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From Plot to Plate: Introducing the New Lunch Menu at The Ferry House

Nestled down the winding lanes of the Isle of Sheppey is The Ferry House, a 16th century country estate with an award-winning restaurant providing some of the best of culinary Kent. Taste Kent was invited along to sample the new Small Plates lunch menu so off I popped, eager to review… 

The event began with drinks on the lawn, as guests overlooked the scenic view of the sea. After soaking up the salty view, Head Chef, James Pilcher, gave us a detailed tour of the kitchen garden.  

Head chef of The Ferry Inn, James Pilcher

Overflowing with vibrant colours and leafy vines, the garden has delicacies and delights not many have heard of. Intriguing produce such as Egyptian walking onions, white alpine strawberries, Okahijiki, Japanese for land seaweed and Chilean Guava flourish amongst the maze of flower beds and polytunnels, providing the kitchen with unique, exotic flavours to tantalise the tastebuds.  

It was fascinating to hear the stories behind the produce, such as when they successfully grew white asparagus and the foraging of wild samphire as it’s emerald stalks wash up on the nearby shore.  

Exotic produce grown at The Ferry House

Next, I quenched my thirst with an Apple Refresher. This Instagrammable drink was made from Kentish apple juice, homemade elderflower cordial, lime and a sprig of mint – very refreshing indeed! 

Lunch was a variety of the newly launched small plates and there are plenty of mouth-watering dishes on offer. From the Garden Beetroot with Estate Sloe Vinegar, Kelly’s Goat Cheese and Walnuts to the Garden Legume Salad delicately dressed in Mint, Lime Basil and Elderflower there is something for everyone. Two to three plates per person is the recommended serving. 

Garden Beetroot with Estate Sloe Vinegar, Kelly’s Goats Cheese and Walnuts

My favourite was the Tempura Garden Vegetables and Garden Lovage served alongside a smoked chilli aioli, it was simultaneously crispy and succulent. Everything was bursting with flavour and as a vegetarian I thoroughly enjoyed the wide selection of options on offer.  

The Garden Legume Salad

For those that eat meat, The Ferry House also offers innovative dishes such as the ‘Popcorn’ Estate Partridge Breast with Hedgerow Ketchup and the Cured Duck Breast with Borage, Walnut and Kentish Rapeseed Oil. All beef comes from The Ferry House family’s farm at Eastchurch and the game meat is from the family shoot on the Harty Estate. 

Tempura Garden Vegetables and Garden Lovage

Finishing with some beautiful sweet plates, I particularly enjoyed the Garden Strawberries with Marjoram Cream and Shiso and a selection of cheeses including Old Winchester & Sussex Blue with buttery warm crackers, compressed pear & walnut. By now, I was feeling satisfied, but not stuffed, as I sipped on a steaming cup of tea and enjoyed the idyllic surroundings.  

Garden Strawberries with Marjoram Cream and Shiso

The Ferry House champions local produce as it’s homegrown and cultivated in their plentiful kitchen garden. The new Small Plates Menu celebrates what’s seasonally at its best and I would highly recommend a visit, especially to try the Estate Elderflower Fritters drizzled with Isle Of Sheppey Honey…delicious! 

The Ferry House’s kitchen garden

For more details, visit https://www.theferryhouse.co.uk/ or follow them on social media @ferryhouseinn1. 

The Ferry House


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