Why you should dine in Charles Dickens’ old local

The Corner House in Canterbury celebrated its second anniversary this summer, five years after chef restaurateur Matt Sworder opened award-winning The Corner House in Minster. The half decade milestone was marked by the release of The Corner House Cook Book, which features more than 40 recipes made popular at both restaurants over the last five years.

The newer of the two is located at 1 Dover St, Canterbury, Kent, in the former site of The Flying Horse pub – the city’s second oldest pub – which was supposedly frequented by none other than Charles Dickens himself! This is why one of the rooms is named after the great author. There’s also the Chaucer room (Canterbury Tales) and the Tourtel room (creator of Rupert the Bear). Each of the three ensuite rooms has the quintessential charm of a bygone British era. Exposed wooden beams coupled with soft, welcoming colours allows guests to feel right at home. The beds are magnificently comfortable and despite being so centrally located to the town centre, there’s enough glazing to keep out any noise.

The ground floor restaurant has 50 covers, while the open plan kitchen brings guests a little closer to the theatre of food being prepared. The interior design has been managed by Ramsgate-based architects del Renzio, with the aim to bring out the best of the building’s original features, restoring it to its former glory.

Like its sister restaurant in Minster, the focus here is on simple British dishes executed to a high standard. The menu is seasonal and showcases the very best of local produce. There are popular sharing dishes of Romney marsh lamb and Stour Valley pheasant. I opted for the bolder flavours of the braised ox cheek, with chestnut crumb, confit carrot, mash potato and red wine jus. Excellent taste in the tender meat, complimented very nicely by the accompaniments. The steak, meanwhile, I could see was cooked to perfection – as requested by my guests.

“Our Minster restaurant has gone from strength to strength since we opened, and we’ll be building on everything that’s been key to its success,” said Matt at the opening of The Corner House Canterbury when it opened in July 2016. “We have a great team in place in Canterbury and we’re looking forward to offering the residents of Canterbury a fantastic new dining experience.”

As much as the locals love it, out-of-towners enjoy the dining experience too and I’m certainly one of them.

For more information, visit www.cornerhouserestaurants.co.uk