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27th March 2019

The Small Holding wins ‘Best Restaurant’

The Small Holding wins ‘Best Restaurant’ at the Taste of Kent Awards The Small Holding, a 28-cover kitchen with one acre of working land, has won Best Restaurant in Kent at the Taste of Kent Awards. The judges commented that The Small Holding was a “unique experience, strong on its local sourcing with a good story and scored highly on its customer service”. Organised by Produced in Kent since 2004, the Taste of Kent Awards showcase the best of Kent’s food and drink products. It is the county’s longest running and most prestigious annual awards, voted for by the public. The range of categories has grown year on year and now incorporates every product that Kent, the Garden of England, is renowned for including beer, wine, cider, apples and cherries. Thackeray’s in Tunbridge Wells and Corner House, Canterbury were runners up in the Best Restaurant category. Will Devlin, chef owner of The Small Holding, comments, “We’re thrilled to have won this award from Produced in Kent. Being voted best restaurant by the general public is a massive boost for the kitchen and garden teams. Everything we do at The Small Holding is about sustainability, traceability, growing and rearing our own produce and working with genuinely local suppliers and farmers. For a restaurant that’s not been operating a full year we’re really thrilled our hard work has been recognised.” The award was presented to Will and Matt Devlin by Alisa Sweeny from sponsor Thomson, Snell and Passmore. About The Small Holding Will Devlin, 30, is the chef owner of The Small Holding, a restaurant and farm on a country lane in the village of Kilndown on the Kent and Sussex borders. The 28-cover restaurant offers daily changing menus using home-reared and grown ingredients from the farm, which is less than 10ft from the kitchen. The Full and Half Acre menus offer the diner a full experience of the farm and kitchen starting with home-made sourdough and butter, made on site. There is also vegetarian and vegan half and full acre menus and wine and non-alcoholic flight pairings. The March Full Acre menu includes Nettle, Garlic, Black Pudding; Oyster, Cucumber, Parsley; Lamb, Leek, Potato; Broccoli, Blue Cheese, Egg; Skate, Dandelion, Sorrel; Pork, Cabbage, Onion; Apple, Acorn, Pine; Gypsy Tart, Rhubarb, Cream and Today’s Cheese. Will took ownership of The Small Holding in January 2018 and opened in April 2018. A former old and neglected pub, the site has been transformed into an open kitchen and restaurant with a large decked terrace looking out over the farm and views of the Weald of Kent. The bar, run by Will’s older brother Matt (32), is fully stocked with interesting gins, beers and wines, many locally produced such as Greensand Ridge Gin and top English wine producer Squerryes, whose 2013 Brut won Gold in the 2018 Champagne and Sparkling Wine World Championships. Will won Kent Chef of the Year 2018, beating other finalists, Dan Smith at Fordwich Arms, Fordwich and Rob Taylor at Compasses Inn, Crundale. The Small Holding is recommended in the Good Food Guide. He lives in nearby Goudhurst with his wife and baby daughter. Five-star Trip Advisor reviews “What an amazing restaurant. Fab tasting menu with expertly picked paired wines. Service is exceptional. Great value for money and we will be back soon. I expect in the near future a star will be on its way.” “We went for the 10-course taster menu. Michelin star quality food, knowledgeable and friendly service and excellent wine pairings. Faultless.” “Have visited this unique little restaurant tucked away in a beautiful corner of Kent 4 or 5 times now and the food just keeps getting better and better - it’s not just quality locally sourced ingredients, but the passion of head chef, Will Devlin, to keep concocting new, delicious and innovative dishes.”