TOWNSPOTLIGHT Spotlight on MAIDSTONE cont. THINGS TO DO Stoneacre One of the many National Trust buildings in Kent, Stone Acre is a 15th-century half- timbered yeoman's house, featuring a great hall and surrounded by glorious gardens, an orchard and meadows. It is a perfect example of a Wealden Hall House, and it is full of beautiful collections of furniture, wood and metal work. Wonderful woodland walks over the Otham Valley can begin from here. Mote Park Mote Park has been a fixture in Maidstone since medieval times, and it is just as popular today as it has ever been. It’s an 180-hectare multi-use public park that includes a boating lake, café, plenty of parking, a miniature railway and pitch and putt. It gets its name from the Old English ‘mote’ meaning ‘meeting place’. Hazlitt Theatre The Hazlitt Theatre presents an eclectic mix of entertainment for all the family. Its traditional proscenium arch and intimate auditorium make it the perfect venue for drama, family shows, comedy, music, and variety. The theatre is serviced by a licensed bar and refreshment facilities, with seating for up to 382 people. Maidstone Museum 62 Bentlif Art Gallery Within Maidstone Museum is the Bentlif Art Gallery, an extensive collection of watercolour and oil paintings donated by the Bentlif brothers. In addition, the renowned Queens Own Royal West Kent Regimental Museum is located on the premises, proudly documenting the history of the QORWK and its predecessors since the mid-18th century. Leeds Castle A trip to Maidstone wouldn't be complete without some time spent at the beautiful Leeds Castle. Discover almost 900 years of history and explore 500 acres of beautiful parkland and gardens. The whole family will enjoy the maze and grotto, thrilling falconry displays, punting on the moat, adventure playgrounds and more! DINING OUT La Villetta La Villetta is an independent Italian restaurant that prides itself on only using the finest ingredients direct from both Kent and Italy. La Villetta translates as ‘the cottage’, and the authentic dishes served here are meant to be exactly what you would find in a traditional Italian home, served in the most beautiful way. The menu includes dishes such as zucchini gratinate – roasted courgette, goat cheese, potato cake, cream of red peppers and salsa verde; risotto mare e monti – cured salmon, langoustine, baby prawns, courgettes, cherry tomatoes, asparagus and wild mushroom sauce; and orecchiette con polpette – traditional homemade meatballs with Bolognese sauce. Artemis Artemis is a Greek restaurant that offers a range of breakfast, lunch and dinner dishes that come in big portions with even bigger flavours. The food is fresh and fast, and the service will make you feel right at home. Try the three baked Greek cheeses – feta, halloumi and graviera – served with garlic and olive oil, or the lamb kofte to get a truly authentic Greek experience. Narai Thai Palace Narai Thai cuisine is a specific type of Thai food that is known to be rather spicy, so knowing what to expect when you step through the door means you can peruse the mouthwatering menu with a better understanding of the chilli content of all of the food. Chillies notwithstanding, there are some incredible dishes to choose from including goong gra-tiam prik tai – fried prawns with garlic and butter; yum nua – thin strips of lean beef, chargrilled rare and combined with onion, cucumber, tomatoes, coriander and fresh chilli; and gai yang – chargrilled chicken served with sweet chilli and garlic sauce.