Illness in Dargate stored me out of The Dove a number of weeks in the past so I assumed it solely truthful to offer this secluded Shepherd Neame hostelry a second likelihood.
This rural pub, nestled away on the charmingly-named Plumpudding Lane, regarded a good discover, however there was an indication within the window explaining it was closed as Soph and Will had lastly succumbed to Covid.
So, on my return I used to be happy to find the signal lengthy gone and the home windows extensive open – not a lot to maintain Covid away as to welcome in any passing breath of air throughout an unprecedented heatwave.
Regardless of the scorching temperature, the barmaid, with a large smile, couldn’t have been extra welcoming, so it’s clearly potential on this a part of the world!
There have been of us sitting at eating tables inside and the pub is superbly adorned and introduced from the extensive, well-kept, bar to the fireside with a log burner. However, we’d already spied a good-sized, attention-grabbing trying backyard behind the automobile park so headed that approach.
Nonetheless, the searing sunshine was, if something, even hotter than the welcome so though we first sat out in it we in a short time sought some shade beneath a powerful trying cover.
At this stage I’d began with a Bear Island IPA and Mrs SD had gone barely offline with a Pinot Grigio rose.
I’d eaten earlier within the day however as I didn’t want for ‘hangriness’ of any sort on the opposite facet of the desk, urged a lite chunk of some kind.
Anyway, I already noticed some meals popping out from the kitchen and it regarded very spectacular.
Landlady Sophie was checking everybody within the backyard was blissful and Mrs SD had already solid an eye fixed over the menu and determined she would have the ability to handle the goat cheese starter. It was served with tomatoes, beetroot, spiced walnuts and herb oil.
When it arrived the presentation was very good and topped solely by the style of the fantastically blended elements. I don’t wish to get too carried away, however I clearly acquired caught in and having tried all the pieces, I reckon this might be one of the best starter I’ve ever tasted.
Sitting there within the shade sampling fantastic meals with a really first rate pale ale in a single hand I began to marvel if this may not be one of the best Shepherd Neame pub I’ve visited so far.
When our nearly licked clear plate was collected, Sophie kindly took a second drinks order and I made a decision I ought to examine on the standard of Shep’s flagship bitter. I’m happy to have the ability to report it was clearly properly stored and was properly poured with a good head – a very good instance of this conventional Kentish ale.
In fact, a second beer led to the inevitable outcome however I’m happy to say the pub has developed its conventional outside bathroom so drinkers haven’t any must retrace their steps again into the pub. Contemporary and properly maintained, and simply having a bathroom roll holder on the again of the door took me again years.
By the point I returned a second course had already been ordered, I think swiftly to make sure no enter from me.
Okay, a lemon and gooseberry posset wouldn’t have been my first alternative and I didn’t insist alone spoon, however the style I had was as soon as once more spectacular. This time it was Mrs SD who waxed lyrical about each the style and presentation of this beautiful dessert.
Sophie and chef Can have been at The Dove for 4 years in August. She says she’s nonetheless loving it and ‘the time has completely flown by’.
The pub’s previous backyard marquee blew down within the storms final October and the brand new cover/sail was solely put in six weeks in the past, with the brewery chipping in 50% – really, now I come to consider, this should be happening elsewhere as I’ve seen comparable wonderful set-ups at different Shepherd Neame pubs.
There have been no canine in, it was in all probability too scorching, however I did spot a bowl on the again so I assume they should be welcomed on cooler days. It additionally appears in style with these on two wheels and a number of other cyclists braving the warmth of the tarmac selected right here as their cooling cease off level.
I’m so glad I took the difficulty to revisit the beforehand Covid-stricken Dove as it’s a success story which must be sampled.
From the spotless loos to the superbly maintained flowers and the fairly spectacular meals you may see the care and a focus lavished on this place and the dedication to supply all guests with a particular expertise.
The Dove, Plumpudding Lane, Dargate, Faversham ME13 9HB
Decor: From the surface this one seems each inch a conventional village pub. Inside it has been tastefully renovated and adorned, however it’s the backyard space which is absolutely spectacular. ****
Drink: Beginning with a Bear Island IPA was a very good determination for a heat afternoon and, while Grasp Brew wouldn’t be my first alternative, I can report the bitter is properly stored and served. The Pinot Grigio rose was described as contemporary, crisp and flavourful – one she’d undoubtedly choose once more. ****
Meals: Distinctive, my compliments to the chef. We weren’t essentially planning to eat however boy had been we glad we determined to take a look at the menu. Fairly merely one of the best meals I’ve been served in a pub. *****
Value: A pint of Grasp Brew isn’t too unhealthy at £4.30 a pint, however the IPA was heftier at £5.20. The massive wine was £6.30. I do know some people will baulk at a starter costing £8.95 and a pudding for £8.50, however if you happen to style them you’ll 100% recognize the worth for cash. ***
Workers: Refreshingly open and approachable, Sophie was equally welcoming to everybody. Regardless of being busy and environment friendly nonetheless finds a second to speak and is extremely upbeat in regards to the pub and what she and chef Will are attaining right here. *****
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