It was the Easter holidays and I had a spare 24 hours so what better thing to do than to go to a new place and try out the eating establishments.
I’d heard great things about Whitstable from various foodie London friends – and as it’s only 90 minutes away I thought it was time to give it a go. It was a great choice – a veritable culinary extravaganza – I just wished I had more space for more food! Here’s the lowdown on what and where I ate…
Whitstable Oyster Company: I started my culinary adventure with a light lunch at the Whitstable Oyster Company on the seafront. Potted crab, half lobster, thrice fried chips and some pale rose – between two – delish!
The Forge: Pudding came in the form of award-winning homemade ice cream from The Forge – a hut on the seafront. I had two scoops – coconut and rum & raisin – servings were so generous that one scoop would more than suffice. They also do an ice cream soufflé – one scoop of ice cream served between two freshly made donuts – I was assured that this was amazing but unfortunately I didn’t have enough room in my tummy!
Bay of Bengal: By dinnertime I was ready to spice things up a bit so opted for the Bay of Bengal on Oxford Street. They offer a really delicious if rather too extensive menu of halal food. We had the world’s biggest tiger prawns (in truth they weren’t much smaller than the half lobster) to start with, followed by chicken tikka masala (a British staple if ever there was one!), butter chicken, Bombay potatoes, various nans and pilau rice. It was fabulous food and the staff were super friendly – the main waiter had only recently moved to join the family business from south London – so we had a good old chat followed by complementary drinks.
Duke of Cumberland: We were staying the night in a room above the Duke of Cumberland on the High Street – and had been previously advised that the breakfast was a real treat. We weren’t disappointed. Opting for the veggies option, the chef informed us that he free-wheeled the veggie plate adding whatever tasty morsels he happened to have in the kitchen that day to the staple of eggs, mushrooms, tomatoes and beans – we had some gorgeous fresh asparagus plus a butternut squash bubble and squeak. My only complaint is that I barely had enough space for lunch 3 hours later after even after a 10km walk.
Wee Willie Winkles Kitchen: On the South Key – Wee Willie Winkles is more of a fish market than a restaurant – but the sun was shining and there was a free table outside so it seemed like the perfect spot for our starter. The seafood was amazing and we had a selection of oysters, prawns and whelks. It was really fresh and tasty – not to mention exceptionally good value.
The Forge: With our stomachs well and truly open and ready for the main course we wondered back down the seafront to The Forge for that other English staple – fish and chips on the beach. Sitting in deckchairs we enjoyed cod and chips followed by just the one scoop of award-winning ice cream. The fish was so large that we were able to share one portion between two – and at just £6.50 it was another very reasonably priced meal.
So the 24 hours were up and it was time to head back to London. I was truly satiated and most definitely impressed with the culinary delights on offer from this once humble Kent seaside town.