Kent; The County for Foodies
On a beautiful sunny day in early November I was invited to experience the newly launched Kent Food Trails – www.kentfoodtrails.co.uk – by visiting some of the best food and drinks producers that Kent has to offer.
To keep travel to a minimum we were taken to several stops around the picturesque town of Tenterden, which gleamed in the sunshine like a jewel in Kent’s ‘Garden of England’ crown.
The first stop was Chapel Down, one of Kent’s biggest success stories since its planting in 1977 by Master of Wine Stephen Skelton. The setup of the tour and tasting was slick, on a par with the Champagne House tours one experiences in Epernay, the major difference being the price – rather
than c. 40 euro per head – Chapel Down charges a very friendly £15 per head and includes a wine
Next stop we were taken into the centre of the town and across the quaint Kent and East Sussex
railway line to The Old Dairy Brewery where the beer names – acknowledging the brewery’s first
home in an Old Dairy in Rolvenden – are whimsically inspired by the old-fashioned milk tops; red
top, blue top and gold top. Anyone can visit the shop check the website for opening times.
We also met with Sam from Nightingale Ciders who told us how his family farm had started out
selling fruit by the side of the road with an honesty box and how it has grown into a farm shop and
range of cider and juices. All are available from the Nightingale Farm Shop on the Appledore Road.
The lunch stop at Chegworth Café on the high street was a feast of charcuterie and cheese supplied
by another Produced in Kent member, Curd and Cure. There we tasted Kentish Blue, Shaggy Beard,
Winterdale Shaw, Ashmore Smoked and Bowyer’s Brie as well as Kentish chorizo from Moons Green.
A beautifully salty olive bread made by Plaxtol Bakery and all the tomatoes, leaves and piccalilli came
from Chegworth Valley Farm.
We wound the tour up at Silcock’s Organic Farmshop and excellent café where we tasted some excellent cheese and ice cream made on the premises by Hannah using milk from their own herd.
Anyone can experience this Tenterden inspired trail on the Kent Food Trails website, or you can
tailor your own. Choose from food genres such as wine, beer, cheese, apples, cherries or locations
and create a food trail experience for your family in beautiful Kent.