Good Food n Destination dining

Fresh ideas and the latest places to tempt the taste buds of food lovers in Kent…

Flavour purveyor brings his talent to Kent kitchen

TUDOR Park’s head chef Susanto Bhattacharya (pictured above) says cooking isn’t a profession, but a passion.

Known by his friends as Sunny, the 38-year-old heads a 13-strong team at the four-star Marriott Hotel & Country Club near Maidstone.

Nothing uniform about this unique eating experience

NEW to Canterbury is Deakin’s – named after the school uniform store that stood on the spot for 150 years. It is the latest venture of the Mosaic Pub and Dining Group, which sets up home in interesting English buildings, and runs the Chapter pizzeria at Burgate in the city.

It offers typical English fayre, with a twist, which is likely to make it a popular choice for families and visitors to the cathedral, which is just a minute’s walk away.

Set in the listed former draper’s store at the corner of Palace, Guildhall, and Sun Streets, menu favourites include belly pork, Herdwick lamb chop, stout grazed beef, classic fish and chips and roast on Sunday, with unlimited veg and roast potatoes.

The new outlet also bakes its own bread on site, with its bakery open in the mornings.

Coffee, pastries, and cakes are also available.

Sunday lunch overlooking golf course proves a big hit

THE Ridge golf club at Sutton Valence has a new owner.

The 18-hole course, restaurant, pro-shop and conference facility has been bought by a farming family from East Sutton. As well as growing apples in Kent, the Skinner family produces grapes for the Chapel Down vineyard at nearby Tenterden.

This is Sunny’s first stint in Kent after an illustrious career that began aged 12, from humble beginnings, feeding his family in Kolkata, India, while his mum worked. His passion for cooking has seen him work for Raymond Blanc at Brasserie Blanc in London; the iconic 7* Burj Al Arab hotel in Dubai; and The Berkeley in Knightsbridge. He thanks the training of a French chef at the 5* Oberoi Udaivilas in Rajasthan – twice voted best hotel in the world – and an Indian master in his home country for giving him a taste for spices, regional food and the skills “to create everything else”. Sunny said: “I love to infuse flavours and spices to create the magic, but have to admit, if I was only allowed one, it would be lemongrass - it brings out the best in other ingredients.”

His arrival at Tudor Park, on the A20 near Bearsted, gives him an opportunity to use Kent’s hottest produce and its notable “herb garden”, called on widely by kitchens in London.

The family has now added this increasingly popular wine – supplied to 10 Downing Street - to the menu at The Ridge as part of its latest venture. Driving the family’s new enterprise is manager Tim Gough and his fiancée Michelle, who tee off their latest plan to extend the golf shop and open a glass- fronted restaurant, overlooking the 18th hole, in the spring.

The couple swung into action as soon as they lined up for the challenge, and have overseen the refurbishment of the clubhouse, its 200-guest function room, meeting rooms, restaurant and popular Sunday carvery, all of which are open to the wider public.

Coffee and cake unites couple with different tastes

FOLLOWERS of fashion and fans of great coffee, cakes and crafts will be right at home at Harpers.

The Maidstone gift shop and café was taken over by husband-and-wife team Claudine and Nick Bedford in November. They moved out of London after falling in love with the county town and chose here for their first joint venture. Claudine has a BA (Hons) in fashion and was head designer at De Baer

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Corporate Clothing, with clients including BA, Virgin and Eurostar, before she retrained as a teacher. While Nick (42) made commercials and pop videos, and co-ordinated digital effects for films including Casino Royale, Tomb Raider and The Golden Compass.

At Harpers the couple have combined their individual flair, with Nick’s passion for coffee and baking finally allowed to bloom through creations including chocolate Guinness cake, which has proved popular alongside a cup of the café’s signature coffee, sourced in Kent.

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