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20 of the best places for a Christmas meet-up in Kent

George Vaults. Credit: Ashley Cummins Photography
George Vaults. Credit: Ashley Cummins Photography

Whether you want a cosy pub or a decadent dining room, there are an array of stunning places to get together with friends this Christmastime...

The Rum Clinic

For a taste of the Caribbean on a cold December evening, this venue is in the heart of Folkestone and the place to go for soul, funk, reggae vibe, plus more than 150 rums.

The Folkestone venue was created by Karen Witter – AKA Mama K – who had a desire to bring a taste of the Caribbean to the heart of Folkestone.

Karen set up The Rum Clinic to share her love for the Jamaican culture and now people flock to West Terrace for the great rums and Caribbean music in a homely atmosphere.

Search “The Rum Clinic” on Facebook for updates.

Folkestone Harbour

This year’s Folkestone Festive Marketplace at Folkestone Harbour will be a veritable Christmassy oasis of independent market stalls serving delicious food and drink.

With more indoor dining options available this year, it really is the place to go to get into that festive feeling in the build up to the big day.

Open every Friday from 4pm until 8pm and every Saturday and Sunday from 11am until 6pm until December 24.

folkestoneharbourarm.co.uk

Great British Life: The Cloudberry (c) Saltwick MediaThe Cloudberry (c) Saltwick Media

The Cloudberry

Set in a Georgian townhouse with high ceilings, original wooden floors and tall sash windows, The Cloudberry is a fine place to gather with loved ones at Christmas.

It is located at the end of a stretch of small independent shops, pubs, and cafes in the historic High Weald town of Cranbrook.

This small 16-seat restaurant packs a punch bigger than its size, serving up cuisine inspired by the bistros of Provence and the osterias of Tuscany.

The food dished up is inspired by Spain, Scandinavia and Asia, and is a homage to the team’s love affair with good food.

The George Vaults

This upbeat venue is the place to go for a festive shindig with private hire available for the Lounge bar or Affinity.

Located in Rochester, The George Vaults was rediscovered in 2002 by father and son Mr Mark Lucas and Lloyd Haines-Lucas.

It was originally the George Inn and it boasts a vaulted crypt dating back to AD1325.

It retains the beautiful stained glass, the vault is one of the jewels in the crown of the beautiful town of Rochester.

georgevaults.com

The Ferry House

'Tis the season to eat, drink and be merry at the magnificent 16th century venue that is The Ferry House.

Kick back and enjoyed the roaring log fire and a festive feast which makes the most of the homegrown, family-farmed, local produce.

The Ferry House was awarded a prestigious 2AA Rosette in September, placing the Isle of Sheppey restaurant among one of only 21 restaurants in Kent to have the coveted award.

Quality is assured and all of the game is wild from the Harty Estate and the chefs process it in their own butchery on the same day.

theferryhouse.co.uk

Great British Life: Garden Room Restaurant, Port Lympne credit Jeff OliverGarden Room Restaurant, Port Lympne credit Jeff Oliver

Garden Room Restaurant

Head to Port Lympne Hotel’s Garden Room Restaurant for dinner and a festive drink... and why not stay overnight too?

Serving breakfast, lunch, Sunday roast and dinner, the restored garden room, which was originally the mansion’s stable yard, has an inviting contemporary dining space. It is open to the public as well as day visitors and short break guests.

aspinallfoundation.org/port-lympne/restaurants/

The Berry

Located in Deal, the multi-award winning, traditional pub specialises in serving quality real ale.

The multi-CAMRA award winning community alehouse is one of the top real ale pubs in the Dover district.

They also have a large selection of alcohol-free beers and fancy soft drinks to choose from.

Why not enjoy a brisk winter walk along Deal's seafront to get to the popular local?

Search “The Berry, Walmer” on Facebook

The Two Brewers

The Inn known as the 'Two Brewers' was built during the reign of Charles II in the year 1683.

The Rochester pub is in the centre of the historic high street where they have been serving up refreshingly-unique drinks since 1683.

Serving award winning cask conditioned ales, a variety of international and local draught and bottled beers, plus a good selection of wines and spirits, with an extensive range of malt whiskies and gins.

twobrewersrochester.com

The Black Horse Inn

This long-established freehold pub, restaurant and hotel is set in the Thurnham countryside, and offers great food, drink and accommodation.

At the heart of the Black Horse Inn is the restaurant and bar where there are Kentish hops and exposed beams to enjoy as well as a bespoke a la carte menu throughout the year.

They have a fantastic selection of local beers on offer from local producers such as Moot Brew Co or the creatively named HoppFuzz brewery.

blackhorse.builtbyjason.co.uk

The English Wine Room

The Whitstable venue offers private group tastings and events tailored to their guests preferences.

