Duck – Pan fried duck breast, confit duck leg croquette, cherry, cherry puree, parsnip puree, twice cooked celeriac, duck sauce – £17.95
On Saturday we had the pleasure of visiting The Clarendon Royal Hotel in Gravesend as we had been invited to try their menu in the hotel restaurant. We both had never been to Gravesend before, so it was a great opportunity to kill two birds with one stone, trying new food along with visiting a new city in the UK.
With catching an earlier and faster train, we had arrived in Gravesend with plenty of time to spare, while strolling around to find the hotel, we had come across the outdoor riverside seating area of the hotel before heading in. While taking a quick look at the menu outside, we were greeted by Steve, who had also mentioned that their summer menu will be released next week.
Baked Camembert to Share with House Bread – £9.95
This was the start of an exemplary journey of customer service. Steve treated us brilliantly throughout, and got chatting not only about the food here, but about things as far removed as the bars of Sheffield and backpacking around Asia. His knowledge of the menu here was comprehensive to say the least, and as always, we went with his recommendations on what to have.
The baked Camembert starter with caramelised onions was something you can only normally dream about. The cheese was oozing and stringy, and the onions was the perfect compliment to that. All dolloped on top of freshly warm toasted bread and we were on to a winner! We do occasionally like the cheeky purchase of Camembert to have at home, but this one was on another level.
The bar was now sky high for the main courses, mainly because of the starter, but also because of the description of them given by Steve. It’s clear that he knows what’s good!
Bawley Bay – A play on a classic fish and chips butter poached hake fillet, driftwood chips, gin vinegar batter pebbles, samphire, clams, peas, tartar sauce – £14.95
This Bawley Bay is a twist on the classic fish and chips! The ingredients above speak for themselves but every single part of it was immense! The triple cooked chips, edible sand and hake fillet were so divine, and that’s just to name a few of the flavours on the plate!
The duck was also incredible, and the duck leg croquette and cherry puree was the perfect kick of flavour needed to compliment the meat. All of our food was also of such good portion size, and as you can imagine after three courses, we were pretty full! But it was still full of quality ingredients and often you find these don’t come hand in hand, but here it certainly does.
Eton Mess – Fresh Strawberries, flavoured creams, flavoured meringues, strawberry jelly served with strawberry and cream ice cream – £6.25
On to desserts and of course I, James couldn’t resist the chocolate option of the tart – again, dreamy, and Jessica’s option of the Eton Mess was also an excellent choice. She’s only had it before in a trifle or something of that ilk, so to have it in its classic form was great!
Dark Chocolate & Salted Caramel Tart served with berries and clotted cream ice cream – £5.95
As if all of that wasn’t enough, we were then invited to head over to the bar for a cocktail each before it was time to get our train back. Opting for particularly boozy drinks, these went down perfectly at the end of the meal.
Overall we had a pretty much perfect time here, and would fully reccomend it to anyone in the Kent area or anyone looking for a quick trip out from London. We got a train from St Pancras taking just over 20 minutes, and to be fair, we spend that long getting across London on a normal day anyway.
Strawberry & Lime Cider House Rules and Planters Rum Punch
Thanks so much to Steve and everyone at the Clarendon Royal!
Customer service: ★★★★★
Disclaimer: we were invited to the restaurant to try their menu in exchange for a review. But as always, all our opinions and photos are our own.