There’s a lot to be said for good service and London’s restaurants do suffer accusations of questionable customer care, despite high prices. Perhaps some of these restaurants need to pay a visit to the Marquis at Alkham where one of the waiters actually did a curtsy-type-thing after serving our drinks! To be fair, he was about 12 years old and it was his first day, but hey, rather a curtsy than a miserable grunt!
The Marquis is set in a 19th Century former village inn, located in the heart of Alkham Valley, near Dover, and provides a boutique hotel, fine-dining restaurant and smart pub under one roof. Our room was contemporary in style yet maintained a level of old-school charm and luxurious comfort more associated with country manors, as well as featuring an amazing view across the valley.
The bar was buzzing with atmosphere when we went down for dinner and was well stocked with an international wine list, including some lovely local wines. Head chef Charlie Lakin has created an eclectic seasonal menu for The Marquis with an emphasis on locally caught fish and locally sourced produce. Starters featured a lovely dish of crisp pig’s trotter, ham hock, cauliflower piccalilli with fried quails eggs and also an incredibly moorish lobster ravioli in a cognac enriched lobster bisque. For mains, Miss Pancake’s Dover sole, Folkestone king scallops, creamed girolles, in a red wine sauce was a case of letting the great ingredients do the talking, whilst the loin of Alkham Valley rabbit with boudin noir (black pudding) provided an interesting, if not entirely successful, contrast of flavours. My dessert of Pear tarte tatin was as good as any, whilst the Warm Valrohna chocolate mousse cake was rich and decadent.
Our three course a la carte meal cost £38.50, but they also offer a great value Table d’hote menu for £22.95. It is also worth mentioning that overnight stays includes a delicious choice of cooked breakfast options in the morning prices start at around £90/night; outstanding value in anyone’s book.
With its individually designed bedrooms, rural location, top notch food and keen pricing, The Marquis provides an excellent option for foodies after a weekend out of the smoke. It’s also close to the Dover ferry port and Channel Tunnel so it’ll make a great, luxury stop-over for those who fancy indulging in a touch of fine dining the night before they travel!
Venue (restaurant): 3.5/5
Value (restaurant): 3.5/5
Venue (hotel & rooms): 4/5
Cuisine type – Seasonal English
Dinner for 2 (ex. drinks) – £20/head or £35/head depending on menu choice
Beer – £3.50
Wine – £3.75
The Marquis at Alkham
Alkham Valley Road,
Alkham, Dover, Kent, CT15 7DF