Food and drink news from around Kent

Happy Christmas from Tenterden!

Happy Christmas from Tenterden! - Credit: Archant

From a new brewery for Ashford to a round up of Christmas Farmers’ Markets and last chance to win a festive hamper

Kent Food & Drink Hero

The Kent Life and Kent on Sunday Food & Drink Awards Food and Drink Hero for 2015, Bob Taylor, has been vice-chairman of Kent Farmers’ Market Association for the last seven years, and manager of Shipbourne market for more than 10. Benjamin Dent, Chairman of KFMA, was delighted that Bob’s contribution has been recognised. “He works relentlessly to support the 50 markets and more than 650 stallholders across the county, yet few people realise this, because he works quietly doing the essential, ongoing jobs that no one sees, but which make a significant difference. I am thrilled that Kent Life and Kent on Sunday have given him the public acknowledgement that he deserves.”

New brewery for Ashford

Plans by Curious Drinks Limited, the beer and cider subsidiary of Chapel Down winery, to open a new state-of-the-art brewery and visitor attraction in the heart of Ashford have been warmly welcomed.

An ambitious £1m crowd-funding campaign has been launched with Seedrs, one of the world’s leading equity raising platforms, the proceeds of which will be used to develop the brewery and visitor attraction in Ashford town.

There will be a range of benefits for those who sign up to the scheme, including a share in the business, free brewery tours, 25 per cent discounts on beer and cider produced by Curious Drinks Limited, and the chance to have their names etched on brewery fermentation tanks.

Most Read

The money raised will help Curious Drinks to grow domestic and international distribution. Subject to planning permission, the brewery could be operational by December 2016 and will help Chapel Down to consolidate its brewing and bottling operations into a single site.

Frazer Thompson, ceo of Chapel Down and Curious Drinks, said: “Curious Drinks is a unique proposition; a range of beers and cider made by winemakers, benefiting from our passion for ingredients, our thirst for knowledge and our dedication to creating the best possible product.

“Demand for our Curious beers and ciders has increased significantly and we have reached the point where we need to build a brand new brewery.”


Win a Christmas hamper

Kent Life has teamed up with Tenterden Chamber of Commerce to offer one lucky reader the chance to win a festive hamper, packed with Kentish goodies. All you have to do is answer the following question.

A Christmas Carol is written by:

a) Oliver Goldsmith

b) Charles Dickens

c) William Thackeray

Jot your answer down on a postcard and send it to: Tenterden Christmas Hamper Competition, Kent Life, Kent House, 81 Station Road, Ashford TN23 1PP. Alternatively, email your answer to, with Tenterden Christmas Hamper Competition in the subject line. Don’t forget to include your name, address and a contact telephone number with every entry.

Closing date: 18 December 2015

The editor’s decision is final. Any entries received after the closing date will not be eligible for entry. Normal Archant competition rules apply.

London style

Many readers either work in London or are regular visitors from Kent stations, but did you know that there are two main al fresco food quarters located just off Regent Street away from the bustle and crowds?

Neither did we, but Kent Life selflessly investigated on your behalf and discovered Heddon Street and Swallow Street, both offering visitors a place to relax within its stylish cafés, restaurants and bars.

Swallow Street is home to the oldest Indian restaurant in the UK, Veeraswamy, as well as Bentley’s Oyster Bar & Grill, owned by Michelin star chef Richard Corrigan.

The Heddon Street Food Quarter, a secluded pedestrian oasis, has recently welcomed Heddon Street Kitchen by Gordon Ramsay, from whom we borrowed these delicious Christmas cocktails for you to make at home.

? More info at:

Christmas Pudding Hard Shake

25ml Bacardi Oakheart spiced rum

25ml Pedro Ximenez sherry

10ml Gingerbread syrup

1/4 Orange zest

Vanilla ice cream

Blend all ingredients together

Panamare Bellini

1 whole Panatone

100ml Amaretto

100ml Cointreau

100ml Water

Blend all ingredients into a purée. Stir two barspoons of the purée

with Champagne over ice and pour into a flute.

Dartford nursery gain gold

KTB Kids in Dartford has won a prestigious award showing the high standard of food served to the children.

It’s taken 10 months for the nursery to work towards the Food for Life Catering Mark and after an inspection earlier this month, KTB Kids Director Katie Ballard got the news she was hoping for: a Gold Standard award.

She said: “We’ve been awarded the highest award for our achievements to meet the standards and are so pleased. It’s been hard work, it has taken a lot of effort but when you are shaping the future eating habits of children, it’s so important.”

The Gold Standard looks at where food is sourced, how it is produced and acknowledges that Gold Standard holders such as KTB Kids address issues of health, climate change and animal welfare.

The inspector said in their report: “A very comprehensive menu system with a full recipe book available to parents, detailing all the meals and snacks they may be served. What the children eat is very high in importance on the overall package for the nursery.”

More information at:

Kent’s Farmers’ Markets

Michel Roux Jr is patron of Kent’s Farmers’ Markets and wants to encourage people to visit their local market this Christmas. “December is great time to visit one of the county’s 50 Farmers’ Markets, whether you are stocking up with delicious food and drink for the festive season, or seeking present ideas which are guaranteed to be much better received than another pair socks.”

Events this month include Bridge’s candlelit market in the evening of 17 December, or Wye’s market on 19 December, which will include cookery demonstrations and tips by Sparky the Community Chef.

? For details of all December’s festive Farmers’ Markets, see