Restaurants With A View
A good meal out is something we should all do from time to time. It’s a night off from cooking for whoever has those duties in the home, and it’s great to see what the local establishments (and those further afield) have to offer. Whether you’re out for a specific reason or just because you feel like doing something different, there is plenty of choice. What’s more, if you add good food to a great atmosphere and – something very special that not all restaurants can claim to have – a gorgeous view, you really can’t go wrong. So here are some of the restaurants with the best views in Kent; bon appetit!
Castle View Restaurant // Leeds (Maidstone)
The Castle View Restaurant at Leeds Castle has the most unique view; it looks directly out into the ‘loveliest castle in the world’. It is a beautiful thing to look at, but then, at the Castle View Restaurant (so aptly named), everyone is beautiful; the restaurant itself is oak beamed and relaxed, and you can enjoy a light lunch or a wide range of cakes and pastries in the day time or a full evening meal by night. There are also chef’s special to try, so no two meals at the Castle View need be the same, and all ingredients are seasonal and local.
Leeds Castle, Maidstone ME17 1PL
Rocksalt // Folkestone
The website describes Rocksalt as ‘food with a view’ and it is certainly that. The restaurant sits on Folkestone Harbour with a cantilevered position over the English Channel offering some of the finest views around. Whether you sit in the bar or the restaurant, you can’t fail to be impressed with what you can see outside thanks to the floor-to-ceiling glass windows and doors. In the summer months you can even enjoy food on the sun-drenched terrace. Rocksalt is close to plenty of Kentish farms and producers, ensuring that the ingredients used are as local as possible.
4-5 Fishmarket, Folkestone CT19 6AA
Hythe Bay Seafood // Deal
Hythe Bay Seafood has three different restaurants and you can find them in Hythe, Deal and Dover. The food is exceptional in all of them, but if it’s the view you’ve come for, Deal is the place to head. Hythe Bay Seafood in Deal overlooks the picturesque seafront, placing it in the heart of the town and in the perfect position for visitors and locals alike to enjoy the food there. Seafood (direct from the day’s catch) is the speciality at this restaurant, of course, but the menu isn’t limited to fish and crustacea. There are many vegetarian and meat options too.
41-45 Beach Street, Deal CT14 6HY
Buoy & Oyster // Margate
Margate’s Buoy & Oyster has a lot going for it. The food is marvellous – different yet with enough familiarity to give anyone eating it plenty of comfort – and the views outside the stunning restaurant are incredible. As the name suggests, oysters feature heavily on the menu here, and that’s no bad thing. There is also crab, prawns, a variety of very fresh fish, as well as non-fish options should that be your preference. The wine list is impressive too!
44 High Street, Margate CT9 1DS
The Beacon // Tunbridge Wells
The Beacon is a family orientated restaurant and is proud of that fact, as well it should be since it does it all so well. With a restaurant, private dining, a bar and a wonderful terrace offering those highly regarded views (the whole place is set in 17 acres and there are three stunning lakes there too, so there is much to look at), The Beacon has transformed dining in Tunbridge Wells and taken it to the next level. Each season offers a new and exclusive menu which uses only the ingredients that can be found in the local area. As the year moves on so too does the menu, giving diners the chance to experience real intuitive menu creation.
Tea Garden Lane, Tunbridge Wells TN3 9JH
The Galley // Ramsgate
The menu at The Galley is varied, giving options such as burritos, spicy chicken wings, seafood and salads, as well as different alcoholic and soft drinks, but since each item is prepared with love and care, there doesn’t need to be a theme – it’s all good and you’re sure to enjoy whatever you choose. Being at The Galley is all about having a good time, meeting with friends, eating great food and relaxing as you look out over Ramsgate’s famous marina where you can watch yachts and boats cruising back and forth.
3 Westcliff Arcade, Ramsgate CT11 8LH
The Bricklayers Arms // Chipstead
The view that is so enjoyed by so many at The Bricklayers Arms is one that overlooks a lovely lake – tranquil, peaceful and a favourite spot of Winston Churchill’s (Chipstead is perhaps 16 miles or so from Chartwell in Westerham, where Churchill liked to spend his time painting), this pub and restaurant was once three terraced cottages and is not a great place to enjoy amazing food in a perfect atmosphere with those lovely views.
You’re sure to get a warm welcome at The Bricklayers Arms, whether you’re a local or a visitor, as the pub’s owners are very involved in the local community and want everyone to enjoy what The Bricklayers Arms, Chipstead and Sevenoaks itself has to offer.
39-41 Chevening Road, Chipstead, Sevenoaks TN13 2RZ
Bon Appetit // Ramsgate
Ramsgate’s harbour is always a draw when it comes to views. Who can resist watching the sun set over the Channel – can there be a better feeling than this kind of peace? And little boats (and larger yachts) bobbing about definitely give a picturesque kind of feel to proceedings. Bon Appetit can offer this view and the feelings that come with it all wrapped up in a cosy, family run business that has relaxed and enjoyable dining at its heart. You can enjoy a quick snack here or a longer, larger meal to linger over. The choice is yours. Everything is homemade and prepared to order, and as much as possible is locally sourced so you’ll find that the menu can change depending on the season.
