Whitstable, I shall fondly remember you as the place where I spent most of my time peering in estate agent windows. Not your usual touristy behaviour, you might say, but a quick short drive through Whitstable High St just to park the car, and I was in love. Much to Husband’s annoyance, I then started to look up train apps to see what the commute to London would look like, prompting Husband to say in much exasperation ‘You cannot choose a place to move to based on food alone’. Silly man, of course I can. That’s pretty much the main criteria.
Oh we’re not moving just yet, but a potential move to ‘the countryside’ is always rattling around in the backs of our heads and one day we’ll take the plunge, swap our central (but tiny) London abode for the dream of a larger pad and a garden and all the trappings of suburban life. And given my daily musings on food and the best places to eat, it’s simply good planning to start considering the foodie options! For a change, I’m being the sensible one.
We go for a walk down the Harbour and drink in the sights and smells, the tang of salt in the air, wind whipping my hair into an unflattering bouffant, sea roaring against the pebbled beach and oyster shells and vendors dotted around, peddling their wares to locals and tourists alike.
My first ever experience with oysters came courtesy of a mass family chain restaurant in NZ and as first oyster experiences go, it probably wasn’t the most sensible idea anybody ever had and it took almost 10 years for me to give it another go. This time, I had husband pointing out gently that if I was to try oysters, I needed to be trying the best quality, the freshest oysters and to have them with a little drop of Tabasco and lemon. So when I spotted all those fresh oyster stalls, I simply had to have some!
The oysters have only fuelled my appetite and we head back onto the High street for lunch, where thanks to some canny planning, I’ve reserved us a table at popular Kentish bistro Samphire, particularly good for vegetarian options. The restaurant is pure charm, from rustic chalk reservations, flowers in jam jars on the scrubbed pine tables and friendly relaxed staff.
Since I’m unable to bypass any kind of Seafood option on a menu, I plump for the fishcakes. These are chock full of fish with potato there only to glue this bad boy together and they’re just simple, heartily good fare, simply flavoured and with a squeeze of lemon, leaving me a very happy camper indeed. And they are so filling that once Husband has chowed down on his delicious Mussels, there’s plenty that we can share. Our friends opt for the Vegetarian options of Beetroot soup and beetroot gnocchi with goats cheese and walnuts and there’s no words of complaint coming from the vege side of the table either.
A quick jaunt down the high street later (me stopping to take pictures of the adorable shops & harbour market, in amongst all the stops at estate agent windows) and it’s time to leave. But if I have my way, inher30s will be moving in nearby in no time at all.
Watch this space!