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The Bay

White Cliffs Hotel High Street St Margaret’s-at-Cliffe Near Dover CT15 6AT

Based in the excellent White Cliffs hotel, this friendly restaurant manages to be at once relaxed and sophisticated, with a beachy dining room lined with local art (some of it created by the owner, Gavin Oakley). Casual but classy, unpretentious and assured, it has a romantic feel after dark with its soft lighting and beautifully presented dishes, and is a perfect spot for a special occasion meal at excellent prices. Food is locally sourced, using all the fine ingredients that this corner of the country abounds in – fresh fish and seafood, meat from nearby farms, and delicious fresh veg, herbs and soft fruit grown within a stone’s throw. They are also expert foragers here, and many ingredients, including wild garlic, samphire and sea kale, may well have been plucked from the seaside and country lanes nearby. Dishes themselves are gutsy and robust, full of flavour and plenty of surprises: going for the sausage and mash – always the mark of a restaurant’s calibre – might get you chorizo or wild boar bangers, with a ham hock hash and steamed chard on the side. 

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