4-5 W Cliff Arcade, Ramsgate CT11 8LH
Delphi // Ramsgate
Ramsgate’s harbour is such a popular place to eat by that it’s no wonder there are many different restaurants all offering the view – but it’s not always going to be the same view, though, since the harbour itself is a large space and you’ll see different things depending on where you’re looking. At Delphi, a fabulous Greek restaurant right on the harbour, you’ll get those amazing views that you’ve been looking for coupled with some stunning authentic Greek food. What more could you ask for?
If you’re not sure what food to order, don’t worry – there are a lot of different mixed platters to pick from, giving you a proper taste of Greece without you having to make a difficult choice. Or, why not ask the knowledgeable staff what they recommend?
49 Harbour Parade, Ramsgate CT11 8LJ
The Plough Inn // Stalisfield
The owners of The Plough Inn are both fascinated by food, and have over three decades of experience in the food and hospitality industry between them. This, as well as their love of the countryside and the community that comes with it, means that dining at the Plough Inn is a truly rural affair, and one that feels completely idyllic. People love to visit The Plough Inn because the food is great, but it’s unpretentious. It’s ‘normal’ food but done in a very skilled way; familiar and impressive.
The view that inspired us to include The Plough Inn in this list is of the North Downs as they roll away, making the entire area look so beautiful.
Stalisfield Road, Stalisfield, Faversham ME13 0HY
JoJo’s // Whitstable
JoJo’s in Whitstable is an intimate place to dine on meze, meat and fish. You can enjoy lunch here from Thursday to Sunday and dinner from Thursday to Saturday (although during school holiday you’ll find that they open on Wednesday too). The food here has a definite Mediterranean influence and includes fresh Greek salads, grilled sardines, a variety of cheeses, authentic chorizo and plenty of superb deserts too. The local area is where much of the produce comes from (although some imported food is important in order to offer a truly authentic experience) and JoJo’s now has an alcohol licence, so there is no need to bring your own. There are some excellent wines to choose from as well as Fentiman’s soft drinks.
As for the view, if you enjoy looking out over Whitstable Bay – and really, who doesn’t? – then you’ll love eating here; it’s got everything you need.
2 Herne Bay Road, Whitstable CT5 2LQ
The Waterfront Restaurant // Dover
Located in the Dover Marina Hotel, The Waterfront Restaurant offers all kinds of clues as to what its special view is going to be. If you guessed Dover Marina, you’d be spot on. There really is something so relaxing and enjoyable about having a freshly prepared meal right by the sea, and at The Waterfront in Dover you can experience it all. There are a number of choices as to what and where you dine – there’s The Waterfront Café, the bar, and of course the restaurant itself. Each one has its own unique take on what relaxed yet special dining should be.
The chefs at The Waterfront prepare each dish with as much love and skill as the last, and the imagination that they use is impressive to say the least. Items such as warm pigeon salad, chicken breast filled with chorizo and salted caramel cheesecake make this a mouth watering place to dine.
Best Western Dover Marina Hotel & Spa, Waterloo Crescent, Dover CT17 9BP
The Pepperbox Inn // Harrietsham
Traditional Kentish pubs are a dream, and The Pepperbox Inn, just a stone’s throw from Leeds Castle, is one of the prettiest, friendliest of these pubs. To top it all off, it also has an impressive and delicious menu in its restaurant, as well as breathtaking views across the famous Weald of Kent. This is the place that walkers, cyclists, riders and those who are out for a day in the most beautiful countryside will choose to stop at because it just looks so pretty, but it’s also the place where people will head when they have a destination in mind, because it has more than good looks.
Windmill Hill, Harrietsham, Maidstone ME17 1LP
Café des Amis // Canterbury
Café des Amis is a mix of Mediterranean and Mexican food, and it goes together perfectly. Precise flavouring and skilled pairings make this a place to go with friends and loved ones to spend time savouring all the authentic combinations that you can find here.
Café des Amis is situated perfectly to enable diners to enjoy the fabulous views out across Canterbury’s much-loved Westgate Gardens, and if you are planning a day out in the city, choosing to eat your lunch or dinner here is a great idea – you’re close to everything you need to be, you can watch the city as it goes by the window, be enthralled by the ancient architecture and eat some special food too.
95 St. Dunstans Street, Canterbury CT2 8AA
Cullins Yard // Dover
From its enviable position, it’s possible to watch the sun set behind Kent’s most famous landmark, the White Cliffs of Dover. That’s a view that it is impossible to replicate, so it’s no wonder that Cullins Yard is on our list. You’ll find Cullins Yard in what was once an old shipyard in Dover Marina that has now been rather beautifully converted. The restaurant itself really sets a scene, specialising in World War II memorabilia and some gorgeous sculptures – come here to learn about history, to enjoy art and to eat well.
