Published: 06:00, 22 January 2021
| Updated: 09:10, 27 January 2021
We may not be able to go out for a meal currently, but that doesn't mean there isn't a small army of restaurateurs across Kent busy making sure we can still have meals to make us feel special at the moment.
Across the county, businesses forced to close their doors, are offering takeaways and keeping the Kent economy ticking over 'til we can get back to some sort of normality.
In some cases, they are also offering meals and discounts to key workers and NHS staff. In the first in a series, we highlight some of those feeding us and hear some Kent Online readers' recommendations.
Joshan of Wye, near Ashford
The family-run Bangladeshi restaurant in Wye High Street has been working hard through lockdown, donating meals for staff at the William Harvey Hospital in Ashford, and offering a 30% discount for key workers. Among those praising the business, customer Sadie Beerling told us: "Not only have they all worked through the pandemic, they have also provided the NHS workers with endless yummy food to keep them going. They all work extremely hard."
The Italian restaurant in Beach Street, Deal, was busy offering its menu throughout the first lockdown last year and is back, beavering away behind the scenes again this time.
Brandon Lawner from the business said: "We have not stopped since March, offering this service whilst being open over the summer. We are now offering more and more great offers on our food to aid the local people with delicious food. We vowed that we were going to make a difference to the local community."
Using local ingredients including meat and vegetables, there is also local delivery to the surrounding areas of St Margarets and Sandwich. Lockdown opening hours are Monday to Friday 4.30pm to 9.30pm; Saturdays noon to 9.30pm, and Sundays noon to 8pm. To see the full menu and order your takeaway go to salentinos.com
The Waggon at Hale, Chatham
The independent family-run traditional country pub situated on Capstone Road, Chatham, which normally has a large pub garden and a warm welcome from the small animal farm and Sage the pub dog, has taken to takeaways while pubs are forced to keep their doors shut.
We're told Emma and her team are providing a top delivery service for their pub grub and throwing in lots of meal deals too. The takeaway and local delivery service is available from Monday to Saturday 9am to 8pm and Sundays 9am to 6pm. To see the menu and order your takeaway if you're in the area, go to waggonathale.com or the Facebook page.
The Turkish restaurant in Avebury Avenue offers delicious Middle Eastern cuisine and a friendly service, and has offered discounts for key workers. Its website is currently being updated but it is on Deliveroo and Ubereats.
One customer said of it: "At Ferah they are so friendly and can’t do enough for you."
The Bull, Horton Kirby
The village inn in Lombard Street usually offers real ales and scrumpy, a classic British menu and themed food nights but has turned to takeaways in recent weeks and months. Though it is offering starters, pub classics, salads and burgers, it is praise for its roast dinners from customers that stands out. To see the menu and order, it's best to go to the Facebook page or call 01322 860341.
The Rose and Crown, Stelling Minnis, Folkestone
The pub, which stocks Maidstone-brewed Goachers beer normally, has been busy working hard to keep locals fed.
Its takeaway and careful collection menu includes burgers and roast dinners, but customer Andrew Heselwood told us: "The Rose and Crown does the absolute best fish and chips. They are trying their best in hard times for a grateful community."
You'll need to visit the Facebook page to see the latest if you live in the area and want to order call 01227 709265.
* If your local restaurant or pub is providing a takeaway to talk about, let us know and we will try to feature it in the coming weeks. Comment here; email firstname.lastname@example.org or let us know by messaging us on Facebook.
You can also help by:
Getting a takeaway
We all know we can, but how many of us opt for the big chains? See if somewhere local you know could give you the same food fix as the big brand names.
Order to cook at home
It was all the rage in the first lockdown. Why not feel like a masterchef and order a meal to prepare at home - et voila!
Buy a gift voucher or make a reservation
Some of our local restaurants have deals for when we can visit again. Get one for a loved one to look forward to - or treat yourself.
Leave a review
We all know how important reviews can be to smaller businesses - but have you ever left one? Let others know when you’ve had service and food to savour.
Shop locally - even online
Feel hesitant about heading out? Then let your shopping come to you safely - and make it local so that you’re helping a firm near you.