The Mulberry Tree has to be one of the most unique and wonderful places we’ve had the pleasure of reviewing to date. Tucked away in the beautiful Kent countryside, it’s around 4 miles from Staplehurst and is a contemporary, family-owned & run country restaurant & bar. Boasting a growing list of accolades – including winning back to back Kent Restaurant of the Year awards a few years back, it’s featured in the current Michelin Guide and has been awarded two AA Rosettes. You can certainly see why.
We arrived on a warm summer’s evening and were greeted by a team of warmer, welcoming staff. We opted for drinks in the Mediterranean style terraced area (within the garden), which as it happens is where they perform their weddings – and we couldn’t have wished for a more apt environment to sip on a cold glass of Prosecco (£5.10) to start proceedings. The very pleasant, peaceful garden married well with the light fizzy wine which originates from Treviso, near Venice. Moving inside to dine, our table overlooked where we’d just sat in the garden and provided us with a great setting for the treat in store.
To begin with we were offered a selection of breads (walnut and sultana/rosemary) and the standard vein-blockingly delicious slab of butter, ready to over butter these home-baked delights.
To start with I opted for the Summer Truffle Salad (£7.25) – a vegetarian friendly, opulently rich salad decorated with confit egg yolk & a truffle custard. A very elegant and delicious starter. My guest enjoyed the Pressing of Ham Hock & Parsley (£7.95) which was accompanied with a chicken liver parfait and vegetable piccalilli. However, the star of the show was the black pepper cracker – a wafer thin layer of peppery deliciousness!!
For the main, I chose the locally sourced Pork Belly (£16.75) – wonderfully decorated with fondant potatoes, butternut squash and a sage & hazelnut jus. I loved the crispy crackling contrasting with the soft, buttery potatoes and squash. An absolute delight.
My guest chose their main from the set menu and went for the Confit duck leg, braised red cabbage & fondant potatoes. As you’d expect, the meat fell off the bone and the glazy, deep-coloured jus brought each perfectly executed element of this dish together.
To wash things down, we opted for the great value house red. The Sangiovese Di Puglia 2011 (£15.95) gives a slightly spicy aroma on the palette and the hints of red fruit present matched both main courses very well. A good suggestion by the very attentive waiting staff. I’d also recommend the Malbec (£20.50) and the Pinot Noir (£22.50) if you like things a bit darker.
Great venue – a hidden gem. Superb staff and beautiful food to match the surroundings. However, the star of the show has to be the garden space which you HAVE to look at if you’re looking for a private, exclusive wedding venue in Kent.
You can find out more and enquire about booking this venue by clicking here.