Located in England’s smallest town, The Fordwich Arms didn’t need to put its already notable location on the map. But boy it has, with the restaurant and pub – run by husband and wife chef duo Daniel and Natasha Smith - having gained a strong reputation for its cooking ever since they took it over in 2017.
While The Fordwich Arms is still very much a pub, with a 1930s bar and large open fireplace where locals still sit and drink, it is the adjoining oak panelled dining room (and its beautiful outside covered terrace) in which the duo have made their mark.
The restaurant serves a five-course tasting menu plus a selection of snacks, bread and petits fours as well as a large à la carte offering that also starts with snacks before entering more usual menu territory.
Where The Fordwich Arms excels is its ability to bring together the feeling of proper old school hospitality with a more modern and forward-looking approach to pub restaurant cooking, thanks to its young owners, who have breathed new life into the traditional surrounds. Whether it be the duck liver parfait accompanied by a pot of warm doughnuts or its baked cheesecake with Kentish strawberries and elderflower, the cooking is familiar yet fresh and exciting.
The Guardian’s Grace Dent once described The Fordwich Arms as serving “food that makes you want to move house”. Who are we to disagree?