The Sportsman, Seasalter

Posted By Kerri


The Sportsman has been on our list of restaurants to visit for a long time, years probably.  We both love Whitstable and try to spend as much time as we can there in Summer, the Sportsman is just up the road in Seasalter but we never seem to stray much further than the local cafes and restaurants.  This time, we booked well in advance so nothing was left to chance and we were lucky to find that Saturday was warm and sunny.

Stephen recently completed the second part of his wine diploma so, to celebrate, we started with some sparkling wine.  As he’s currently studying sparkling wine for the next part of his diploma this seemed a fitting option.

I started with some rock oysters with chorizo.  Whitstable is famous for it’s oysters so this was a must-have, and they didn’t disappoint.  Incredibly fresh and tasting like the sea, they went perfectly with the hot chorizo.


Stephen opted for the pork terrine, well, he didn’t have a lot of choice actually as I really wanted it but had already decided on the oysters.  He didn’t take much persuading though and I’m pretty sure he was happy with his ‘choice’.  The terrine contained lovely, large pieces of well-seasoned pork and was served with some toasted sourdough, mustard, pickles and some incredible pork scratchings which the Sprotsman is known for.


One of our friends ordered the asparagus, bacon and poached egg salad which, although I didn’t taste it, was said to be very good.  The chunky, cured bacon was the star of the dish.


Next up was seared thornback ray, brown butter, cockles with a sherry vinegar dressing.  I’d not had this kind of fish before and I really enjoyed it.  It was meaty and worked well with the slightly acidic dressing.  It was a huge serving, made even bigger by the cockles on top.  They were good but a little over-shadowed by the ray.


Stephen ordered the seared turbot with a crab sauce which was both meaty in texture and full of flavour.  The delicate crab flavour stood up well to the turbot and the buttery sauce.  I think there’s some asparagus hiding under here too.


Lastly was the lamb option which we all wanted but overlooked as we were by the sea and keen to taste the local fish.  This was local lamb from Monkshill Farm just down the road in Canterbury, served with dauphinoise potatoes and a side order of shepherd’s pie.


Not pictured are the elederflower ice-lollies given to the children (which we were all disappointed not to have had for ourselves) and the tiny mouthfuls of sticky, dense chocolate brownies served with coffee.  We left after two hours to walk on the beach but could have happily stayed all afternoon.

May 23rd, 2009

12 Comments to 'The Sportsman, Seasalter'

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  1. Lizzie said,

    it all looks really delicious. Nice big servings too. A load of my friends come from Whitstable and have suggested we spend the weekend there; I may well insist we visit the Sportsman!

    Lizzie’s last blog post..Lime & Ginger Trout

  2. Jonathan said,

    We booked in last week for Cowie’s birthday in October! It’s going to be very special indeed.

    The Thornback ray has already got me excited. As has the oyster/chorizo combo. I’m so glad you both had a wonderful time.

    Jonathan’s last blog post..British Sandwich Week – A Thank You

  3. Kerri said,

    Do it, Lizzie!

    Good choice, Jonathan! I’m sure you’ll love it. It’s such a lovely area too, so much choice when it comes to food.

  4. I really want to go here – very jealous. Oysters with chorizo sounds fantastic.

    Gourmet Chick’s last blog post..Baejarins Bestu (Gourmet Chick in Iceland)

  5. Kerri said,

    It was a great combination, can’t wait to try it out at home.

  6. Kalkie said,

    This is one of my favourite restaurants! The food is great, and the atmosphere is wonderful and not at all stuffy. I love it!

    You should also put the Granville at Lower Hardes, near Canterbury, on your list to visit. It’s the sister restaurant of the Sportsman and equally as good. Their Sunday lunches are just amazing!

  7. Pat said,

    this is also our favourite restaurant, having lived in Whitstable now for 9 years we have yet to find anything better. You can almost see the Sportsman from this webcam !!

  8. Ollie said,

    What a meal! I’ve been dying to go to this place for ages. That all looks simply fantastic.

    Ollie’s last blog post..L’Ambroisie, Paris

  9. Paulie L said,

    Food looks great! Shame you thought the Cockles were overpowreed by the Thornback the picture looked great! I have re-created an old classic using Thornback Ray or Roker as we call them.. Thornback Ray Meuniere with Nutmeg Mash.. You should try it!
    .-= Paulie L´s last blog ..Thornback Ray Meuniere with Nutmeg Mashed Potato =-.

  10. Kerri said,

    Thanks, Paulie. I’ve not seen thornback around but I haven’t been looking very hard for it.

  11. Lorraine said,

    Absolutely agree, we live part time in Whitstable took us two years to get a booking. Oh what a joy, my husband also had the Thornback he still raves about it (was last summer!) we will be back. The area sIS so untouched and amazing on a summers day, bliss…………….

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