Dinner at The Horseshoes, Maidstone

Today's the day! The Horseshoes Pub & Restaurant tucked away in East Farleigh, just outside of Maidstone, Kent, has re-opened its doors after an extensive renovation.

Myself and my boyfriend were invited to visit a few days before the grand re-opening to get a sneak peak of the stylish new interior and taste their menu (our visit entailed complimentary food and drink)*.  Despite only living just a 30 minute drive away, I'm really sad to say this was our first visit to The Horseshoes, but it certainly won't be our last.

This cosy country pub isn't difficult to find, being just 10 minutes away from Maidstone town centre by car. Nestled amongst paddocks in the village of East Farleigh, you'll find yourself in a quintessential Kentish countryside setting - hard to believe you're a stones throw away from the hustle and bustle of Fremlin Walk.
When we first arrived, we headed to the bar area for a drink. With leather armchairs and curiously modern artwork hung on bare brick walls, the bar at The Horseshoes is a homely and trendy place to relax. A gin girl through and through, I couldn't wait to get started sampling their G&Ts. I started off with a classic Hendricks and slimline, garnished with cucumber, but quickly moved on to The Horseshoes's offering of a twist on the classic drink: a 'Gintonica' (G&T with herbs, spices and fruits, originating from Spain). My favourite was the Watermelon and Orange flavour - glass adorned with a wedge of watermelon, of course - a delicious vibrant, Summery tipple. Not bad for sipping by a roaring open fire in December, I suppose!

Once we were ready for food, we made our way to the restaurant. The first thing I spotted in the restaurant was another open fire. It was -1 degrees the night of our visit, it was very necessary! Then I couldn't help but turn my attention upwards: impressive wooden beams arch across the ceiling, a statement of a 16th century English pub. But, thanks to the recent refurbishment, this traditional feature is uniquely complimented by trendy, contemporary lighting.  In fact, whilst the building itself is traditional, the new interior oozes modernity and 'cool', with teals, romantic burgundy hues and floral patterns to be seen.
For starters, I had my heart set on the Carne Platter. It had different dishes to try - pork cheek, chicken and katsu dip, lamb kofta, salad and bread - so I thought it'd be ideal as a way of trying out the menu. I have to say, everything on it was delicious. Especially the pork cheek, which I thought I'd be leaving to Sam because I don't generally eat pork. But I tried it and oh my god, it was amazing! The meat just fell apart in my mouth and tasted so good. Sam, a cheese fanatic, also had his eye on the deep fried brie and just had to try it. He said it was delicious. As he cut it open, the cheese was just oozing out - yum!

For the main course, I had the Dirty Burger: beef, melted cheese, bacon and beef dripping sauce. In a word: phenomenal. Possibly the best burger I've ever had. It was thick and juicy, and the bacon was cooked to crispy perfection. Sam had the 10oz steak which I didn't get a chance to try, on account of the fact it was so good, he wolfed it down! He said it was amazing, too.

For sides, we ordered chunky chips and fries (which came with our meals). The chips were soft and fluffy, and the fries just as nice. We wanted to try the other sides as well (all in the name of a review, of course. No greedy people here...) so we ordered onion rings, mac and cheese, and halloumi fries (the latter being Sams choice, I did say he's a cheese lover!) I had to order the mac and cheese because it's probably my favourite food ever and is always my go-to at home. The Horseshoe's rendition of my favourite was deliciously creamy, and made a surprisingly good side dish to the burger. The onion rings, likewise, were superb: they pulled apart easily and the batter was crispy but light. I didn't partake in the halloumi, but again, Sam thoroughly enjoyed them.

Onto dessert, Sam had been eyeing up a sweet dish we'd been seeing all night: 'The Ambassador's Melting Chocolate and Hazelnut Bomb'. We noticed it was a very popular dessert, and it really must be seen to be believed! A sphere of rich chocolate and hazelnut, with a side of vanilla ice cream and warm white chocolate sauce to melt the ball. It's a dessert lovers seventh heaven! I, on the other hand, opted for sticky toffee pudding - also served with vanilla ice cream - soft, spongey and slathered with toffee sauce, it was absolutely delicious. I also finished our meal with an espresso martini. Perhaps an interesting choice for gone 10pm, but I can never resist!

Sam and I had an incredible three course meal at The Horseshoes, and were really impressed by how gorgeous the new interior is. It's elegant and stylish, without compromising on the buildings traditional heritage. It's obvious how much love has gone into this beautiful country pub, not just in the new design, but it shines through in the service, too. All the staff were so friendly, enthusiastic, and always on-hand if you're in need of a refill. Kelly, the manager, was so sweet and it was so obvious that The Horseshoes is her 'baby', she was so proud of all the work that's gone into it recently!  I can't recommend The Horseshoes enough. If you're in the area, you must call in - even if just for a drink and to get a glimpse of the beautiful decor - but do try the food, you won't be disappointed. Don't be perturbed by the meat dishes in my review (what can I say? We love a steak!) because they had plenty of vegetarian options and a full vegan menu.

If you're in Maidstone braving the cold to do your Christmas shopping, The Horseshoes is definitely the pub to go to if you're in need of winter warmer. You can park yourself by one of the three large open fires, perhaps the fire in the bar, or tuck in to your main course fireside in the main restaurant.

Take a look at their website, which includes their menus and online booking form, here.

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1 comment

  1. Everything you had looks incredible! I love mac and cheese too, so it's amazing that they do it as a side, as not many places do. I'm glad you both enjoyed what you had xx

    Hannah | luxuryblush