Places To Eat In Canterbury: The Granville, Lower Hardres
No Canterbury, I have not forgotten you! I know every time I’ve escaped the city recently I’ve spent my days barbecuing and lazing around the garden (and hitting up old favourites like The Compasses Inn and The Wife of Bath), but the other weekend I finally made it out to try somewhere new: The Granville. We must have driven past this pub just outside the city so many times but never been in, so when I was invited along for lunch I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to treat my Mum for a change.
The menu is nice and casual. There are a few tapas dishes (Spanish prawns, croquettes), sharing platters, a few pub classics, some thought out homemade burgers, steaks and some Pieminister pies. It is cozy and familiar, but not really predictable. The sort of thing you’d get if you asked someone who really, really knew how to cook to put together a basic pub menu everyone would love.
Since arriving back in London I’ve learnt is that a ‘Shepherds Neame Pub’ is something totally different here. I’ve noticed the Kent pub giants do own a few around Central and my bit of South East London, but they’re more boozers with good Whitstable Bay on tab and sport on the television. However, in East Kent you know as well as the good drink you’ll get good food, and with that good food? An actually pretty great wine list. Subtly different in each establishment what they have chosen to serve, pretty much all the wine comes from one central list, and it is all lovely; we had two glasses of a Chilian white which went perfectly with our food.
We shared some fresh bread with a homemade pesto dipping oil, and some starters. We were both really impressed by the Spanish prawns. Hot, buttery and full of flavour they were beautifully prepared, just sitting in their hears for visual effect, but making them really easy (and a bit less messy than usual!) to eat. I also had the special of the day: a breaded and fried egg (with the most beautiful yolk) in a creamy green sauce. Something little different for a Saturday lunchtime with a few local ingredients.
We did our usual ‘can’t decide’ thing of ordering two dishes for our mains and swapping half way. They do really, really good burgers at The Granville: our venison burger with onion chutney was perfectly built and cooked, with lots of flavour, and we got to swap out our regular chips for sweet potato fries which is always a win! We also had a tomato, pesto and mozzarella risotto with sweet peppers. It was creamy, comforting, and just what I’d want to order for dinner actually to dive into at the end of a long week.
Our desserts (again shared) were a lot of fun. The raspberry panna cotta was light and paired with the most delicious coulis (though, it also had raspberries in lemongrass syrup on the side – which while lovely – I’m not too sure how they tied into the dish), and the palette (quite literally) of all of their ice cream and sorbet offerings (served with a plate of deliciously crunchy toasted chopped hazelnuts for dipping) was simply adorable – such a unique idea!
The Granville is one of those lovely, casual pubs where you can go for just good, consistent food to relax with friends and family, without having to bother with something too fancy. Look out for their special evenings where they do £10 burgers on Monday nights, and 2 for 1 steaks on Tuesdays (which I have a feeling my Dad will be hitting up the moment he reads this!)