Everything at Cullins Yard is cooked fresh to order using ingredients that are supplied each day by the butchers and fishmongers who are all part of the Cullins Yard story. There are plenty of vegetarian options as well, so every taste is clearly catered for.
11 Cambridge Road, Dover CT17 9BY
Café du Soleil // Canterbury
The fact that Café du Soleil has a lovely position right by the River Stour in Canterbury and therefore has gorgeous views across it is just one of the many reasons to enjoy a meal here. The building that now houses the Café du Soleil was once a wool store in the 18th century, and its history has always been of great importance, so much so that English Heritage gave the owners a grant to restore it – you can see reclaimed building material from the 14th-century city wall used in the building process.
This quaint restaurant (there is even a bridge across the river to access it) serves food that is influenced by Provence, Italy and even the Pacific Rim, and the fusion that this creates is an exciting and flavoursome one. Where possible, and where recipes allow, the food is cooked in the onsite wood burning oven, giving it a unique and vibrant taste.
5 Pound Lane, Canterbury CT2 8AA
Posillipo // Faversham
Faversham is a special place to while away a lunch hour or even a whole day, and if you can combine a trip there with eating at Posilipo then you’ll make it even better. This authentic Neapolitan restaurant provides superb home-cooked meals in a cosy, intimate setting. There is an extensive wine list to top things off with, and of course, we must not forget the views. In the summer, the outdoor eating area is opened up and the views over Faversham creek really are impressive. This is the kind of place where you could easily enjoy a long, leisurely lunch and you’ll certainly be reluctant to leave at the end.
Provender Mill, Belvedere Road, Faversham ME13 7LD
Grove Ferry Inn // Canterbury
The Grove Ferry Inn is a little out of the way, but it’s worth making the effort to get to when you realise you can happily sit right by the River Stour and watch the boats as they trundle past. In fact, you could even take a boat trip to the restaurant itself and really arrive in style. The food here is excellent, full of flavour and locally sourced; sometimes even as local as the kitchen garden. For a bit of added enjoyment there are pigs and chickens to admire too.
Grove Ferry Road, Upstreet, Canterbury CT3 4BP
The Minnis Bay Bar & Brasserie // Birchington
The Minnis Bay Bar & Brasserie is stylish, relaxed and has the most gorgeous view of Minnis Bay itself. The food here is British classic with a contemporary twist, meaning that you’ll find things you recognise done in a new and different way. It’s an exciting place to visit, even better when you try the food and sample something from the extensive wine life.
The Minnis Bay Bar & Brasserie opens for breakfast and offers lunches and dinners too – there is even a kiosk serving takeaway snacks and ice creams so you can admire the view on the go.
The Parade, Birchington CT7 9QP
Three Daws // Gravesend
The Three Daws really is the place to go if you love history, intrigue and lovely views (as well as good food and a friendly atmosphere, of course). It was first built in the 1400s and it’s where smugglers met to plot their dastardly deeds. It’s even thought to be haunted. Today it is a much more pleasant place to be thanks to live music, barbecues, cocktail nights and a great menu that offers tasty food at a great price.
Regarding the view, it’s a superb one that goes right across the Gravesend Straight of the River Thames. Sit and watch this famous river go by and you can almost imagine what things might have been like all those centuries ago.
Town Pier, Gravesend DA11 0BJ
The Tartar Frigate // Broadstairs
As far as interesting goes, the Tartar Frigate is close to the top of the list since this is one of the only 18th-century flint restaurants left in Kent. As well as this claim to fame, it has often been regarded as one of the best seafood restaurants in the county, and the view over wonderful Viking Bay caps everything off perfectly.
37-39 Harbour Street, Broadstairs CT10 1EU
The Zetland Arms // Kingsdown
The beach in Kingsdown is a lovely one, and the Zetland Arms sits right on it, so you already know that the views are going to be exceptional. You feel as though you can almost touch the waves from the patio and the smell of the sea is everywhere. It’s truly picturesque. The location is fantastic, of course, but so is the food, so you can rest assured that you will enjoy both when you visit the Zetland Arms. The main item on the menu is the fresh fish that is caught daily right near to the restaurant, but there is plenty more besides.
If you enjoy real ale, and local at that (from Faversham’s Shepherd Neame), the Zetland Arms can provide it too.
Wellington Parade, Kingsdown, Deal CT14 8AF
The Ferry House Inn // Harty
The Ferry House Inn in the tiny hamlet of Harty on the Isle of Sheppey is a 15th-century inn that has been thoroughly updated without losing any of its considerable charm. As well as excellent ‘pub grub’, there is a fine dining menu and, to make everything even better, the pub’s owners farm their own beef, shoot their own game and even grow their own vegetables and herbs in the kitchen garden.
The views out across the River Swale are lovely and on a clear day you can see much of the neighbouring nature reserve, which is calm and peaceful – a lovely way to enjoy your home-cooked food.
Harty Ferry Road, Leysdown-on-Sea, Sheerness ME12 4BQ