio of British beef, shaved fennel and avocado cream

Main: roasted Norfolk turkey breast, sausagemeat stuffing, pigs in blankets, roast potatoes, vegetables

Dessert: mocha opera cake, kumquat compote, vanilla mascarpone cream

Price: £130 per adult, £60 per child.

The Swan // West Malling

www.theswanwestmalling.co.uk

Sample menu choice:

Starter: confit and smoked chicken terrine, fig and date jam

Main: roast breast and stuffed leg of Norfolk bronze turkey, pigs in blankets, cranberry and port sauce

Dessert: chocolate brownie and salted caramel

Price: £95 per adult, £47.50 per child (5-12), £15 per child (under 5).

 

The Old Gate Inn // Canterbury

www.vintageinn.co.uk/restaurants/south-east/theoldgateinnbridgecanterbury

Sample menu choice:

Starter: Parma ham with honey and rosemary-roasted pear

Main: 7oz fillet steak served with beef dripping sauce, dauphinoise potatoes, thyme-roasted tomato and a fresh leaf and horseradish salad

Dessert: raspberry and white chocolate Eton mess

Price: £68.95 per adult, £29.95 per child.

 

Hempstead House // Sittingbourne

www.hempsteadhouse.co.uk

Sample menu choice:

Starter: carrot and coriander soup

Main: slow-braised lamb shank

Dessert: cranberry and orange cheesecake

Price: from £24.50 per adult, £12.75 per child.

 

The Bell Hotel // Sandwich

www.bellhotelsandwich.co.uk

Sample menu choice:

Starter: yellow split pea soup

Main: baked barramundi fillet

Dessert: rich chocolate mousse

Price: £79.95 per adult, £39.95 per child.

Bartellas // Meopham

www.bartellas.com

Sample menu choice:

Starter: gravlax of salmon with dill mustard dressing and beetroot foam

Main: salmon and fennel fish cakes, poached egg, green beans, dill butter sauce

Dessert: traditional Christmas pudding, mince pie, brandy butter, custard

Price: £32 per person.

 

Hythe Imperial // Hythe

www.hytheimperial.co.uk

Sample menu choice:

Starter: monkfish goujons in panko breadcrumbs served with a rich tomato

and chorizo chutney, and lobster mayonnaise

Main: traditional beef Wellington served with garlic-roasted mashed potato, caramelised shallots, roasted root vegetables and a rich red wine jus

Dessert: dark chocolate caramel tart served with homemade raspberry ripple ice cream

Price: £85 per person.

 

The Oak On The Green // Bearsted

www.oakonthegreen.com

Sample menu choice:

Starter: house pâté

Main: slow-roasted belly of pork

Dessert: baked vanilla cheesecake

Price: £28.95 per person.

 

The George & Dragon // Speldhurst

www.speldhurst.com

Sample menu choice:

Starter: venison terrine, pistachios, tarragon, red onion marmalade and toasted sourdough

Main: beef fillet, foie gras, wild mushrooms, potato dauphinoise and buttered hispi cabbage

Dessert: apple tarte tatin, vanilla crème Chantilly

Price: £85 per person.

The Fighting Cocks // Horton Kirby

www.fightingcockshortonkirby.co.uk

Sample menu choice:

Starter: Devon Tickler mature cheddar bake with Harry Sparrow cider chutney and sweet balsamic baby onions

Main: Mr Parker’s Three Little Pigs Pie: shoulder, belly and loin with a crackling crust and apple sauce

Dessert: winter fruit crumble: mulled wine fruits of the forest with pecan crumble and custard

Price: £25 per adult, £18 per child (under 12).

 

King Charles Hotel // Gillingham

www.kingcharleshotel.co.uk

Sample menu choice:

Starter: Atlantic prawn and smoked salmon timbale

Main: roasted breast of Kentish turkey and ham

Dessert: blackberry and apple ice cream sundae

Price: £65 per adult, £32.50 per child.

 

Kathton House // Canterbury

www.kathtonhouse.com

Sample menu choice:

Starter: celeriac soup

Main: pork loin in parsley crumb served with sweet potato puree and crispy kale

Dessert: Christmas pudding with crème Anglaise

Price: £60 per person (two courses), £65 per person (three courses).

 

The Black Pig // Tunbridge Wells

www.theblackpig.net

Sample menu choice:

Starter: butternut squash, sweetcorn and red pepper soup with fresh bread

Main: turkey escalope with chestnut mash, peas and bacon in a white wine sauce

Dessert: chocolate praline, winter spiced ice cream, mulled cranberries

Price: £24.50 per person (two courses), £29.50 per person (three courses).

Bromley Court Hotel // Bromley

www.bromleycourthotel.co.uk

Sample menu choice:

Starter: creamy mushroom casserole, chives and crispy bacon

Main: seared fillet of salmon, tomato and basil velouté

Dessert: homemade Christmas pudding with brandy sauce

Price: £24.95 per person (two courses), £26.95 per person (three courses), £12.45 per child (two courses), £13.95 per child (three courses).

 

The Captain Digby // Broadstairs

www.captaindigby.co.uk

Sample menu choice:

Starter: cured meat board – salted beef, salami and oak-flamed chicken served with homemade chutneys and crusty bread

Main: roast Kentish turkey served with roasted and new potatoes and all the traditional trimmings

Dessert: chef’s own sherry trifle

Price: £62.95 per adult, £31 per child.

