insideKENT Magazine Issue 26 - May 2014 - Page 99

dining out From fine dining and gastro pub cuisine, to trendy cafés, Sevenoaks offers a fantastic array of venues when it comes to eating out. Here are a few of our favourites. Sevenoaks Wildlife Reserve – Whether you consider yourself a wildlife enthusiast or not, a visit to the town's pioneering wildlife reserve is not to be missed. With roughly equal proportions of water and land, it includes five lakes and a mixed habitat of ponds, seasonal flooded pools, reed beds and woodlands. Riverhill Himalayan Gardens – With so much to see and explore, plan a great family day out at the imaginative Riverhill Himalayan Gardens this spring. Learn about the plants brought back from the Himalayas, build dens together, discover secret pathways, enjoy incredible views, visit the Riverhill Café, and perhaps even spot the elusive Yeti. The Vine Restaurant – The epitome of fine dining, The Vine Restaurant offers diners a Frenchinspired, innovative menu, for which owners, Bernt and Kathleen Bouverie, pride themselves on using only the highest quality produce, from the best sustainable sources. El Matador – A modern and sophisticated Spanish-Argentinean restaurant and lounge, El Matador serves up delicious authentic Spanish tapas and Argentinean steaks in a contemporary setting. The Chequers – Boasting a prime location along Sevenoaks High Street, The Chequers is a 16thcentury inn, renowned for its historic exterior, warm welcome and selection of ales. The Bricklayers Arms – From a roaring fire in the winter to panoramic views over Longford Lake in the summer, The Bricklayers Arms is a superb all-year-round venue. Offering homemade food and local Harveys Beer, this village pub really is a Kentish gem. The Stag Community Arts Centre – Originally the Playhouse Theatre, The Stag provides the perfect outlet from which to start or finish your evening festivities. The Art Deco-style 1930's building seats 450 and boasts critically acclaimed comedian sets, amongst other performances. The theatre is also home to two cinemas, both of which screen the latest film releases. The Space – A performing arts centre located in Sevenoaks School, The Space is an exceptional performing arts centre, designed by Tim Ronalds Architects. In addition to incorporating The Sackville Theatre, it provides excellent teaching, practice and performance spaces, including an excellent concert hall, recording studio, and a new drama studio. For audiences and theatregoers alike, four unique performance spaces play host to a wide range of professional and amateur productions and entertainment. Sevenoaks High Street – If you fancy some retail therapy, head to Sevenoaks’ unique abundance of eclectic shops and independently run boutiques. Interspersed between the lanes, you will find everything from inimitable jewellers and antiques, to fresh produce and unique handmade crafts. Sevenoaks Literary Celebration – First established in 2002, the Sevenoaks Literary Celebration was initially a small literary festival in Sevenoaks, set up by a group of booklovers. Now, 12 years on, and with a winning formula under their belt, this event has grown into an annual two-week celebration of local and national literary greats. As a result, Sevenoaks has cemented its place on the literary circuit, and remains a prime destination for authors and audiences alike. Taking place in a number of locations across Sevenoaks, the September festival incorporates talks, competitions, book clubs and more, for all ages. Sevenoaks Three Arts Festival – The brainchild of June Clements, a long-standing member of the festival's executive committee, the Sevenoaks Three Arts Festival has cast the Sevenoaks Young Musician of the Year competition since 1995. Having since grown in stature, the festival now resides annually in the Stag Theatre, with a panel of superb adjudicators appointed to pick a winner. Prizes include the Sevenoaks Town Council Prize of £500, plus the chance to play a concerto with the Lydian Orchestra; the Sevenoaks School Prize of £250; and the Reid-Sohn Prize of £100. Following Junes death in 1996, the Sevenoaks District Arts Council also presents the winner with a silver June Clements Memorial Medal. 2014 dates are 14th-15th and 21st-22nd June. The winner's concert and presentation of awards will take place on 28th June. top spot Nonna Cappuccini's – A favourite amongst the locals, this delicatessen serves up great coffee and homemade Italian food that is just perfect for a lunchtime pit stop. Rafferty's Café & Deli – Passionate about producing exceptional dishes and creating unforgettable dining experiences, Rafferty’s serves up simple, fresh dishes in their original Sevenoaks café and deli. key events Sevenoaks Summer Festival – Now in its 44th year, the annual Sevenoaks Summer Festival will make a welcome return this year to celebrate and showcase the breadth and diversity of Sevenoaks’ arts activities. From 22nd June – 7th July, the two-week festival will weave its way through numerous venues in town, in a bid to continue a tradition started by Sevenoaks School in 1970. The Stag Community Arts Centre will be a central focus, with a packed programme of events, including poem recitals, comedies, live music, celebratory concerts and more. For a full list of 2014 venues and events, visit 99 Knole Park One of Britain's most impressive stately homes, the enchanting Knole Park and House boasts historic roots that date back as far as the 15th century. Now owned by the National Trust, this 1000-acre medieval Y\