Sea Bream at The Barn
Fine dining experiences often feel inaccessible to us normal peeps. They are an experience that is incredibly rare and a real treat. But the latest boom in dining offers and discount companies seems to be changing that. The fantastic deals they offer mean that if you are a self confessed “foodie” like me, you are able to up your dining game and experience the fine end of cooking at a bargain price. Put quite simply, you get to eat in some awesome restaurants for the same price as a fair-to-crap local meal. Let’s face it, when you are paying £13 for a chewy steak, pile of frozen chips and a thimble of peas at chain restaurant, what is there to question. That’s not to say that I don’t like chain restaurants. There are a few – such as Zizzi’s and Wagamama – that I think do their thing brilliantly. But when you can get a fancy dinner at £20 for 3 courses and a glass of fizz, I know what I’d choose.

That’s the deal that I had at The Barn in Rainham (Kent) last week. The Barn has long established it’s fine dining accolade, with previous mention in the Michelin guide as evidence. I’ve eaten here a few times before but not in recent years, so I was keen to see if much had changed. So, judge us if you will but there was three of us going for dinner on a four person voucher. Yes… we ordered that 4th meal. Yes… we ate that 4th meal. Yes… we felt like we needed to roll out the door after that 4th meal, but boy it was worth it! All of the food was cooked perfectly and presented beautifully. The menu was varied, with enough twists and additions to make every choice a little interesting, which I always think is nice. The highlight for me was the sea bream. Served with crushed jersey royals golden with butter, salty samphire and deliciously sweet king prawns, it was the stand out dish of the night. Although I do have to give mention to the rib eye steak with beef dripping chips. Yes, beef dripping chips. Think back to those insipid frozen chips you paid a fortune for…
As point of reference, my favourite dining offer sites are generally TravelZoo, Bookatable, and of course Groupon. Travel Zoo is great for a wide variety of dining and travel breaks locally, nationally and even internationally. Bookatable is my go-to for London restaurants and it is worth noting that they also do some mind boggling “free-flowing” offers, which include unlimited bubbles or cocktails. The calibre of the restaurants featured by them is really impressive, with big names such as The Galvin Brothers’ La Chapelle. Paul and I were once lucky enough to be invited to dine there and it is the epitome of french elegance. Precisely what you would expect when fine dining. Crisp white linens, sparkling tableware, decadent dishes and jaw-dropping architecture to boot. I still dream about their truffle mash! And now they are offering an incredible dining offer; 3 courses and a glass of brut for £29. I mean £29, really? Seriously, if you like architecture or love food, it would almost be a crime not to go…
Written by michelle

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