Tuesday 16 August 2011

The Sportsman, Faversham

Superb pork belly

The Sportsman gets nothing but rave reviews. Of the frothing at the mouth and hyperventilating with praise variety. It's a cosy pub on a bleak stretch of English coastline that serves up really lovely pub grub, cooked very well and sourced perfectly from marvellous local produce. Yes, it's been overhyped in my opinion - but it's certainly a place for a feel good, hearty, seasonal lunch.

Oysters with warm beurre blanc, pickled cucumber and caviar - yes, as good as they sound

Excellent grilled slip sole in seaweed butter

The food and wine are terrific, although the surrounds are dated and entirely devoid of frills. And that's fine with me since the food's good -  but just don't go expecting something different. Because that's the thing - you travel about 2 hours from your front door in London to your first drink at The Sportsman, so it HAS to be good.

Fab local chicken

This meal was eaten on a rainy summers weekend, some weeks ago now. So, don't test me on the details. I'll let the pictures do the talking and leave you with my general impression. Not quite the food Mecca I was expecting, but sverall a lovely lunch, with highlights like superb pork belly and slip sole worthy of the train ride and the taxi ride from London.

Cheese platter

Chocolate tart

Iced cream cheese and strawberry (with little meringuey bits on top) - original but ho hum

And to finish....

We ate a la carte, but book ahead if you want to try the tasting menu.

The Sportsman, Faversham Road, Seasalter, Whitstable, Kent (Tel: 012 2727 3370)

Sportsman on Urbanspoon


  1. We went for my birthday last year- I still remember those oysters. I loved that the chicken and lamb came from the farm over the way run by the school for the deaf. They were beautiful.

  2. Short and sweet Carly, loved the post. Sent the link to Dr G, possibly a belated birthday meal... How much did the meal cost, out of curiosity, and do you think it was worth the two hour drive or would you just go to a similar restaurant in London?

    Luiz @ The London Foodie

  3. Overhyped you say - but it looks delicious... maybe the pics were better than the reality?

  4. Hi Luiz, I think it cost around £100 plus for 2 people. My feeling at the end of the meal was that this place was probably a real stand out when it first became known, but now there are more and more places who follow the local provenance, quality ingredients, simple thing done well philosophy. I'm sure you would enjoy it, but you may be able to find something closer to home that is just as good if you do your research. I expected more given what I had previously read.

    Hi GC, yep it photographed well, and was really lovely, but just not the real stand out that I had expected overall.

  5. We went last year for my birthday- cold and rainy- the perfect kind of weather to huddle by a fire and drink plenty of red. The poached oysters were the absolute stand out for me.

  6. I get the impression that people who go for the tasting menu are more enamoured with the place than a la carte. Still, beautiful setting eh.


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