Ex-Clove Club chef Dan Smith and sommelier Guy Palmer-Brown have teamed up (with Smith's partner Tash Norton) to re-open this large Kent pub, with a great beer garden, in December 2017. Expect the foodies to descend - it's already been rated very highly in the national press.
Harden's survey result
“Not the easiest place to find in what is apparently Britain’s smallest town” – Dan Smith (ex Clove Club), Tash Norton and Guy Palmer’s venture is barely two years old and “has really hit its stride” as one of the UK’s best dining destinations: “high end, but not poncy”. Picturesquely located on the river, “when you enter it feels initially more like a pub with food, but my goodness you are soon disavowed of that!”. “Every dish is beautifully crafted and presented” – “superbly intelligent combinations, prepared with skill and ambition” – and with “flavours that just hit you”. What’s more “staff are so attentive and polite and seem genuinely to care!”
“Under new management and trying very hard to be exceptional” – ex-Clove Club chef, Dan Smith, Tash Norton and Guy Palmer’s “idyllically located” December 2018 newcomer won instant fame and inspired an impressive volume of feedback in this year’s survey, all of it very upbeat. “It’s rare to find a pub that has been worked over as a restaurant but keeps a bar for locals with proper draught beers” but this “beautiful building in a perfect setting” does just that. One or two locals have “found fine dining in this local a bit incongruous” but most focus is on the “outstanding food” – “the presentation, originality and moreover the mix of ingredients blending into superlative tastes was a joy!” (“They make their own bread too – a full selection including sourdough, wholemeal, white etc along with homemade crackers”).
The Fordwich Arms Restaurant Diner Reviews
"Our lunchtime visit on a fine August day confirmed, in general, that other reviewers are right about the Fordwich Arms. I say 'in general' because while every dish was absolutely delicious and individually was worth a score of 5, nevertheless we went home hungry. And that despite sharing an extra cheese course. We ate 'a la carte', but most of the dishes were more of a size one might expect from a tasting menu. The problem was summed up by a small semi-circle of duck parfait. When something is SO delicious, one needs more than two mouthfuls in the first of three courses. Portions reminded me of the bad-old-days of nouvelle cuisine. A shame, as we left feeling that despite the quality of the cooking, we hadn't enjoyed value-for-money."
"Fordwich Arms I am doing something I’ve never done before - leaving a poor review as a result of an appalling experience at a restaurant. In fact we’ve had two poor experiences at this establishment, the most recent one being the worst I could ever imagine. The first occasion involved us prepaying a deposit for a party of 4 only for it not to be discounted from our bill on the evening. It took three phone calls with management and seven weeks to resolve this. I just put it down to a bad experience. However, this does not even come close to my most recent experience of what I could only describe as utterly inhumane behaviour. A party of 6 of us pre-booked a table at this restaurant for my birthday on New Year’s Eve. We paid a deposit of £660. Very sadly my father had an accident on 27th December which led to his passing on New Year’s Eve, my birthday and the date of our booking. One of our party called the restaurant on 27th December in advance to make the manager, Elliot, aware of what had happened and to request a postponement of our dinner date. He received a recital of nonsense about terms and conditions and that our dinner date could neither be refunded nor changed to a later date. We were not seeking a refund. We were simply requesting a goodwill gesture to allow us to change our reservation to a later date once I had a chance to return to the UK. When asked how management view such extenuating circumstances the manager and owners neither cared nor wanted to hear anything about it. Another recital of terms and conditions ensued. We are utterly disgusted by this experience, not to mention £660 worse off, and just feel compelled to share this horrifying story with anyone ever considering making a reservation at this establishment. There are no words. I just feel everyone should be aware of what kind of people run this place and draw their own conclusions before ever considering making a reservation at this place. Are Guy, Daniel and Natasha really in business? I wonder what the Michelin Group would think about how they are represented in this instance. Good luck to them if that’s how they conduct their business. We will certainly never be returning."
|Wine per bottle||£23.00|
King Street, Fordwich, CT2 0DB
|Tuesday||12 pm‑11 pm|
|Wednesday||12 pm‑11 pm|
|Thursday||12 pm‑11 pm|
|Friday||12 pm‑11 pm|
|Saturday||12 pm‑11 pm|
|Sunday||12 pm‑6 pm|