I've noticed something of a foodie insurgence in Canterbury over the past year. I think this has a lot to do with the high speed train link and how people are quickly discovering it. You can get from Canterbury West to St. Pancras in under an hour, and, as well as becoming more of a student city with the two universities expanding (I have mixed feelings about this), it is now a viable commuter destination. When before the only non-chain restaurants I'd recommend for good, fresh, local food (we do still have a good moroccan in Cafe Mauresque) were The Goods Shed and Deeson's, there are now so many options I'm still only just trying them. Honestly, if you're looking for a day trip out of London to see a beautiful cathedral and eat lovely food, we're your answer!
This time last year I would never have even contemplated a shop front-street food joint like Sam Deeson's Pork & Co., and while the fantastic food (and coffee shop/ wine bar I have not tried yet) you can find at The Shakespeare is something I could have imagined, I'm really glad how it is raising the bar. However, it is the cafe type set ups that serve good, local food that I'm really happy are in insurgence. Places like Brunch on the High Street that is always too busy for me to try (run by the guys behind CJ's, always in my mind the very best chicken mayo baguette in town) excite me, and today, in what used to be an average greasy spoon on the King's Mile: Mrs. Jones' Kitchen. I'd walked past it wondering since it opened, so on Monday Victoria and I decided to make it our destination for our next lunch break lunch date.
Light, airy, relaxed and serving delicious local food was exactly what we're after, and what our city can never have enough of. It also has free Wifi, a cake menu and some harder stuff behind the bar, so I've mentally added to my list of places I can camp out if I feel like a break from sitting working at the end of the kitchen table, which I sometimes feel like in the Winter months when it gets darker earlier. When I work from home and already looks like nighttime outside it can get hard to focus, whereas when I'm out I'm in a better mindset.
After ordering our drinks (sparkling elderflower presse for me, iced and blended coffee, which she really enjoyed, for Victoria) we settled in to enjoy a light, fishy lunch while we caught up on our lives and chatted about Iceland (I've just got back, and she's just heading off!) I ordered something that tempted both of us, the fishcakes with dill and yogurt sauce. The dressed salad was great, the fishcakes packed with fish and flavour, and I liked how there was enough sauce on the plate, and it was not just a garnish afterthought.
Victoria had the fish finger sandwich, which I did not try, but she certainly enjoyed. It came with the same salad as mine, but I also really liked how it was a little bit American in that it came with crisps on the side. To share, we also had a dish of their home cut chips, which were absolutely fantastic. he right amount of fluffy and crispy. I usually don't like them in this style, but these I had no problem polishing off, and would order again just as a snack to go with my drink. That is, if I were in a savoury mood; all of the cakes up on the counter also looked delicious, sorry I forgot to take a photo!
Mrs. Jones' Kitchen is a great place for a casual lunch, or to camp out and work. This is not restaurant food, it is good, local home cooked food and somewhere I'll certainly be coming back to. Yes the service was a bit slow, but we had a nice leisurely meal in the allotted hour we had before Victoria needed to get back to the office, and it is somewhere I'd wholeheartedly recommend. They also do live music and salsa dancing too, so it really is a community spot.