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The Sportsman and The Fordwich Arms honoured in National Restaurant Awards

By Jodie Nesling

East Kent has cemented its status as one of the UK's culinary hot spots with two of the region's restaurants honoured at a national awards ceremony.

The Sportsman in Seasalter and The Fordwich Arms in Fordwich both made the top 100 places to eat beating some of the country's finest restaurants.

Newcomer The Fordwich Arms, which only opened at Christmas, came 90th beating scores of outstanding eateries to make the grade.

Head chef Dan Smith says the business is going from strenth to strength (2502973)
Head chef Dan Smith says the business is going from strenth to strength (2502973)

Head chef and owner Dan Smith is no stranger to accolades after scooping the Observer's Young Chef of the Year.

The 25-year-old together with patisserie chef and fiance, Tash Norton, and sommerlier Guy Palmer bought the pub after falling in love with the town and Kentish produce.

Mr Smith says they were all stunned at the result: "We couldn't believe it as we have only been open for six months. It meant a lot because it was decided by restaurateurs. It was a great night and we had a chance to catch up with people in the industry. It was really good to see, Grace Dent (Guardian food critic.)"

The Sportsman long beloved of foodies far and wide was placed an incredible 9th beating the likes of London's La Gavroche and Heston Blumenthal's Fat Duck in Bray

The Sportsman pub at Seasalter (2501944)
The Sportsman pub at Seasalter (2501944)

The 10th awards ceremony was this year held at the Hurlingham Club in London and attracted celebrity chefs such as Tom Kerridge.

The 100 best restaurants in the UK is voted for by an academy of chefs, restaurateurs and food writers.

This year's Best Restaurant accolade was awarded to Thai restaurant Kiln in Soho.

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