An Evening at Thackeray’s, Tunbridge Wells

couple at the table in Thackeray's Tunbridge Wells

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Gifted meal and drinks

A couple of weeks ago my husband and I had a very special date night. We took the train to Tunbridge Wells and headed to a tucked away fine dining restaurant called Thackeray’s. I had been there before 9 years ago for my birthday in the summer. It was a lovely lunch I had with my then baby boy and my parents. They were very accommodating for families with children. I also had a teeny tiny Phoebe in my womb. I’ve been wanting to go again and take my husband, so I was thrilled to go as a reviewer this time.

Thackeray’s is located in the town centre of Tunbridge Wells, hidden behind the hustle and bustle. There is no parking at the restaurant, the nearest car park is the Victoria shopping centre. It’s a short walk from the train station. The building is a former residence of author William Makepeace Thackeray, and is more than 300 years old, giving it it’s own unique character.

The moment we stepped through the door we felt special. We were looked after by a head waiter and another younger waiter. Our coats were taken and we were shown to our table.

empty table at Thackerays
One of the tables at Thackeray’s

It has a cosy, homely feel with unoffensive music playing. The waiters were so nice and friendly, there was another couple sitting next to us and they were talking to him a lot about his career which he was happy to share. It made for a lovely atmosphere. He recommended the mulled wine champagne cocktail, I agreed to try it but I wasn’t sure about it because I don’t like mulled wine, however it tasted like Christmas in a glass and it was so smooth and tasty. Recommended if you’re going for a festive experience.

I think when you go for a meal like this, it’s all about the experience, alongside the food. The food also makes the experience, and you get more than a three course meal – we started out with a pre-appetiser of macaroni cheese breaded bites and pumpkin soup. We also had bread (home made) with hummus and marmite butter. I know some people don’t like marmite, but we both do and marmite butter was a revelation – will definitely do that at home.

pre appetiser at Thackerays
bread course at Thackeray's

We went for the wine by the glass that matched the courses, which is always worth doing in my opinion. It heightens the flavour of the dish and broadens your taste horizons. For my appetiser I went for the foie gras and duck dish which was melt in the mouth delicious. I was intrigued by the truffle popcorn – it actually was popcorn and went very well together. My husband went for the brill (fish) starter, which was equally delicious. I have put the wine pictures together with the food dishes and the full description is in the photo caption. I was a bit embarrassed at first whipping my camera out but they made me feel at ease so you can Instagram to your heart’s content.

fois gras and accompanying wine Thackeray's
Roast Concorde Pears, Macadamia Nuts, Pear Gel, Confit Duck Leg with Truffle Popcorn
brill starter Thackeray's Tunbridge Wells
Poached Fillet of Brill, Lobster and Carrot Cream Sauce, Spiced Red Lentils, Yoghurt, Soused Raisins

They know just how to blend flavours together. Next we had our mains. Mine was a John Dorey fish dish, and his was a trio of Beef, including ox tail in a little saucepan. Both exquisite. The sauce I had with the fish was divine. Even though portions look small, I was already feeling full by this point but it was too nice to leave any. I had a nice white wine with mine and he had a red wine to complement the meat.

john dorey fish dish and wine
Golden Beetroot, Parmesan Gnocchi, Poached Pink Onions, Soused Shallot Rings, Sauce Soubise
trio of beef Thackerays
50 Day Aged Grilled Sirloin of Dexter Beef, Salt Baked Celeriac and Braised Brisket Rosti, Lovage Pesto, Fermented Garlic, Oxtail Salad

We were feeling full and happy by this point. We managed to have enough to talk about – children provide enough to talk about! We both had a comfort break which gave me the chance to nose upstairs. It’s a beautiful building, even the toilet was amazing! I even wore a skirt.

toilets at Thackeray's
table at Thackeray's

Then it was time for dessert. The waiter recommended the apple and blackberry crumble souffle, which my husband decided to have. I went for the baked tonka bean cheesecake. Both again delicious. The souffle arrived as a show piece, and our waiter placed a quinnell of green apple sorbet on top and poured the custard into the souffle at the table.

Apple and blackberry crumble souffle, Vanilla Custard, Green Apple Sorbet
baked cheesecake Thackeray's
Baked tonka bean cheesecake, Passion Fruit Curd, Baked White Chocolate, Alphonso Mango

The baked white chocolate tasted particularly good, I must try baking white chocolate to see if it tastes the same! Then after that as if we weren’t full enough, we had petits fours and coffee. I got to meet the chef, a young man who was very shy and disappeared very quickly before I could compliment him (or photograph him). We needed to be rolled out and went home to sleep it off.

petits fours
petits fours and coffee

So all in all a real foodie experience, I do recommend it as a destination to go to for a treat. They cater for large groups too. Having said it is a treat, the prices were actually quite reasonable for a meal out, for both of us to have what we had, the price came to £148. I think for the quality of the food and the service, that’s really good value. If you fancy it yourself, head to the Thackeray’s website for more information and to book. Let me know if you book to go!

We were gifted the experience, all opinions are my own.

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November 27, 2019
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