Review: Heritage Garden Kitchen, Biddenden
An oasis of rural cool and quirky charm set in the Kentish countryside with all-day brunch, nourishing lunches, tasty supper clubs, Sunday Roasts, and a lovely organic farm shop. Need you ask for more?
Heritage Garden Kitchen is part of Bloomsburys Biddenden which, quelle surprise, is located just on the outskirts of Biddenden. You can easily while away a day in this part of Kent re-affirming why it is considered the Garden of England and exploring lots of lovely local attractions like Sissinghurst Castle, partaking in some wine and cider tasting at Biddenden Vineyards plus Tenterden is only five miles with plenty of pottering and shopping appeal.
Bloomsburys Biddenden should be on your radar as it is a cool and quirky glamping site as well as wedding/party venue PLUS they regularly host yoga and Pilates classes, have a hair and beauty spa and there is a picture-perfect Herbary too packed full of herbal tinctures, teas, capsules, essential oils, vitamins, minerals, flower remedies, luxury face and body products to nail those aches and pains you just can’t shift.
The Heritage Garden Kitchen is the restaurant on site, and it is run by husband-and-wife team, Amy and Daniel, who have 17 years of experience in the hospitality industry. Last spotted working at Shangri-La in the Shard, Daniel has also clocked up experience att Galvin at Windows and at the Dorchester so you are in very safe hands when it comes to good food. Amy and Daniel are in the right part of the country as they have a passion for sustainably sourced local produce which is in abdundance around their local area.
Amy and Daniel launched the restaurant during lockdown (November 2020) but they saw it as an opportunity to get to know their local community with a very popular takeaway service – homemade pies/pizzas/burgers – which kept the palates of their neighbours well-oiled and entertained.
If you are after sleek and fancy interiors, this is not the one for you. Expect a mismatch of tables and chairs, vintage rugs, glass chandeliers, old typewriters, smoking armchairs, and bookcases crammed with books and trinkets. Like an antiques shop with brilliant food on the side. On paper, it maybe shouldn’t work but in our humble Muddy opinion, we loved how it all came together and it feels like a home from home environment.
It should come as no surprise that the team are passionate about the environment, so they have up-cylced and repurposed almost every item you’ll sit on or see. Amy and Daniel’s positive and pro-active nature also gives Heritage Garden Kitchen that super welcoming and friendly vibe, and it is somewhere we’d happily go solo or return with a larger group of friends.
SCOFF AND QUAFF
You know you are in a good spot when you really struggle to choose a dish as there are so many other contenders on the menu. And when that hardship situation happens, you just try a bit of everything. As you can imagine, the menu focuses heavily on what is in season and over time, they aim to grow as much of their own organic fruit and vegetables on site.
I was meeting my sister and relatively new boyfriend who is gluten-free and so Amy guided us on the best dishes to suit all of us. Let me tell you that you have not lived until you have had a Smoked Salmon Scotch Egg – with the egg runny inside – see you later sausagemeat. We also shared Sweetcorn Fritters and Chimichurri – this is one to order if you have the luck of it being on the menu on your visit.
For mains, we dabbled between brunch (Smashed Avocado, Poached Eggs on Sourdough) and the Main Plates with Whole Baked Seabass, Fennel, Tomato and Shallot compote & caper dressing alongside Smoked Haddock Bubble and Squeak, Mustard Sauce and Poached Egg WITH (and on reflection, I do wonder at how we fitted it all in especially as my sister’s boyfriend was not able to enjoy it) a side order of Mac n Cheese.
Let’s just say that there was no room for pudding which was a crying shame as their Sticky Toffee Pudding with Ginger Caramel sauce comes highly recommended.
We’d love to return for a dedicated brunch as they have a sophisticated menu in this department with Middle Eastern Eggs, French Toast and Dairy Free Pancakes as well as your Eggs Benedict specials – with Hot Smoked Salmon, Crisp Smoked Bacon or Grilled Halloumi. There’s plenty to keep the younger lot happy too (plus I spied a dedicated baby changing area with toys and books) and outdoor space too for them to wander if you are still working your way through the menu.
The drinks deserve a special mention even though this was a driving occasion as our Super Green fruit juice was Insta-worthy delicious and the wine list is heavily focused on local brands as well as those from further afield.
If you haven’t secured your spot yet for work Christmas do or get-together, Heritage Garden Kitchen is a good shout for something more unique and memorable, plus you can avoid the slog up to London. The car park is vast and there are plenty of local Taxi Services available too. We like the look of their bowl food for party vibe (they can host up to 100 people) or there is the gourmet sit-down Christmas dinner option too…
Look out for their supper clubs and workshops throughout the year – we are sorry to have missed their recent Fungi Foraging workshop as well as their Asian Tapas night (especially as Daniel was last at Shangri-La ) and word has it that Taco Thursdays are exceedingly popular.
Their recently opened farm shop with seasonal, local vegetables, cheeses, homemade cakes, deli items and other treats is also hard to walk into without walking away with something delicious.
THE MUDDY VERDICT
GOOD FOR? Did we say Brunch?! It’s also a fab pit-stop if you are walking in the area and a good half-way meeting point in Kent. Due to its large space, they can easily accommodate large parties too including the nippers.
NOT FOR? If you are after a slick operation within sleek and contemporary surroundings, this is maybe not the one for you. We love the creative chaos from an interior point of view especially as the food does the talking but the mis-matching style might not float your boat.
You will find that the prices match the quality of the food, so our Table Snacks cost £6 with Small Plates starting from £7 and Large Plates from £14. For the Brunch options, you won’t pay more than £10 for some seriously good brunch fayre.