Doing The Continental: dining at Whitstable’s best-kept secret

Don’t tell anyone, but The Continental in Whitstable might just be the seaside town’s best-kept secret in terms of dining out.

The_CtinentalSituated smack on the sea-front, the high-ceilinged and generously-windowed ground-floor rooms that comprise the bar and dining-rooms afford tranquil views of the sea off the North Kent coast, and a step over the cul-de-sac allows for a post-prandial walk either westwards past the harbour into town, or eastwards along the coastal path past The Spit and onwards past Tankerton Slopes. The Continental also functions as a hotel, though we weren’t availing ourselves of this facility. There is also seating available outside, including a small balcony.

The menu offers French-style cuisine, including a miniature cauldron of moules mariniéres with locally-roped mussels positively wallowing in a rich and creamy garlic sauce. (There would have been a photograph of this sumptuous dish, but it didn’t last long enough to capture, alas…) The beefburgers, presented on wooden trenchers accompanied by thin French fries and a salad garnish, rise to vertiginous heights; the locally-caught cod arrived in generous portions, clad in a light, crisp batter, and was melt-in-the-mouth delicious (and, according to one of the diners, good enough to rival (whisper it) Harry Ramsden’s…) A vegetarian option was available.

The_Continental2The only down-side to this immensely enjoyable experience was the rather limited children’s menu which didn’t include burgers (which, naturally enough, those children present on this occasion immediately wanted).

The_Continental3This was the second time of visiting The Continental, and on both occasions street-side parking has been readily available (although metered) and there were tables aplenty; for such a well-situated, well-appointed and rewarding dining facility, this is extremely surprising. It must be one of Whitstable’s best-kept secrets. Don’t tell anyone else..

Warning to dog-owners in Kent

WARNING TO ALL DOG OWNERS IN KENT: dog-nappers in operation in Kent.

Recent reports of a couple (young man older woman) jumping someone’s property fence and sniffing around. One returns the next day.

Vehicles involved include a white jeep-type vehicle, reg. no. beginning PP8 which are false plates. Others include white transits, blue transit, 4×4 and a 7-seater type vehicle. These people will also snatch dogs that are being walked on leads. They will break in as well.

It is believed that the dogs are being dog-napped to be used as bait-dogs for fighting. They will take any dog, ie puppies, spaniels, rotties, boxer, labs GSD, staffs and all small dogs.

Remember: anything suspicious, no matter how smal,l please report to the police. This ring must be stopped.

Brogdale Cider Festival next week

Kent’s very own Cider Festival at Brogdale will take place next weekend, the 22/23 September.

Festival fun 2012

There will be lots of free activities for children including craft activities, tractor tours, pig-racing and story-telling; there’ll also be plenty of live music. There will also be a free shuttle bus service running between the festival and Faversham station for festival-goers.

And of course there will be plenty of opportunity to explore a wide variety of ciders, with ‘Taste Something New’ the tagline for this year’s Artisan Cider Festival.

Find out more on the festival website here.