food and drink
Whether it's afternoon tea or a gourmet meal you're after, you will find it all here.
Ashford and Tenterden are great for gourmets. Here Kent's finest produce pops up in Michelin-starred cuisine, chic pub grub and utterly irresistable afternoon teas.
As befits places plumb in the middle of Kent's Garden of England, Ashford and Tenterden offer up fabulous local produce. Long-famous for prime-quality hops, apples, pears, cherries, cobnuts, asparagus and lamb, other mini-industries are thriving too - from innovative jam-makers, to creators or artisanal chocolate and gourmet ice cream. And regular Farmers' Markets enable you to meet the people behind the products.
And if you're really looking for farm-fresh, Perry Court Farm near Ashford offers produce straight from the fields and into their farm shop. Jam-packed with local produce, you surely won't be able to resist the tempting delights on offer.
The drinks crafted locally are simply superb. You'll find four excellent vineyards, each within a 30 minute drive of Tenterden; that charming town is ideal for a wine-buffs break. Scattered with south-facing slopes and featuring chalk and soils similar to those found in the Champagne region, the area produces some world-renowned wine. Here you can take vineyard tours, indulge in tutored tastings then dine at an outstanding restaurant within yards of the vines. Scour wine list for local vintages, then order some of Ashford and Tenterden's finest to enjoy at home. Cider connoisseurs love the area as well. Here long-established producers specialise in transforming crisp apples into flavour-full ciders and tangy juice.
Local micro-breweries are busy bottling specialist beers too and The Old Dairy Brewery has recently relocated, setting up home in the heart of Tenterden.
Whatever your budget, whatever your tastes, you can be sure you'll enjoy eating out in Ashford and Tenterden. One of Kent's five Michelin stars has been awarded to The West House in Biddenden; elsewhere, the wide range of great eateries includes a smart vineyard bistro, a shabbyy-chic greenhouse, walled courtyards and luxury country house hotels. Local pubs and inns also offer excellent options, from cutting-edge, French-inspired creations to classy comfort food, all served up in centuries-old inns rich in atmosphere and well stocked with perfectly-kept cider and beer. And then there's afternoon tea. Enjoy the quintessentially English experience in Tudor barns, rustic-chic greenhouses or atmospheric oast houses, it's up to you.