Muddy Reviews: The Crescent Turner
The celebs are flocking here (well Jack Whitehall for one) so we decided that it was high-time we found out what all the fuss was about – and whether the calibre of the food matched the stunning sunsets.
You may think you have taken a wrong turn when heading to The Crescent Turner as it is at the very end of a dirt-track, from a roundabout just outside Whitstable, but, in our humble opinion, that is one of the best parts about these hidden gems as you feel that you have unearthed a foodie secret before anybody else.
You may not be blown away by the architectural décor at first glance but hurry on inside as that is where you will discover some seriously good food plus (and we say this boldly) the best place for sundowners in Kent.
The Crescent Turner has been in Whitstable for the past 6 years but in 2020, Sarah and Stuart (who previously ran the ever-popular Three Mariners in Oare) got their hands on the property and have invested in a huge makeover that befits the view overlooking Whitstable beyond.
There are 18 bedrooms – from Family Rooms to the more romantic Seaview rooms- and they have all been recently renovated and decorated so it’s a totally fresh start for The Crescent Turner for anyone who has stayed here before.
You get the impression that Crescent Turner took off in popularity before their website was fully ready as it is quite hectic but bear with it all as you won’t be disappointed. Tropical vibes set the tone for backdrop with plenty of cane furniture to set the scene within the Palm Pavilion where the main dining takes place.
The outdoor terrace is unbeatable and even if you still get a moody sky rather than a picture-perfect sunset, this is place for a bit of escapism from day-to-day life.
To enhance the space even more, it would be even more magical to have dimmer lighting within the restaurant for a softer tone and some laidback beats on the outdoor terrace for a more contemporary appeal.
SCOFF AND QUAFF
This is our kind of menu. It’s short, changes regularly and there are plenty of interesting dishes that could not be easily recreated at home. We’ll let the food do the talking as we opted for Charred Pork Belly with kohlrabi and apple, Confit Tomato Tart with ricotta and basil and Scallops with Cauliflower puree & crispy Parma ham with the latter winning the top starter award.
Our mains consisted of Butternut Squash Risotto with cavolo nero, roasted pine nuts, parmesan, Seafood Gratin with saffron béchamel and the Whole Lemon Sole with mussel & herb butter, samphire and new potatoes.
And to top it all off, Lemon Tart with raspberry sorbet and a plate of Petit Fours.
We mentioned Sundowners and luckily, they have all the right ingredients for a good cocktail. We kicked off with Pornstar Martinis and Mojitos which were just the ticket to toast the end of Summer plus a bottle of Gusbourne Brut kept us fuelled throughout the meal. It’s a good wine list so you can be more adventurous with your choices….
Special shout-out to the service team as it is a tricky time recruiting good people at the moment, but the team here went above and beyond in terms of making us feel comfortable and welcome – from rugs to cover us at JUST the right time (when sitting outside went from nice to a little bit freezing). And this wasn’t just for the benefit of Muddy as other friends have commented about the VIP service they have also received on recent visits.
If you have a wedding to plan or a big birthday coming up, make sure that The Crescent Turner is on your radar. There are Nordic tipis at your disposal so you can make your very own Crescent Canvas (with capacity up to 170 guests we’re told) and you can glam it up or can go for more of a wedfest vibe with pop up food stations, firepit and rustic tables and benches.
THE MUDDY VERDICT
GOOD FOR: Escapism – you feel like you are a million miles from home. Girls’ and group get-togethers especially in the sunnier months for Ibiza vibes. Family lunches as you have all that grass for them to roam whilst you are finishing off your Petit Fours and with that view, this is also a good place for a little bit of romance too – especially if you book a room for after…
NOT FOR: It errs on the pricier side so this may be prohibitive for some. It’s not near a mainline station so one of you is going to have to be designated driver unless get cabs or you stay the night!
The prices are quite heady here – ranging from £7.95 for a starter and up to £24.50 for some of the mains, and that is before you have got the sides (£3.50) with puddings costing £6.95 and upwards. BUT treat this as a place for special occasions, choose your companions wisely and try to judge the weather forecast for optimal bang-for-buck viewing pleasure!
Crescent Turner, Wraik Hill, Whitstable, CT5 3BY, 01227 263506, crescentturner.co.uk