Ian and I have been doing recces of various places in our bid for finding a place to live. Our voyages have taken us all over the southeast (and beyond) to some lovely places and some less lovely places. It has been a learning experience, and we’re getting closer to making a decision and finding ‘home’.
On a recent journey out towards the southeast corner of southeast England, we stumbled upon the most beautiful rural restaurant I’ve seen for a very long time.
I’d actually spotted something about them on Twitter recently, and their name popped out to me, as it reminded me of a magical place Ian and I visited whilst on our honeymoon in Kefalonia (five years ago next month!).
It was a restaurant called the Polyphemus Garden Restaurant, and it was recommended to us by most of the people who had written in the guest book of our villa. I adore guest books – there’s something so special and magical about the information that previous guests have taken the trouble to write in them, don’t you think?
The instructions in our guest book were that we needed to hire a boat from the local town Fiscardo, before sailing across the Ionian Sea to the tiny island of Ithaka. After ‘parking’ the boat, we had to scale a mountain (walk up a steep hill in the blazing sun), before walking through the most charming little village/town to find the garden restaurant nestled on the other side of the town.
That day was probably the most memorable day in our honeymoon. Ian was in a foul mood by the time we were halfway up the ‘mountain’, because he was ravenous and thirsty and we were voyaging blind. (You know what guys get like when they’re hungry and thirsty?)
But once I urged him to keep going, we found the place and had the pleasure of sitting in the most unique outdoor restaurant, amongst trees, greenery and flowers. It was beautifully rustic, decorated with huge snail and sea shells and other natural materials. The setting was idyllic, and the owners knew the epic journey we’d made to get there. They produced cold water and Mythos beer as we crossed the threshold into the reception.
Anyway, I’ve digressed somewhat (honeymoon has the power to do that, eh?). Whilst planning a journey to Kent the other week, I told Ian about a restaurant I’d stumbled upon on Twitter called The Beacon – Garden Kitchen. It was the ‘garden’ bit that got my attention.
We decided to head there for lunch just to see what it was like, not hoping for or expecting a repeat of our garden restaurant heaven in Greece, but just out of curiosity.
Upon arriving, we were met with a magnificent period building on a tiny country lane at the top of a hill. It was a hot day, and after walking through the plush restaurant and bar area, we were directed outside to the garden terrace.
We couldn’t take our eyes off the beautiful view of the Kentish countryside laid out in front of us. We dined from the lunch menu, which was far from budget, but perfectly executed. Definitely one to bring the parents to for a special occasion.
After finishing our meals, we had a nosey around the premises, as you do. We headed to the lower section of the terrace to find a balcony covered in flowers in various vibrant colours, overlooking the same Kentish scenery.
Parked adjacent to the restaurant was a perfectly-restored, Citroen van that blended seamlessly with the aesthetics of the restaurant. Me being an automobile-fan, couldn’t take my eyes off it.
As if the view and the van weren’t enough, beyond them were a set of double doors opening into a stunning dining room. It was all set, ready for a banquet and looked lavish enough for some very important people indeed.
Ian and I were most impressed with these set of bar taps, and I got the feeling that the owner/manager was equally as proud of them.
Heck, even the loos in this restaurant were pretty!
I love making little discoveries like this, and if we’re ever in the area again, we’d love to head back to this gorgeous spot. There’s certainly a fair chance of us finding our way back to The Beacon’s garden restaurant than there is of us going back to the Polyphemus Garden Restaurant in little Ithaca.
Have you stumbled upon any magical places recently?