Eat out: Draper’s Arms
Artisan bakery, coffee house and pub in the heart of medieval Canterbury. It's recently changed hands so in the name of research, Muddy went to try it out...
There is a restaurant space in Canterbury which frequently changes hands, and nothing ever seems to stick but this may well change with the fresh new arrival of Draper’s Arms. What better way to find out if they could crack the curse by diving into its Bottom Brunch held at Draper’s Arms every Saturday. Just part of the day job, you know…
Draper’s Arms is centrally located in the Cathedral Quarter of the city at the corner of Palace, Guildhall, & Sun Streets just steps from the historic Canterbury Cathedraland at the start of the King’s Mile so a thriving place to be in terms of fantastic independent businesses and a great opportunity for you to flex your credit card muscles pre- or post- eating.
Formerly a draper’s shop, Draper’s Arms is a very welcoming spot and ticks a lot of boxes on the vibe front – think pine-scrubbed tables, industrial lighting and pretty posies on the table. It’s the kind of place where you could go with a large group of friends, enjoy a cozy night out with your other half or works as a boozer for a more laddy-based excursion. Equally, you wouldn’t regret going with your kids as children are well-catered for, with a dedicated menu and seating options.
The upstairs roof terrace overlooking Guildhall Street is an absolute winner. The dining room leads onto a restored internal balcony and this whole area can be hired for a party with up to 80 people. They also crank up the music a bit louder up there to give it more of a party-bar atmosphere. Judging by the fact that the roof terrace was full at 11am on a sunny Saturday, I would say that the Draper’s Arms is winning on that front.
SCOFF & QUAFF
Let’s start with the Quaffing since it is a Bottomless Brunch (from 12pm-5pm) with an unlimited supply of Bellinis, Prosecco or Rum Punches. *Hic*. Do not fear though as the clever boffins know how to make sure that dignity is preserved as it is a minimum two-course menu meaning you will not be seeing double after your first hour. A rather nice touch was the arrival of some mini peach and orange juices mid-way point throughout the meal should you want to shush up your fizz at any point.
They have pitched the menu just right – a few of the traditional classics (smashed avo, eggs benedict) that you may hope for yet done with a sophisticated slant, (so you know that you couldn’t have achieved it better at home). I was won over by the Homemade ricotta, broad beans, peas and mint served on warm sourdough bread as a starter and loved it even more after hearing that it takes two days to perfect the ricotta recipe. A light and delicate start to the feasting. My husband chose the Crispy duck egg served with asparagus soldiers and parmesan as a novel twist. It is a feat of science that the egg managed to be crispy on the outside yet deliciously gooey on the inside and he was duly impressed.
I followed my ricotta with Bubble & Squeak with woodland mushrooms, poached egg and a chive butter sauce and my husband had the Draper’s cheese burger with all the trimmings which led to lots of mouth wiping and mmmm sounds from our table.
My husband said that we would not want pudding yet somehow his coffee spoon hacked its way through most of MY vanilla cheesecake served with roast strawberries and ginger bread which I guess is proof of that pudding (ho ho) that it was pretty darn good.
It’s also worth mentioning that Vegans are also catered for within the Bottomless Brunch with BBQ pulled jackfruit burgers and the like, plus they have a dedicated Vegan menu for dining outside of the Bottomless Brunch.
OUT & ABOUT
Draper’s Arms in positioned in a fabulous part of Canterbury for mooching and a mere (and scarily close) hop, skip and jump from Muddy favourite, Lilford gallery. Scary because I always just ‘pop’ in yet find it impossible to walk away empty-handed. Street side tables line both sides of the restaurant meaning it is also the place to be for people watching or just basking in the sun.
THE MUDDY VERDICT
Good for: Girlie get-togethers – large or small.There is also plenty of space at Draper’s Arms for you to have a more intimate dining experience with your other half or your folks.
Not for: Even though Draper’s Arms is kiddie-friendly, I would leave them behind for the Bottomless Brunch excursion, so you can really indulge and not have to worry if their favourite crayon gets swiped by their sibling. Or is that just my children?
Enjoy either two courses for £29.95 or three for £34 and that includes unlimited Prosecco, Rum Punch or Bellinis so a very attractive proposition.