Sunday Lunch Perfection at The Kings Head, Wye
The Kings Head stands prominently at the heart of Church Street, the main thoroughfare in Wye, a quaint historic village set at the foot of the North Downs. After finding their way down South, northerners Mark and Scott realised the potential of the old building, its beautiful location and the plentiful supply of fantastic local Kentish produce, and set about creating their gastro vision. The result is a lovely ‘restaurant with rooms’, which have all been recently refurbished, with a clear focus on perfection, style and quality, but with a relaxed and welcoming vibe.
Walking through the doors, on a somewhat dull and drizzly Sunday afternoon, it was a welcome surprise to find a light, airy bar and dining space, decorated in pale greys, natural wood and leather touches, with prominent displays of local produce, which is sold in the bar as well as being fully utlised on the menu.
The bar, as well as boasting a varied menu including local ales and ‘wines of the month,’ also offered fresh, locally baked cakes and brownies, which seemed to cry ‘eat me’ from under their glass domed displays stands.
Luckily my guests and I were swiftly shown to our table and were distracted from the brownies (just) by the daily menu which has a tempting array of ‘Nibbles to Share’ including the likes of Wye Bakery bread, Kentish oil, flatbreads, cured meats, pickles and cheese and leads into a well conceived ‘Starters and Small plates’ selection. We happily created a combination of tasty sharing dishes – bread, hummus, olives, Camembert and a deliciously smooth tomato soup.
Being the last day of the week, the star of the menu is the Sunday Lunch which on this occasion was a choice of vegetarian roast, beef, lamb or pork; or for those of you as indecisive (and greedy) as me a ‘mixed roast’ which offers all three meats.
Now I’ll let you into a little secret: my all-time favourite dinner, without doubt, is a good ol’ fashioned Sunday roast, and I feel somewhat of a connoisseur with a mission to devour every last perfect roast potato. So when I know I’m dining out on a Sunday there is always some trepidation as I wait with bated breath to see whether the dish that arrives is going to fall into the ‘good to great’ rating, rather than the category involving pale roasties, limp Yorkshires, overcooked, tasteless meat and veg combos that, frankly, too many places seem happy to churn out to their waiting diners.
It wasn’t long until my fears were well and truly allayed as set in front of me was a heaving plate of pink tender slices of beef, rich tasty pork with crisp crackling and delicate soft chunks of lamb – all supplied by local producers, Lukehurst Farm in Wye, Jamie Emberson in Bilting, and the Good’s Shed in Canterbury. This mouthwatering mixed meat selection was accompanied by fluffy roast potatoes with that all-important crispy crunch and the crowning glory, a huge Yorkshire pudding. And that wasn’t all, as the side dishes kept coming: cabbage, broccoli, creamy swede, cauliflower cheese, and a plethora of perfectly roasted veg all enrobed in a rich, tasty gravy.
Roast dinner, greatness box, fully ticked!
If you have even an ounce of room left then there is a tempting dessert menu too. The chocolate fondue, which just so happened to come with those bar-side brownies, as well as homemade marshmallows, fresh fruit and popping candy, was a delight for my daughter and the big kids around the table too!
As well as joining the heady ranks of my top roast dinner shortlist, just a short while after my visit, The Kings Head was shortlisted (again!) as a finalist for Kent Dining Pub of the Year at the Taste of Kent Awards 2016.
With its laid-back charm, beautifully presented dishes and honestly tasty food, it should definitely make your shortlist for your next dining out experience too.
The Kings Head