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The Fordwich Arms near Canterbury is the AA's restaurant of the year

Kent now boasts the country's best restaurant following a prestigious presentation last night.

The Fordwich Arms, Canterbury was named Restaurant of the Year at the AA Hospitality Awards at Grosvenor House in London.

Daniel and Natasha Smith inside the Fordwich Arms Picture: Alan Langley
Daniel and Natasha Smith inside the Fordwich Arms Picture: Alan Langley

It is the latest accolade for the riverside inn which was awarded a Michelin star last October - just ten months after opening and has also already been named UK pub of the year in the GQ Magazine Food and Drink Awards.

It comes just weeks after The Dog at Wingham won best food at the Great British Pub Awards.

The AA Restaurant of the Year recognises eateries that provide cuisine of a truly excellent standard, as well as demonstrating innovation and ambience and providing a high standard of hospitality, say inspectors.

Fordwich Arms owners Guy Palmer-Brown, Daniel and Natasha Smith, say they have had a "phenomenal" first year and feel "truly blessed".

The Fordwich Arms is now AA restaurant of the year
The Fordwich Arms is now AA restaurant of the year

"It has proven to us that the hard work and dedication from our team in such a young business has paid off.

"This will only spur us on to achieve as much as we possibly can going forward.

"A huge thank you goes to our team for their continual hard work, without who none of this would have been possible, as well as our guests for their never-ending support of us."

An AA Inspector said of Fordwich Arms: "The 1930s country boozer with a terrace and garden looking over the River Stour was begging for a makeover, and that’s just what it got when high-flying young chef-patron Dan Smith took the helm in 2018 and immediately turned the place into a foodie destination.

"Smith’s cooking is firmly in the new-wave modern British camp, allying sharp technique with intriguing combinations of first-class materials."

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