The Dove at Dargate is one of those beautiful pubs in the countryside near Canterbury which have an almost mythical aura about them.
For us city folk, there’s always a bit of travel involved in getting there and we are never disappointed as we find ourselves supping ales and eating food in the outstanding landscape of rural Kent.
But for much of this year, the Dove has been shut after the previous tenant moved out of the Shepherd Neame pub in March.
Happily, the Dove reopened at the weekend and is now in the capable hands of business partners Sophie Webb and Will Shenow-Brady.
They met while working at the renowned Kathton House restaurant in Sturry where Will was a chef and Sophie worked front of house.
And they will replicate their roles at The Dove, which underwent a major refurbishment while closed.
Sophie, 22, said: “People were really happy that we have reopened and to see new faces here.
“We’ve wanted to keep that country feel to it as much as possible.”
Will says the Dove will act as both a pub serving the community and a high quality destination for dining.
Lunch menus will change daily and evening menus will change every six weeks while all food will be fresh and local.
Will, 28, said: “It’s definitely been worth the wait while it was being done up. We have made sure we kept the country feel and we’ve got farmhouse tables for dining.
“Although Sophie and I aren’t related, we’re basically a family pub and my family, especially my wife Samantha, have been so supportive while we’ve been working on getting everything going.”
The Dove is in Plum Pudding Lane, Dargate, ME13 9HB.