Despite this, there actually aren't that many bars. There are a few good ones; Bramleys, The Shakespeare Wine Bar, Abode Champagne Lounge and the newly opened Pound that I have yet to visit, but very few decent cocktail bars.
Wild Goose is a much needed addition.
I get excited from the moment I pull into the gravel crunching driveway and scout for a parking space. Sometimes you get lucky and there are masses to choose from; other times less so and you need to circle around the block and come back. Keep circling, it is worth it. You climb up the ramp through the sage green great shuttered doors into the hall and are bowled over by a complete onslaught on the senses.
The first thing that hits you is the smell; the bouquet of a thousand good things mingling in the air, creating an ambrosial perfume that is unique to the Goods Shed. Next there is the colour; natural woods, vibrant vegetable greens, reds and oranges, dried hops hanging from the ceiling and whitewashed paint. Finally the people, people of all ages and backgrounds browsing the goods, eating food that was plucked from the market stalls minutes before by the restaurant chefs, laughing at the high tables over locally brewed artisan ales from Murray's or agonising over which cured hams to choose from Patriana Charcuterie (always choose the ham that is cured and cooked in the Goods Shed - its one of the many reasons the place smells so good!). In the spring and the summer the doors are flung open to the side and people sit at tiny tables out on the terrace hobnobbing with the world.
Wild Goose is owned by Lucy Proud, a local Kent girl who trained and worked as a chef in London before setting up home in the Goods Shed. The menu is tapas inspired, perfect for sharing, and they also serve (I'm told) a mean lazy weekend breakfast.
Shay is already a massive fan - she blogged about it aaaages ago. I'm just a bit slow on the uptake). I chose a Gosling (gin, dry vermouth, elderflower syrup and lime) whilst the other two got started on a light, sparking prosecco. All the cocktails are based on floral, quintessentially English ingredients; indeed, Lucy designed the cocktail menu around the idea of an English garden with the use of herb infused spirits and flower syrups. It works wonderfully and reads like a dream.
The waiting staff were, for the most part, attentive. There was the occasional slip up with a forgotten order, but it was quite busy and all the cocktails and food orders are made from scratch, so you must expect a bit of a wait. In all honesty, the setting is divine, so why would you want to rush?
Canterbury Food Festival post nestled on the shelf. I'm drooling just thinking about that gin, it is so nice! That is a marmalade gin right next to it, and Ciroc and a Chase. I approve, heartily.
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