 

The Kings Head // Bessels Green

www.kingsheadbesselsgreen.co.uk

Sample menu choice:

Starter: Cornish lobster and crab ravioli

Main: packed fillet of wild turbot served with pomme mousseline, champagne pearls, crab beignet, sea aster, oyster mayonnaise and purslane oil

Dessert: cranberry financier with tarragon

Price: £79.95 per person.

 

Chapter One // Locks Bottom

www.chapteronerestaurant.co.uk

Sample menu choice:

Starter: duck liver and sauterne terrine, celeriac and apple salad, brioche

Main: Steamed John Dory stuffed with Cornish crab and scallop, étuvée of leek and chive cream sauce

Dessert: warm Christmas pudding with brandy sauce and brandy butter

Price: £115 per person.

Donnington Manor Hotel // Dunton Green

www.donningtonmanorhotel.co.uk

Sample menu choice:

Starter: warm black pudding Scotch egg on a bed of fine leaves, herb sweet potato rosti and grain mustard dressing

Main: venison Wellington with celeriac puree, braised red cabbage, wild berry and dark chocolate sauce

Dessert: passionfruit and lemon posset and ginger biscuit

Price: £69.95 per adult, £32.95 per child (7-12), £12.95 per child (under 12).

 

81 Beach Street // Deal

www.81beachstreet.co.uk

Sample menu choice:

Starter: a seafood taster of smoked salmon roulade, mini prawn cocktail and mackerel pâté on toast

Main: roasted crown of free-range turkey with roast potatoes, sage and onion stuffing, Yorkshire pudding, pigs in blankets, root vegetable puree, honey and mustard roasted parsnips, buttered sprouts, cranberry sauce, jugs of turkey gravy

Dessert: Mint parfait and chocolate rum truffle

Price: £79 per adult, £35 per child (under 8).

 

The Bullfinch // Riverhead

www.mcmullens.co.uk/bullfinch

Sample menu choice:

Starter: leek and truffle soup

Main: roast halibut with buttered new potatoes, spinach, white wine and chive cream

Dessert: boozy trifle

Price: £69.95 per adult, £35 per child (under 12).

 

The Wife Of Bath // Wye

www.thewifeofbath.com

Sample menu choice:

Starter: crispy duck’s egg, Jerusalem artichoke, cucumber, basil

Main: roast Kelly bronze turkey, pork and morcilla stuffing and all the trimmings

Dessert: dark chocolate tart, Folkestone sea salt, Sevillano olive oil

Price: £95 per person.

 

The Hand & Sceptre // Southborough

www.thehandandsceptre.co.uk

Sample menu choice:

Starter: pan-fried scallops with minted peas, tomato and crispy pancetta

Main: roasted turkey breast with fluffy beef-dripping roasted potatoes, chestnut and cranberry stuffing ball and a Cumberland and red onion pig-in-blanket. Served with gravy, bread sauce and a mini cranberry pie

Dessert: brioche bread and butter pudding with an apricot glaze and vanilla custard

Price: £75.95 per person.

 

Hadlow Manor // Hadlow

www.hadlowmanor.co.uk

Sample menu choice:

Starter: treacle-cured salmon, orange aioli with a cucumber and grape compote

Main: roast butternut and spinach Wellington with a garlic cream sauce

Dessert: caramel tart and butterscotch sauce served with honeycomb ice cream and a hazelnut garnish

Price: £69 per adult, £29 per child (5-12), £10 per child (2-4).

 

The Goudhurst Inn // Goudhurst

www.thegoudhurstinn.com

Sample menu choice:

Starter: pressed ham hock, fennel and orange with mustard mayonnaise and sourdough

Main: pan-fried stone bass, confit potato, wilted kale, lobster and mussel bisque

Dessert: raspberry and chocolate profiteroles, dried raspberry crumble,

with shaved white chocolate

Price: £70 per adult, £35 per child (under 12).

 

The George & Dragon // Chipstead

www.georgeanddragonchipstead.com

Sample menu choice:

Starter: wild mushroom arancini with grated parmesan and roasted garlic aioli

Main: traditional roast turkey with pigs-in-blankets, stuffing, roast potatoes and seasonal vegetables

Dessert: traditional flamed Christmas pudding with brandy butter and fresh cream

Price: £28.95 per person for dinner, £24.95 per person for lunch.

The Granville // Canterbury

www.thegranvillecanterbury.co.uk

Sample menu choice:

Starter: fish duo – smoked trout tartlet and seared king scallop on curried cauliflower puree topped with pea shoots

Main: three bird roast – slow-roasted turkey, duck and pheasant, roast potatoes, Yorkshire puddings, served with glazed carrots, roasted parsnips, garlic and rosemary puree, almond buttered Brussels sprouts, pigs-in-blankets and red wine jus

Dessert: rich salted caramel and chocolate fondant with coconut and cinnamon ice cream

Price: £75 per person.

 

The White Hart // Brasted

www.whitehartbrasted.co.uk

Sample menu choice:

Starter: thyme-roasted portobello mushrooms in a creamy chestnut sauce topped with goat curd and served with rustic toast

Main: homemade British beef burger with grilled chorizo, smoked Irish cheddar, crispy onions, tomato relish, sweet potato fries and aioli

Dessert: chocolate orange parfait with orange curd, Belgian chocolate sauce and garnished with a strawberry and mint salsa

Price: £26.95 per adult, £11.95 per child.

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