New alfresco dining spots to try in Kent - from a tipi to a tapas terrace

Al Fresco dining in Kent

Dining Al fresco is the perfect way to enjoy the warmer weather and the lengthening days here in Kent - Credit: Carlos Lindner / Unsplash

Managing to get an alfresco booking is something of an achievement these days. What with demand outstripping supply, especially as the weather warms up, so we're delighted to hear of a couple of new options in the county.

The Gardens, in Yalding, are usually buzzing with events and wedding venue that includes its Tipis Restaurant, which opened in October 2020. 

Tipis Restaurant Interior has a lovely rural feel

Tipis Restaurant Interior has a lovely rural feel - Credit: Fleur Challis Photography

Now, it's reopened for spring, serving seasonal and locally sourced food (think fish from the south coast, pea and mint soup, Bethersden beef...)  from open tipis with views across the venue’s typically English gardens. Local wedding styling company Hire Love has decorated the outdoor dining area in a rustic spring-like style, so it merges as seamlessly as it can with its lovely setting. It all sounds pretty idyllic. Tipis Restaurant will be open every Thursday to Sunday, from 12 pm to 7 pm, until June 13, 2021, when it will temporarily close for weddings being held at The Gardens. All dates are subject to government guidelines, so, as ever, check before you book!

What's on the menu at The Gardens, Yalding?

Share a South Coast platter of crab cakes, potted brown shrimp and oak-smoked salmon. Served with garden herb creme fraiche. If sharing's not your thing, or you've built up an appetite during lockdown, a full a la carte menu is available. Start with pea and mint soup with toasted seeds, croutons and pea shoots. Move on to pot roast chicken breast with smoked bacon, broad beans, leeks, mushrooms, garden herb potatoes and steamed greens. And finish with vanilla panna cotta.

Meanwhile, another venue, Frasers near Ashford, has risen to the challenge of feeding guests outdoors with its Tapas Terrace.

Alfresco dining at Frasers

Alfresco dining at Frasers - Credit: frasers

Alongside its hospitality business, the Fraser family also run a 300-acre working farm and, once you've eaten, you can walk off all that delicious food on one of its two nature trails, developed in conjunction with The Kent Wildlife Trust. Thanks to its eight acres of new wildflower planting, you should have the chance to spot plenty of butterflies and insects or look for newts in one of the trails' five ponds. It's a lovely way for families to while away a springtime afternoon. 

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What's on the menu at Frasers, Ashford?

The tapas menu sprawls from The Coast, via The Farmyard, to The Field, offering up temptations such as seasonal fishcake with spiced tomato sauce, purple sprouting broccoli with Kentish Blue dip, and local cured meats with pickles. Sourdough pizzas and larger main courses such as a local venison burger with Ashmore cheese, or Hastings cod in an Old Dairy beer batter, can sate a larger appetite. And there are artisan baguettes too, served with triple cooked chips. 


One of the five ponds you can see on a visit to Frasers - Credit: Frasers

If you know of more Kent alfresco dining options that have recently opened, let me know at

For more alfresco dining options in Kent, click here

And if it's a Sunday Lunch you're after (subject to current restrictions, so do check before booking), look here 

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