Shirley Valentine would be tempted

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New Romney's best kept secret has been discovered

Finding somewhere different to eat out is not that difficult in Rye and surrounding villages, there are plenty of good eateries to choose from but at the risk of being lynched dare I suggest you might consider crossing the county line and heading into Kent for a change? Well, we did, and it was an experience I felt worth sharing. If you’re feeling a little adventurous why not do the same and give it a try?

In August last year we visited the Pilgrims Hospice shop in New Romney, they had a yard sale with the emphasis on tools and ‘stuff’ for the garden, it was a really successful fund raiser, so impressive that I followed up the visit with an article in Rye News titled Weekend Pilgrimage.

The Coach House, tucked away but well worth discovering.

Whilst in New Romney we discovered the Coach House, a fully licensed café, bar and restaurant with a Mediterranean twist serving breakfast, lunch and evening meals. Open seven days a week and run by a (soon to be married) young couple, Hazel and Fredi.

We booked a table last Friday evening and on arrival the first thing to notice was that it had atmosphere, no whispering in corners in case someone heard you, no stuffiness and a cross-section of diners from couples to a large family group. There was music, a selection from the 80s played in the background, you didn’t have to shout to hear yourself speak, instead the music put you in a relaxed frame of mind immediately, ready to enjoy the evening ahead.

Hazel welcomed us to our table and was our waitress for the evening, she was brilliant! Not pushy, just that girl next door smile and attitude but obviously experienced in what she does and well worth the non-compulsory service charge we left her at the end of the evening. The venue was warm, architecturally interesting, well lit and again, atmospheric. The menu catered for all with everything made freshly to order, no pinging of microwaves coming from the visible kitchen team, just good banter and happy faces.

Doesn’t this just look SO tasty?

The starters we chose had a Greek influence, a mixture of humous with filled red peppers, chargrilled pitta bread, kalamata olives and dressed mixed salad leaves. The main courses were not an easy choice, they all looked amazing but we went for lamb souvlaki and moussaka between us and wow, were they both fantastic!! The starters were very tasty and fresh, surely the main courses couldn’t be better  but they were, cooked to perfection, served in good time and SO flavoursome.

Coach House pancakes anyone?

We are not foodies but we agonised over whether to have a pudding or not, but as it was a special occasion we decided to throw caution (and our waistlines) to the wind and go for it, between us we had millionaires shortbread slice, ice cream and layered custard slice with filo pastry, absolutely delicious.

The Coach House vegan selection

There is a choice for everyone on the menu, a good selection of drinks and Mediterranean wines and if you were just thinking of dropping in for a coffee and a slice of something naughty, the choice of pastries is equally as mesmerising.

It doesn’t have to be summer to eat strawberries.

I’m pretty easy to please when it comes to eating out and normally quite accepting of what is put in front of me but I can honestly say, with hand on heart that our meal at the Coach House was truly exceptional in every respect. It’s not a large venue but it is very well run, the chef and his team and the team at front of house know their business well, a faultless delivery by all concerned ensured that a special occasion was celebrated in style, without breaking the bank and if I were to award it a score out of a 10 I would not hesitate in awarding the Coach House an 11, nor would I hesitate in returning.

There are lots of photos available on line to show you what’s on the menu and a comprehensive and varied selection of dishes awaits you upon arrival so why not try it, it’s worth travelling the extra miles to enjoy the dining  experience that goes the extra mile.

The Coach House, Church Close, New Romney, TN28 8AR.  For bookings or more information call 01797 364583.

Image Credits: The Coach House , Fredi Inglish , Nick Forman .

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