Over the course of two hours, in groups of ten to fourteen guests, the team sample eight local wines from the vineyards of Kent.

Visitors are invited to make tasting notes on each wine and learn of the grape varieties, locality of the vineyard and the story of the winemaker.

englishwineroom.com

The Potting Shed

Christmas is the perfect excuse to treat yourself with a tasty drink at this attractive venue.

Sit by the fire and enjoy cocktails enriched with winter spice and garnished with glitz.

The chefs have expertly crafted the dazzling holiday menus to indulge the senses.

They have both two and three course options available.

elitepubs.com

Great British Life: FugglesFuggles

Fuggles Beer Café

With branches in both Tunbridge Wells and Tonbridge, the team specialise in the best British and European beers and great wine and spirits.

Created in 2013 in Tunbridge Wells, the aim was to create a mix of a pub, Belgian style cafe and bar rolled in to one.

The second pub-cum-bar-cum-cafe opened in 2017 in an old furniture makers shop at the top end of the High Street in Tonbridge.

In 2021 they also added a third site with the opening of Fuggles Bottle Shop on Camden Road in Tunbridge Wells.

Why not catch up with friends for a drink and bite to eat with their grilled cheese sandwiches or sample some of the British cheese and charcuterie boards.

fugglesbeercafe.co.uk

The Dove at Dargate

Faversham’s The Dove at Dargate is a picturesque gastropub in the heart of the Kent countryside.

It opened in 2018, after head chef William Shenow-Brady and manager Sophie Webb, decided to start up their own establishment.

Available at the bar will be a range of premium beers, ales and spirits and a selection of the finest English and international wines.

The Dove offers an award winning menu of fresh seasonal and local produce that is presented to the highest of standards, partnered with our relaxed and friendly environment.

Sit by the cosy log burning fire inside for the cold winter months.

dovedargate.co.uk

The Pantiles Tap

This real ale and craft beer paradise, in the heart of The Pantiles shopping area, has regularly changing varieties from the UK sourced and imported.

They also have a vast selection of artisan ciders – and as the winners of the West Kent CAMRA Cider Pub of the Year, they know what they’re talking about.

thepantiles.com/shops/the-pantiles-tap/

The Dog House

The cosy, and very dog friendly micro pub, is the place to go for a catch up with friends when you want your fur-babies to join the festive cheer.

Housed in what was originally the barn for convalescing dogs from the vets, The Dog House is offers local ales, homemade food and live music.

They also have a vinyl collection where visitors can play or bring their own along and listen while they relax with a drink.

thedoghousepub.co.uk

The Vine Inn

This Tenterden restaurant looks resplendent at Christmas time with its classic Victorian facade and modern, stylish interior.

Get cosy in the comfortable sofas and make the most of the festive menu including such goodies as Chicken liver and Brandy parfait, Larch Farm roast turkey, aged beef burger, pork and sage stuffing, turkey bacon, cranberry sauce and buttermilk ranch dressing, pigs in blankets, chips, dipping gravy and traditional double stout Christmas pudding, Clock House Farm mulled berry compote, hazelnut toffee brittle, berry sauce and more.

vineinntenterden.co.uk

The Thomas Tallis Alehouse

This Canterbury pub serves a wide range of beers from the cask as well as in bottles and cans.

They offer over 30 beers at any one time and the beer selection is constantly changing.

Alongside the beers they have a selection of great wines including from Barnsole Vineyard at Staple, near Ash and they also stock Prosecco.

Ciders also feature and showcase the excellent cider makers of Kent.

thethomastallisalehouse.co.uk

The Kentish Hare

Chris and James Tanner have assembled a great professional team focusing on delivering the best of local food and complemented by a specially selected range of wines, beers and spirits.

The bar menu at the Tunbridge venue is also available in all dining areas.

It opens from 11am for coffee and drinks and they offer a set menu for lunch served from 12 to 2.30pm Wednesday to Saturday and 12 to 3.30pm on Sundays.

Walk-ins are very welcome, but reservations are advised during busy periods.

thekentishhare.com

The East Kent Pub

Natalie and Andrew Hennessy took over they pub in Whitstable in 2018.

After 15 years of Natalie working in Australia and setting up her own bistro, the couple relocated to Kent.

They have brought with them a fresh, warm and relaxed which keeps guests coming back for more.

theeastkentpub.com

The Herbalist

Christmas is the perfect excuse to treat yourself and your loved ones to exquisite meals and delectable drinks.

Sit by the fire and enjoy hearty roasts, artfully presented desserts and cocktails enriched with winter spice.

elitepubs.com/venue/the-herbalist/menus



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