insideKENT Magazine Issue 59 - February 2017 - Page 84

FOOD+DRINK SUNDAY LUNCH AT COAST AT THE HYTHE IMPERIAL HOTEL by Samantha Ready I PERSONALLY LOVE THE GRANDEUR OF IMPOSING VICTORIAN BUILDINGS, ESPECIALLY THOSE LIKE THE HYTHE IMPERIAL HOTEL. SET RIGHT ON THE SEAFRONT, IT GIVES THAT NOSTALGIC AIR OF YESTERYEAR, BUT ITS IMPRESSIVE REFURBISHMENT AND RENOVATION PROJECT, WHILST RETAINING ITS HISTORIC CHARM, HAS MADE THIS A MODERN, CONTEMPORARY STAY AND DINING DESTINATION. On this occasion my guests and I were headed for that classic British family tradition, Sunday lunch, at Coast, the Imperial’s 60-cover restaurant on the ground floor. Crisp, cool, bright white decor meets subtle hints of the sea in the form of cool pale blue hues, dark wood tables and pale wood-clad menus, set off with a touch of glamour from the crystal chandeliers and mirrors. The result is a bright, chic dining experience, which is clean and elegant yet relaxed and welcoming. Taking our seats at the only table on the mezzanine level, we all commented not only on what great dining room views it afforded, but how suitable it was not just for our young family companions but as a location for special meals and celebrations. The premise of Coast is simple: modern British cuisine using locally sourced, seasonal produce. This includes meat from Huntleys of Tenterden, eggs and free range hens from Coastal of Canterbury and fish from Griggs, which is landed daily from the beach in front of the dining room – you can’t get much more local and fresh than that! For starters we opted for the soup of the day – a thick hearty tomato broth served with crunchy croutons; the prawn cocktail – delicate plump prawns in a rich sauce; and the ultimate winning choice of the scotch egg – delicately seasoned pork encasing a fresh soft egg, accompanied by a wholegrain mustard-enhanced tomato salsa. Delicious! It was soon time for the main event, and here Coast certainly delivers! With two roast options – chicken, or beef & gammon – we opted for one of each and a child’s portion of the beef too, and were soon presented with a heaving fresh giant Yorkshire pudding, (half size for the little ones) overflowing with side dishes of broccoli cheese, carrot and swede mash, braised red cabbage, green beans and roast potatoes, not forgetting the slices of wonderfully cooked and perfectly seasoned meat poised alongside, and plenty of gravy! The portions were generous and we are not ashamed to say that it did, in fact, beat us. Although there was just enough room for a little pudding (naturally) and just as well as the chocolate tart with its thick shortcrust pastry case, smooth ganache, salted caramel ice cream and Chantilly cream proved a perfect end to perfect family Sunday lunch. Hythe Imperial offers Dip and Dine Sundays with a swim followed by Sunday lunch priced from just £11.95pp. Hythe Imperial Hotel Princes Parade Hythe CT21 6AE 01303 267 441 www.hytheimperial.co.uk Twitter HytheImperial FB HytheImperial 84