SQUIRES RESTAURANT AND BAR AT BRIDGEWOOD MANOR PROVIDES A RELAXED ATMOSPHERE IN WHICH TO ENJOY DINNER WITH COLLEAGUES OR A NIGHT OUT WITH FRIENDS , WITH DISHES CREATED TO SUIT ALL TASTES COOKED WITH PASSION AND FLAIR .
The restaurant was easy to find , and the route to Squires took us through the bar area which was bustling . The tone of general bonhomie followed us from the bar to the restaurant itself where a jolly young waiter was pleased to meet us and seat us . With a flourish he produced a rather wonderful looking tasting menu , and indicated the ice bucket complete with a bottle of Tenterden ’ s finest , Chapel Down Bacchus , chilling nicely . As far as welcomes went , this was one of the nicest we ’ d encountered yet !
What ’ s lovely about a tasting menu is that any problems with choosing between delicious dishes is taken out of your hands , and all you need to do is enjoy the food itself . Up first was stone baked artisan bread along with seaweed and sea salt butter , olive oil and aged balsamic vinegar . It was a tasty way to start a meal , and the creamy seaweed butter mixed with tangy vinegar and oil really set the tone for the rest of the meal . Taste buds at the ready , sipping exquisite Kentish wine , we settled down for the next course . It was spiced mixed bean , chickpea and vegetable soup – a veritable feast of warming , rustic , flavours that was hugely moreish . If seconds had been offered I ’ m fairly certain both my dining partner and I would have had another bowlful .
However , it was probably a good thing that we moved onto the fish dish instead – more soup might have meant there wasn ’ t enough room left for the rest of the meal ( which would have been a tragedy ). The dish was baked hake , potato , smoke paprika , butter bean , chorizo sausage and tomato and red pepper fondue . The hake was perfectly cooked , soft and tasty , and the potatoes were fluffy and almost creamy in texture . This combined with the spicy chorizo and red pepper sauce and the explosion of flavours was quite something .
The next course was the steak . And not just any steak , but Hereford rib eye with garlic Portobello mushrooms , plum tomatoes , watercress and chips . The chef recommended that we tried the meat medium rare , and so we did – it was the right choice . All the flavour stayed with the steak , and combined with the tomatoes and other accompaniments , it was perfect .
Dessert … who could possibly say no to a warm chocolate brownie with coconut ice cream and lime and ginger syrup ? Not us , certainly . Although the brownie itself was decadently deep and dark , the lightness of the ice cream and the sharpness of the syrup meant that it wasn ’ t too rich in the slightest – so of course , we ate the lot .
And to finish – yes , there was more ! – was an overflowing cheese board featuring a selection of local cheeses and a spiced russet apple chutney and savoury biscuits . The perfect end to a perfect meal .