Friday, 27 September 2013

Places To Eat In Canterbury: The Shakespeare

The problem with moving across the pond and away from your hometown for almost a year is that things look very, very different when you come back. It used to disconcert me when I stayed in London for an entire month and came back to Canterbury, the place I will always call home for a few days and found one of my favourite shops and restaurants had closed or changed hands. However, one good thing since I've been gone in Canterbury is while I've lost one of my favourite lunch spots, The Hutch by Mint Yard Gate of Canterbury Cathedral which has now closed, so many new and exciting eateries have opened for me now to sample when I'm in town. 
the shakespeare seafood platter
While the original plan was to sample Salt. for lunch, the restaurant that has taken over the space on Palace Street opposite the King's School Shop that Hutch used to occupy during a shopping trip with my Mummy, walking down the high street we caught the food board for The Shakespeare, a newly refurbished pub down a side street where a run down-ish pub I never went near called Casey's used to be. We decided to eat there instead, as the food looked pretty good. Lets say we were very, very happy with our change of heart and we will be eating there again, and I felt it warranted being shared with my small group of Canterbury followers, and those of you who might visit sometime int he future (please do, Canterbury is awesome, and not just because I live here and you're liable to run into Paul Hollywood in Waitrose!)
They have a great looking menu which is a great mix of traditional pub food and modern favourites. I wish to go back for the Crispy Pork Belly, one of their open top sandwiches and special burgers. And their meat platter.
the shakespeare pinot DSC_0783 DSC_0787 DSC_0805
As you can see, my Mother and I decided to order the small version of the seafood platter which was the perfect size for us to share (we were planning on saving room for dessert!), and unlike a lot of sharing platters was really well thought out as something meant to share. There were two perfectly grilled prawns, four pieces of bread, a large enough piece of salmon to split in two, two pieces of sun dried tomato, four pieces of calamari and even an even number of pickled capers. All perfectly dividable, and totally delicious. Recommended.
the shakespeare dessert
We could not choose between desserts, so we ordered two to share. First up, we have the most delicious melty chocolate cake. The sponge was rich and dense and it was served with a scoop of honeycomb ice cream. The micro herbs as garnish looked fantastic, but also tasted really good with and balanced out the rich chocolate.
Our second dessert was a homemade salted caramel cheesecake (baked) served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a generous sprinkling of popping candy. For me, it was the popping candy that added interest and excitement to the dish; kudos to Heston Blumenthal for bringing the candy back into the mainstream so you can now buy it in Waitrose and Tesco. In my mind it makes the perfect garnish for a playful dessert.
They also have a pretty cute garden, which while it is Autumn now and the chill is starting to come in, I think would have been lovely in Summer. Not as awesome as the garden in my favourite Canterbury pub, The Dolphin, but still pretty awesome. If you live in or around Canterbury I urge you to go try it out, or if you don't, to do so on a visit to the town. We're pretty awesome you know, and this lunch combined with a trip to the beautiful Cathedral and cloisters is worth hopping on the train for, promise! 


  1. everyting looks so nice there :D

    xx Vivi

  2. I must admit I had been put off going there after going to Caseys a couple of times (I never understood why it was so popular!) it looks so clean and light now! I'm going to have to try it! are you going to the food festival this weekend?

  3. Oh that's great that the place has had a facelift and good menu put in! You really ought to try Salt out still. I had an amazing meal there a few weekends ago and my lovely pal Jess has just got a job there and she'll make sure your tummies are happy. I had my reservations about the place before I went but my mind was totally changed. The food there is GREAT, xxx

  4. Let me know what you think. And I know, I have no idea where Caseys was so popular, but to be honest I actually never went in there before; I always decided that it would be a bad idea by just viewing the outside! Honestly, I did not even know it had changed hands until I saw a board for the food one Saturday after it had opened outside Jack Wills.

    And no, I'm staying in London this weekend; I have decided that Street Feast Europe in Dalston Yard is a higher foodie calling, but let me know if you find anything particularly exciting and new there. I've found it is good for getting to know some new and exciting local brands before they hit the good farm shops. (Also, is that new farm shop/ cafe next to Wetherspoons by Westgate opened yet. I keep missing it. The one that used to be a bar? Also, have you eaten at Brunch? I have heard good things.)

  5. Salt is still on my to do list, it is just that I'm in London most of the time, and when I'm having big catch up meals with groups of friends we always end up at Deeson's, pretty much without fail because the standard is guaranteed. I have heard so many good things about Salt, but it does look a bit unappealing on the outside, to be honest. Or, I'm still in mourning for The Hutch. Though, to be honest, I also think I'm still mourning for Coffee & Corks, and it has not been that coffee shop for about 6 years!

  6. awww your photos say it all. makes me all the more hungry. and you really have a wonderful place :)

    REAlity Bites

  7. SHITEST PUB IN CANTERBURY! I went there for a meal and a drink on Saturday and the staff are so rude and the meal was cold when I complained the staff were very annoyed for some reason and did nothing for me! WORST PUB IN CANTERBURY!

  8. Someone told me last night that it had changed hands yet again, so I'm going to go back and see if my next meal is as good as the one I had over the Summer.