Stuzzichini, Bexleyheath

Ask me what I want for a perfect date night and it will be an excellent martini and some lovely fresh seafood. So obviously when organising a date night for my husband I look for somewhere local where we can get a good martini and some good seafood. Happy wife, happy life doesn’t the saying go? Where we are in Kent there isn’t an abundance of these sorts of places in a 5 mile radius, but there are a few and Stuzzichini’s is one of them.

We all know how highly I rate Melluccis in Bexley village for its authentic Italian food but sometimes you want a bit of glamour and some nice cocktails for your evening and whilst I don’t think the food at Stuzzichini’s is quite as good, it’s still pretty damn good with a different sort of atmosphere… Continue reading “Stuzzichini, Bexleyheath”

Giggling Squid, Sevenoaks

I’m not the biggest fan of chain restaurants and yet I don’t actively disregard them. I don’t want this blog to become a website full of top end restaurants that no one can afford to go to – balance and variety are the keys. A couple of friends have mentioned the Giggling Squid to me in passing and with Mr A and I being big lovers of Thai food we thought we would give it a go. My step daughter, E, also came with us – she is a vegan and it was nice to go somewhere where she had a complete menu to choose from rather than a couple of mediocre vegetable curries. One of the beauties of Thai cuisine is that it is great for vegetarians and vegans.

We went for an early Sunday evening booking so although there were a fair few tables of diners it was nice and quiet – well until a table near us decided it was appropriate to Face Time at the dinner table and have a rather loud conversation with their mum and dad whilst there kids raised their voices to get some attention. Oh for some etiquette. Continue reading “Giggling Squid, Sevenoaks”

Birdies, Whitstable

I recently read that the period between Christmas and the new year can be described as “Twixmas” – it’s kind of no-man’s land period of time where days blur into one and you are in a haze of drink and food and having to squeeze in seeing absolutely everyone. It’s not my favourite time of year. I’m an introvert through and through and having to see so many people in so many scenarios just makes me anxious and fed up. Just call me the Grinch.

In a bid to get a bit of a reprieve from these feelings we booked a night at Whitstable. I’m not sure it was our best idea; it was very busy, there were lots of people about and it felt quite manic and boozy. Not the relaxing break we were looking for. I much preferred our midweek break in October – go then – it’s much nicer…
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Carnaval, Dartford

This blog is but a couple of months old and I have already lamented the lack of decent places to eat in Dartford and in my opinion I am quite justified in doing so. A glimmer of hope comes in the form of the twinkly lights outside of Carnival. Unassumingly situated on Spital Street, opposite the Royal Oak pub (which is now doing a roaring trade on delicious looking Sunday lunches) and next to the bookies it is not really where you would expect to find a Tapas restaurant; especially not one serving food as good as they are here. It is a delight and a welcome addition to the town. I can only hope more will follow!

There were three of us dining on this occasion, celebrating my beloved brother’s birthday and what a feast we had. We dined on a Thursday and didn’t book, when we got there at 7pm there were just a couple of tables occupied but it was a pleasure that as the night went on it really filled up – surely a testament to their growing popularity! As it fills up it does get quite noisy, I find it a bit too much when you go on a weekend as it is just too loud for me alongside music, but on weekdays it’s that bit more chilled. It’s not really their fault just the acoustics of the venue are not great!

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Franks Restaurant & Mussel Bar – West Malling

 

My last rather unfortunate experience of a mussel bar – or an establishment that claims to be one – was Bromley’s branch of Belgo’s. Belgo’s is a rather insipid chain of restaurants which are so far removed from their original venue (Belgo Centraal) in Covent Garden that one can only wonder if your memory of steaming bowls of mussels, mountains of crispy French fries and freshly baked bread is some sort of misplaced mussel nostalgia – surely I didn’t consume that much Belgium beer back in 2010? God it was depressing, an experience not to be repeated.

Step forward West Malling in Kent – probably one of the last places you would think I would find a mussel bar to restore my love of mussel and Belgium beer serving environments. But step up to the plate Franks did and delivered not only some fantastic food but a really rather wonderful dining experience in general. The restaurant does not try to be achingly cool. It is a very kitsch styled, welcoming joint that is serving some of the best mussels I have ever tasted. Unlike the aforementioned they know exactly what they are doing.

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