The Sportsman Visit
September sees the publication of Stephen Harris’ first cookbook. Published by Phaidon, The Sportsman tells the story of self-taught chef Harris who transformed what was once called a ‘grotty rundown pub by the sea’ on the coast in Kent into a Michelin-starred restaurant. The restaurant has earned a global reputation and only this week has been named Britain’s No.1 in the National Restaurant Awards for the second year in a row.
We were lucky enough to visit the pub for lunch on a June day with summer in the air. The train ride down was beautiful – the Kentish sea revealing itself in gaps through the trees. We stopped off at old colleague Daniel’s beautiful coffee and bookshop Blueprint in Whitstable for a hit of caffeine.
We then journeyed on along the coast passed the beachside houses to The Sportsman where we were greeted by Stephen who despite being mid-service, managed to join us for a quick glass of 2015 Saumur.
We sat down in the bright, airy conservatory to some of the most amazing food: beautiful summer vegetable tarts with peas and courgettes from the kitchen garden; oysters with rhubarb; slip sole with seaweed butter; focaccia; carrots with burrata; elderflower possets; cream cheese ice cream and more. Washed down with some Sancerre and finished with coffee, we finished the meal and our visit with a walk along the blustery seashore and marvelled at the calm sea and mismatched beach huts that lie between the pub and the beach.
Thank you to Stephen and the team for a wonderful visit – we can’t wait to make your book a huge success.