Food News

Here is our monthly look at what’s happening on the local culinary scene.

Humphrey Bean

Ale the best
Tonbridge’s Humphrey Bean pub has been listed in the Good Beer Guide 2016.

The quality of its real ales, customer service, decoration and atmosphere were taken into account by the town’s branch of CAMRA – which supports real ale and the pub industry – and won them over.

Formerly a post office, the pub is these days one of over 1,000 outlets of pub chain JD Wetherspoon. Pub manager James Harris, says: “Staff at the pub work hard to ensure that the real ales on offer are kept in first-class condition at all times and the pub’s inclusion in the guide highlights this.”

Speldhurst Quality Foods

Speldhurst Quality Foods lived up to their name at the Newmarket Open Weekend sausage competition, with its caramelised red onion sausage becoming the inaugural winner of the ‘flavoured’ category. The competition – the first of its kind – was judged by champion jockey Frankie Dettori and food critic Tom Parker-Bowles, and featured sausages from all over the UK. Popular across the South East, Speldhurst Quality Foods is owned by Lord de la Warr, head of the famous Sackville family. Their original sausage recipe came from a butcher’s in Speldhurst, but the sausages are now produced in nearby Eridge.

Ellie's Pea and Sesame Soup

Absolutely Souper
A young foodie from Tunbridge Wells has had her recipe go nationwide, after it was chosen as this month’s New Covent Garden Soup of the Month.

21-year-old Ellie Davis, studying Biology at York, says, “As a student and avid soup maker, I enjoy experimenting with different and unusual flavours. I decided to make a pea soup and discovered some leftover tahini sauce in the fridge – little did I know that it would be a winning recipe!”

She won £5,000 for her chosen charity, the Council for At-Risk Academics, which pays for the relocation of foreign-based academics fleeing war and persecution.

Taste of Kent Awards

Voting for the 2016 Taste of Kent awards has officially opened. With 15 categories for deciding everything from the best cherries in Kent to the county’s best restaurant, any producer or eatery can be nominated – as long as they’re unique to Kent. Wealden farms dominated last year’s winners’ list, with Anno Distillers in Marden winning two awards for their Kent Dry Gin. Two Tenterden businesses – Chapel Down Winery and Silcocks Farm, – plus Biddenden Vineyards and Staplehurst’s Kingcott Cheese also picked up gongs.

Voting closes on January 4, and the winners are announced on March 3. You can vote at