Ben’s top ten

Ben’s top ten

This blog is for people living in or visiting Tonbridge, Kent. It’s based on the conversations I have daily at Sulston’s Kitchen about all the great places to eat and drink in and around the town. I am often asked for recommendations and these are always based on places I have personally been to. I thought I’d put my top picks into a blog format so that you have a point of reference and it can also be shared amongst friends to let everyone know about the great food and drink we have on offer. Some of these places are hidden gems but in the interest of supporting other local independents, I’m sharing them with you!

There are plenty more amazing places I haven’t listed but these are my favorites.

My Top 10 places to go (and what for):

 

  1. Brunch:

Daily Bread, Rusthall

Open Tuesday – Sunday

Literally nothing comes close to the brunch here. This cute little restaurant in the center of Rusthall is really cozy, family friendly and really welcoming. And the food… well to start, they bake all their own bread; smoke their own bacon as well as making their own baked beans. For me the full English is a must and I like to follow it with their freshly prepared pancakes topped with fruit compote. There is so much more on the menu.

 

  1. Coffee:

65mm, Tonbridge

Open 7 days a week (keep an eye out on social media as they sometimes close for private events)

When people are as passionate as owners Jade and David, you know you are in for a good cup of coffee! They serve a house espresso roasted by Cast Iron Roasters in West Sussex. Along side this they have a guest espresso and filter that change regularly. These have included rare coffees from China and Panama and they have all been roasted by some of the best roasters in the UK so you always know you will get an amazing cup. If you love coffee, have a chat with them about what they have on offer and if you just simply want your go to coffee, sit back and enjoy. Takeaway available too.

 

  1. Cake:

Beyond the Grounds, Tonbridge

Open Tuesday – Sunday

Possibly the best view in Tonbridge, next to the river, overlooking the castle, and on a nice day you can sit outside. They have an ever-changing selection of delicious cakes displayed in the cafe. My personal favorite is the chocolate, banana and peanut. They also serve yummy scones with clotted cream and strawberry jam and have a great selection of teas and coffees to go with them.

 

  1. Bread:

The Bakehouse, Tonbridge

Open Monday – Saturday

Without a doubt, The Bakehouse has the freshest and best baked sour dough bread that I have tasted. They have a huge variety in a beautiful window display including, my favorite, the amazing seeded light rye. Plus, on a Saturday they bake giant trays of focaccia with things like parma ham, ricotta, tomatoes and olives which make the perfect lunch.

 

  1. Fine dining:

The Twenty Six, Southborough

Open Tuesday – Saturday

Easily the best fine dining restaurant in the area. Relaxed but efficient service in a beautiful setting. They pay great attention to detail and have some lovely touches in the restaurant itself. When it comes to the food well, it is another level. Having eaten in a lot of restaurants over the years this place has the balance just right. The food is experimental (as it is called a ‘test kitchen’) but when skilled chefs experiment with food they know what they are doing so every dish is carefully thought out and executed to the highest standard.

 

  1. Beer:

Fuggles Beer Cafe, Tonbridge

Open 7 days a week

The selection of beer in here is insane and the staff are super helpful so if all you know is that you like beer, either take a chance or talk to the staff who will be more than happy to advise and offer samples. I’m sure the staff have tried every beer in there so don’t be shy to ask for help.

All I would say is beware of the high percentage beers that taste like they are low percentages… speaking from experience!

 

  1. Pop ups:

The Old Fire Station, Tonbridge

Check out their social media for the next events.

They have hosted fine dining chefs from across the country, Master Chef contestants as well as talented local chefs, they hold quiz nights to support local charities and much more. The venue is beautiful with stripped back bear brick walls and artwork from local artists on the walls. They are huge promoters of local produce so check out the bar for some great Kentish wines and spirits including Greensand Ridge gin as well as their very own T.O.F.S beer and cider.

 

  1. Curry:

Turmeric Gold, Tudeley

Open 7 days a week

I was recommended this place as soon as we moved to Tonbridge. It was described to me as ‘like curries like you get in India’. I have never been to India but the best curry I have ever tasted was in Durban, South Africa and I agree, the curries here are really good! They offer eat in or take out options and both are always consistently excellent.

 

  1. Turkish:

Havat, Tonbridge

Open 7 days a week

I have never known it not be packed full. Yet no matter how busy they are, you never feel it as a customer. The place has a really great buzz about it and the staff are on the ball! They are so great with children. The food is delicious, all cooked in their open kitchen in the clay oven or over the charcoal grill. I think I have tried pretty much everything on the menu and it has all been outstanding. I always order a Pide on the side as they describe it as ‘a pizza but not as you know it’, it’s very tasty.

 

  1. Ice cream:

Creams Factory (not to be confused with the chain ‘Creams’)

Open 7 days a week

No one ever needs a reason to eat ice cream, well this is technically gelato (the Italians version of ice-cream) but hey! If you are eating out in town why not skip dessert and head here for an ice-cream (tbh we normally do this even if we are eating out of town). Anyone who has been to Italy will recognize the quality of Creams Factory. It is similar to the places you would find on the street in Florence and Rome. With over 20 flavors to choose from you are spoilt for choice. My tip is to never underestimate how good vanilla gelato can be.

 

So that concludes my current top picks. There are new places opening in the not too distant future and so Tonbridge really does have something to shout about when it comes to food and drink. We also have our very own blogger, Eat Around Tonbridge. EAT regularly writes blogs and shares news so make sure you keep an eye on their social media for what else is on the horizon.

 

Photo credit: Studio 23 Photography 

 

4 Comments
  • Philip Holden

    March 27, 2018 at 6:29 am Reply

    Hey, well done Ben. We are very lucky to have great food of every kind, in every direction. Including Sulstons of course.
    Here’s an idea.
    For foodies who read your blog on their phone – bring it into Mr Books (open at this page) in April and get any food or drink related book half price. We have quite a few from Mrs Beeton to…Mary Berry.

    Phil @mrbooks_ton

    • Ben

      March 27, 2018 at 10:00 am Reply

      Hello Phil
      Sounds like a great idea!
      I will put something together and post it on social media before Easter! 🙂

  • Matt Dunford

    April 11, 2018 at 9:49 am Reply

    Great write up Ben, don’t get out to Tonbridge at all so good to know what’s on top. Must pop into your place, I’m really interested to see what you serve up.
    Hopefully make it over soon.
    Matt

    • Ben

      April 14, 2018 at 11:10 am Reply

      Thank you Matt!
      Next time I am in Tunbridge Wells I will be in to try one of your beautiful acai bowls!!
      And of course some of your amazing coffee.
      Hopefully see you soon.

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