Published: 13:06, 16 September 2020
| Updated: 13:14, 16 September 2020
A new restaurant and bar is set to open at Port Lympne wild animal park.
The Garden Room will serve "unpretentious food that celebrates the best of British cuisine", according to the team behind it.
It will be located at the Hythe animal reserve and nestled within Sir Philip Sassoon’s original stable yard and will be the first restaurant within the main reserve to be open to guests not visiting the park or staying in its variety of on-site accommodation.
Sir Philip Sassoon was a politician who previously owned the mansion at Port Lympne before it was taken over by the Aspinall family.
The Garden Room will be open seven days a week and will also introduce a traditional Sunday lunch menu.
In addition, diners who book a table for Sunday lunch will have complimentary access to the reserve.
The menu has been designed by Port Lympne’s executive head chef Lee Edney and will include dishes such as Romney Marsh lamb with confit garlic, broccoli and pearl barley risotto, tuna sashimi with soy and mirin dressing, avocado, orange and tobiko caviar as well as Longland farm chicken with sweetcorn, cep puree, girolles and cavolo nero.
Many of the ingredients will be sourced from the reserve’s very own growers based at Walmestone near Wingham.
An extensive drinks menu will also include unique botanical themed cocktail, locally produced wines and a range of Kent ales.
The restaurant has been refurbished by Interior Designer Victoria Aspinall, wife of Damian Aspinall, and features glass chandeliers, vaulted glazed ceiling, mirrored garden walls and oversized brass lanterns.
Head Chef Lee Edney said: "The new menu will appeal to every taste and showcases the exceptional range of produce available in Kent, including a seasonal crumble with fruits sourced within the Port Lympne and Howletts estate.
"The highlight of this menu is not only its innovative use of great, fresh flavours, but also its commitment to seasonality."
The Garden Room, which will have seating for 100 people, will open on Thursday, October 1.
Reservation requests can initially be made by filling in an online reservation request at aspinallfoundation.org/garden-room/
Port Lympne is already home to a wide portfolio of accommodation and three other on-site restaurants.
The park, run by The Aspinall Foundation, was recently granted permission to start work on Giraffe Hall, a 10-bed boutique hotel that will allow guests to get up close and personal with the giraffes.
Earlier this week, the safari experience at the park was halted after a bomb was discovered on site . It was found to contain no explosive content and removed.