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Review: The Three Mariners

A foodie favourite near Faversham. Cue a Muddy nose-around as we hover up 3 courses for the team...

Long a local community hub in the waterside village of Oare, near Faversham The Three Mariners also draws diners from far and wide having made a few waves in the foodie world (I’m running with the waterfront theme). Muddy hunkers down for three courses (what a trooper!).

THE LOCATION

Aptly named, The Three Mariners overlooks the river leading to The Swale and then beyond that the sea and stands just up the hill from a picturesque cluster of boats, bobbing in the breeze. If you’re anywhere in the Faversham, Sittingbourne or Whitstable area it’s well worth a visit as it sits conveniently in the centre of those three east Kent towns.

THE VIBE

In terms of décor there’s no trendy makeover here, it’s a traditional 18th-century pub, with an old-style wooden bar, pictures covering the walls, log fires, pine tables an an overall cosy feel. Busy and popular. I visited with Mr Muddy and the mudlets on a Saturday lunchtime. We were first in (I’m nothing if not keen) but before long the place was buzzing – with families, couples, bigger groups, weekend lunchers and weekend walkers – pretty much everyone young and old.

We sat at the front of the pub, near the bar and fire. But there’s a nice large dining space at the back with some funky lighting which I also really liked the look of and if you had a party bigger then that’s where you’d probably be put. There’s enough to seat 26 people in this dining area which would also work well if you wanted somewhere to hire for a private dining space.

SCOFF & QUAFF

Mr Muddy and I wolfed down three courses (in the name of research). Starting with wholesome hunks of homemade bread, (complimentary too, nice touch), and then the most mouth-wateringly delicious Crackling Coated Squid and Tomato Chilli Jam, below. With much of the seafood at The Three Mariners sourced from the local Kent coastline, particularly Whitstable, this is all fresh and insanely tasty.

Usually, I always go for a fish dish, especially given the location but I was recovering from a nasty winter virus and fancied the warming hug of Wild Mushroom Risotto with Shaved Twineham Grange, see above. Mr Muddy, the carnivore, devoured the melt-in-the-mouth Pork Belly, Red Cabbage and Apple Tarte Tatin in Cider Jus. Finger-lickin’ gooooood.

There’s a kids menu too, which is always music to our ears as my two haven’t yet developed sophisticated tastebuds (aka are fussy as hell…). This was nice and ‘foodie’ in its own way – delicious Battered Fish (caught locally) & (doorstep-sized) Chips or Norfolk Chicken with seasonal vegetables, Sausages and Mash or Linguine in a Creamy Mushroom Sauce. Pretty much something for everyone covered there.

So stuffed to the rafters we, um, still did manage to make space for this Blackberry and Almond Crumble with Vanilla ice cream.  Thank heavens for elasticated waistbands…

OUT & ABOUT

The back of the pub has a cute little terrace area which is being given a makeover/extension in time for the summer (so is the car park). The terrace overlooks a fabulous-sized beer garden where there’s plenty of room for your kiddies to play. And to go alongside the newly refurbed terrace they are opening a gormet pizza oven, which will offer all the usual toppings but with original flavours too, like Duck Hoisin Sauce Pizza (anyone?).

We were lucky enough to visit on a beautiful sunny day, considering it was February, but not really warm enough for a Pimms au soleil. However I bet it’s the place to be in the summer. From the terrace you can just see the masts of the boats peeping over the top of the trees which are moored just a short distance away, so a great view.

With Faversham on the doorstep and Whitstable only a little further away this pub is well located for both locals and down-from-Londoners alike. Or anyone from another area of Kent who fancies a day trip and ticking another pub off the list on the ‘Ultimate Food Pubs of Kent Crawl’ (I can’t be the only one, surely?)

THE MUDDY VERDICT

Good for: Walkers, travellers, friends and families alike. Oh and four-legged friends in the bar area. If you’re looking for excellent, hearty food and drink with a traditional, cosy pub atmosphere then you’ll like it here. There’s great outside space – so ideal to include on your itinerary if you’re in the area on a summer weekend getaway.

Not for: Anyone wanting spacious, Farrow & Ball refurbed dining. This place is a buzzy social hub with a pleasant low-key vibe. People with toddlers or young kiddies who like to run around like loons might not find it massively relaxing – the beer garden is at the back and down several steps so you can’t eat while watching them play outside. But in the summer you’d no doubt be able to grab a table down on the lawn or on the newly extended terrace.

The damage: Very much in line with similar pubs. Starters all around the £6-£7 mark and mains from around £12 (for a Steak Burger) to £25 (for 28 Day Ribeye Steak), and children’s main courses all £7.95. Worth noting is the particularly good value is the Walkers Set Menu – 3 Courses for £14.95 and all delicious-sounding options.

The Three Mariners, Oare, Faversham, ME13 0QA, Tel: 01795 533633, thethreemarinersoare.co.uk

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