From the airy blue of a far reaching seascape to endless heaps of rolling hills, one of our favourite things about living in the South East is the amazing scenery. And what better way to enjoy the many sights our local landscape has to offer than over a good meal (and maybe a good glass of wine).
The Lighthouse Champagne Bar and Tasting Rooms
This listed lighthouse turned chic Champagne bar has views that are simply one of a kind – a panoramic vista of the south eastern coast with postcard perfect views of the White Cliffs of Dover in one direction and an uninterrupted sight straight across the Channel to France on the other. Occasionally you can even see some porpoises! It’s a sensational seaside Frenglish riviera, jutting out at the point of the harbour arm to sit peacefully balanced between the two countries, serving up bubbling Champagne alongside cool British beers.
Both the Champagne bar and more recent Frenglish restaurant, the Tasting Rooms, are open all year round with lots of indoor and outdoor space for guests to enjoy come rain or shine. We recommend booking for those wishing to eat and for big groups, however there are usually plenty of tables available. folkestoneharbourarm.co.uk
Denbies Vineyard Restaurant & Wine Library
Warm natural bark walls line the reception entrance opening into the stunning Vineyard Restaurant with far-reaching views over the vines. Bespoke wooden crafted furniture echos the origins of the working winery and the open landscape garden’s all weather cabana-style seating areas are perfect for sampling locally sourced produce alongside wine made and produced on the estate.
Next to the restaurant is the latest addition to the hotel – the Wine Library lounge, which has been designed to reflect the wine making process with a clever use of shapes and materials. The curvature of the building replicates a wine barrel, there is an enotech machine, a wall lined with antique riddling racks, and best of all, a range of Denbies vintages dating back to 1993 displayed in a magnificent floor-to-ceiling wine wall. With its prime position overlooking the acres of vineyard, The Wine Library opens out onto the landscape garden, creating the perfect indoor/outdoor synergy. A perfect spot for tastings, relaxing and generally enjoying the tranquil surroundings of the estate.
The Wine Library is ideal for pre/after dinner refreshments and is also available for private dining, catering for up to 24 guests. Or check out Denbies’ website for all the latest events on offer including Brunch and Bubbles every weekend until the end of August for just £59. denbies.co.uk
Castle View Restaurant Leeds Castle
It doesn’t get much more magical than a castle view! Experience spectacular views over the moat, where swans paddle, to the magnificent Leeds Castle, famous for being ‘the loveliest castle in the world’. The Castle View restaurant is very welcoming with its charming oak-beams and homely decor, and is perfectly placed just east of the castle island, next to the golf course.
Light lunches and delicious homemade meals are available in the day, as well as especially tasty cakes and desserts produced by a dedicated pastry team. Afternoon teas are also a popular choice, served with a selection of delicate finger sandwiches, sumptuous mini cakes and golden baked scones with British cream and strawberry jam, all for £20 per person. However, if you’re looking for something particularly atmospheric, the seasonal menu served in the evenings uses the finest local and seasonal ingredients and offers unparalleled views of the castle all lit up against the night sky. leeds-castle.com
The Cliffe Lounge Bar & Kitchen
For another angle on the wonderful view across the Channel, dine, drink and relax at The Cliffe’s sun-soaked terrace. The building has been beautifully restored and is now a contemporary venue with spectacular panoramic views of the town’s stunning seafront. Sitting prettily on Folkestone’s famous Leas, it’s a fantastic place to meet friends or family for anything from morning coffees through to evening cocktails and everything in between, including Sunday roasts and the Cliffe’s popular afternoon teas overlooking the gardens.
The boutique-style bar’s drink options include craft lagers and ales, an extensive spirit range, and a specially designed cocktail menu. Meanwhile the vibrant and comfy Bar Lounge is the perfect place for a relaxing wind down or casual bite to eat. clifferestaurantfolkestone.co.uk
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