Whether you’re a devoted foodie seeking the next palate-pleasing adventure, a connoisseur of craft cocktails in search of the perfect libation, or simply a seeker of new experiences, Kent in 2024 has a whole host of new and extraordinary places for you to discover.
The Riverside is a £115 million mixed-use development at the centre of a new leisure quarter in the historic City of Canterbury. The new leisure-led destination is anchored by a five-screen, iconic Curzon cinema as well as restaurants and bars that wrap around the new public square, including the following:
Embark on a culinary journey of Pan-Asian flavours like no other at Sekkoya, where you will find an astounding sharing menu created by celebrity chef Jay Morjaria, which includes delectable dishes prepared on their bespoke Japanese robata grill. The mixologists will awaken your senses with exquisite cocktails and their chic ‘vibe dining’ experience will take you late into the night. Delivering London’s hottest trends to Canterbury, Sekkoya offers a vibe-driven, social dining journey of mouthwatering Asian flavours in a classy infectious and high-energy atmosphere.
Reimagining flavours of East meets West, Korean Cowgirl have taken the best of both sides of the globe to bring a restaurant that delivers a unique blend of subtly spiced oriental cuisine and the big, brash smoked BBQs of the Texas Panhandle. The brisket keeps to central Texas simplicity with a full-flavoured rub, cooked low and slow overnight, every night, so it’s always fresh every single day. Vegetarian, or gluten conscious? They’ve got that covered too. Expect highly Instagrammable interiors and slick, arty, urban surroundings perfect for sipping super trendy cocktails in.
Boom Battle Bar
Get set for the time of your life, the ultimate battleground has arrived! Battle it out with a mate or a date with a great selection of games including augmented reality axe throwing, crazier golf, augmented reality darts, beer pong and much more! After 7pm, Boom Battle Bar turns into a strictly over 18’s venue – a great place for drinks and good times upon an evening.
Six New Places to Eat and Drink
Butchers Block at the Bell, Bearstead
A brand new sister pub to the Butchers Block at Burham. Now serving their renowned steaks and a limited à la carte menu, this new venture will embrace all of the hearty gastronomic flair that the Butchers Block brand is so loved for. Catering for all the family, Butchers Block offers a children’s menu, dog friendly dining, Sunday roasts, a large outside patio and more.
The Tudor Peacock, Chilham
A new independent Kentish wine tasting room, shop and bar in the picturesque village of Chilham. Drop in to buy a case or a bottle to take away, or simply enjoy a glass or two with friends over a cheeseboard or platter of chilled Whitstable Bay oysters. Stocking the broadest assortment of exclusively Kentish wine under one roof.
Walnuts Café, Locksbottom
A family run business with over 60 years’ combined experience in the catering industry, Walnuts first set of doors opened back in 2012 and since then they have grown to three branches in south London and Kent borders. The latest of those is this cosy café in the picturesque village of Locksbottom. Stop by for great coffee, cakes, light bites and a vibrant community atmosphere.
Florence’s Artisan Bakery, Hythe
Delectable little artisan bakery freshly opened in Hythe. Specialising in pastry, expect divine croissants of all shapes, sizes and flavours, including highlights such as ‘peanut butter creme patisserie and jam hugged inside a cruffin’, house-made cardamom buns, and out of this world pain aux raisin. It doesn’t stop there; enjoy good, strong cups of coffee too – served just how you like it.
The County Members, Lympne
A charming, traditional and local pub in the village of Lympne that serves a great choice of drinks (including cocktails) alongside a hearty menu of homecooked food served daily. At this family friendly pub, make use of the pretty beer garden or enjoy cosy Kentish tradition inside.
Matches Sports Bar and Social, Canterbury
Canterbury’s ‘Cathedral of Sport’ is here! Matches are redefining how you watch, play, party, eat and drink with 27 Ultra HD screens for the ultimate sports viewing experience alongside a lineup of entertainment including shuffleboards, interactive darts, cashless pool tables, karaoke and epic gaming consoles. Plus Matches Street Kitchen, serves up the tastiest food including banging burgers, loaded fries, perfect pizzas, saucy wings and all the sides. Elevate your game day and never miss a sporting moment at Matches this year!
The Winemaker’s Kitchen, Balfour Winery
Following a record-breaking summer period for the Kent-based business which has seen a 132% increase in bottles produced (in excess of 850,000 bottles!) and over 20,000 visitors to their vineyards, Balfour have opened a brand new restaurant. The Winemakers’ Kitchen will enable visitors to enjoy their meal overlooking the very vines which inspired the dishes – sitting on Balfour’s stunning balcony with views across their 400 acres of vineyards, wildflower meadows, ancient woodlands and orchards. The 21-year-old winery hopes to entice nearby residents with a selection of locally sourced ingredients, whereas the concept focuses on the idea of food and wine pairing. The menu has been specifically created by Balfour’s head chef Dan Austin, working alongside head winemaker Fergus Elias.
Virtual Recreation, Ashford
Step into a new world of immersive experiences with state-of-the-art virtual reality technology at Virtual Recreation (VRec) at Ashford’s Elwick Place. As well as being able to be transported to another world using VRec’s top-of-the-line equipment with high-quality visuals and crystal-clear audio in one of the VR Arcade Booths, visitors can also enjoy the experience with friends, family or colleagues. VRec’s VR Free Roam Arena offers multiplayer games and experiences to allow you to team up or compete against each other, adding a new level of excitement to your entertainment. And, once your time is up, you can head to the Rec Room where you can relax with a light snack, a drink and the option to play a game of table football or air hockey. Perfect for parties and groups of between six and 14 people.
The Ibiza Orchestra Experience, Dunorlan Park, Tunbridge Wells (14 June)
A brand-new Ibiza Sunset Tour comes to Tunbridge Wells. Performing live alongside a DJ celebrating some of the greatest music from the white isle in the past 30 years! Keep an eye out for incredible support acts. Previous support includes Basement Jaxx, Example, Phats & Small, Wideboys, Dario G and many more. Expect a 26-piece orchestra, silent disco stage, vocal performances and a live MC, and, as well as incredible music, make the most of glitter artists, laser shows, pyrotechnics and fire breathers.
A unique new football-based entertainment concept that will mix competitive socialising with professional, lifestyle and fitness training. Launched by Rio Ferdinand, Bobby Zamora, Roberto Carlos and Mark Noble, the first Ballerz air dome will open at Bluewater Shopping Centre this spring. Ballerz will have the UK’s most immersive competitive socialising offering as guests enter the Skills Zone, a collection of games designed to test football skills all linked up with market-leader technology METRIX to provide players with stats and rankings.
From elite training sessions, thrilling skills challenges, and top-tier coaching to live sports events and matches, players can immerse themselves in the ultimate football haven at this cutting-edge, all-day entertainment venue. Featuring a state-of-the-art, 7-a-side 5G football pitch complete with Premier League-style changing rooms, stadium-style seating and even a players’ tunnel.