Having enjoyed drinks sessions with friends at The Parrot in Canterbury a few years back, I was eager to see whether its food lived up to its fine atmosphere.
As one of the city’s oldest buildings, it has a huge amount of character, which was only added to further by the venue’s star attraction – its fine-feathered friend, who had set up perch in this highly-intriguing venue. Sadly, it turns out the parrot exited the building three years ago with the arrival of its present management team, yet this didn’t dampen our enthusiasm.
This is such a friendly and inviting venue that it was not at all hard to understand why it appeared so busy and vibrant. Set across two floors, we were seated on the pub’s upper level, which is a charming medieval banqueting hall.
The distinctive menu’s emphasis is very much on contemporary British fare, with a slight twist with a couple of its options that hint at its linked-restaurant, The Albion, in Faversham – which has a distinctly Mexican flavour.
My fiancée selected a chilled Cornish crab and salmon starter, while I opted for a generous portion of garlic bread to accompany my main course – roast vegetable and haloumi skewers (priced £13.95). These were served sizzling in dramatic style and tasted every bit as good as they looked. Meanwhile, my guest chose the braised shoulder of lamb (at £16.65), served with mash, which was equally finely presented. There were plenty of other options besides – ranging from crispy pork belly, chargrilled Kentish steak, three fish pie and paprika king prawn skewers.
Being seated opposite the dessert board, it seemed like it would be rude not to indulge. I chose the lemon cheesecake, while my guest opted for a chocolate and orange tart, which proved a fine way to round off a great meal.
• The Parrot, 1-9 Church Lane, St Radigans, Canterbury CT1 2AG, call 01227 454170
Words: Neill Barston