One of the best aspects to Canterbury is the culture. There are so many shops, so many wonderful little cafes and bars and lots of wonderful welcoming little eateries. Canterbury is bustling and although there has recently been a drop in shop sales due to the rise in online shopping and sadly, extortionate rent. It’s great to see that good restaurants that put their customers first are still bustling and vibrant.
One of these little places is Deakin’s, centrally located at the corner of Palace, Guildhall and Sun Street. Deakin’s is owned by the same group that in the last couple of years opened up the incredibly popular, Chapter (where you’ll find the best pizza in Canterbury). Deakin’s replaced the popular yet fairly average Belgian bar and restaurant La Trappiste within the last year and since then, Deakin’s have done their very best to give the decor a bit of TLC, offer a fantastic menu with brilliant prices and a great range of drinks. They have also kept tradition firmly on the ground with their very own artisanal sourdough bakery and coffee house.
The space is fantastic and incredibly homely. It has an old-school sanctuary feeling with lovely navy blue panelling, a mix of mahogany tables and shiny brass chandeliers. They have a first floor dining room which includes a beautiful restored internal balcony. Their upstairs dining room features a gorgeous rooftop terrace that overlooks Guildhall street and perfect for those summer cocktails. Their ground floor has very cute street-side tables with a lovely central bar with great beverage choices – the perfect place to spend your Sunday afternoon people watching.
Chatting with Johnny, the manager of Deakin’s, it is clear to see that he is passionate about this restaurant being a great success. He wants to break the mould, offer something different and make Deakin’s the place to be. There’s a lot about to happen at Deakin’s so keep an eye out on their website as a lot of awesome things are going to happen very soon.
There is something special about the mix between fine-dining and rustic comfort food. You can’t beat it. Sometime’s all you want is to go somewhere that offers you simple yet great food in a warm atmosphere without being too pretentious and Deakin’s hits the nail on the head with this one. It feels like a cosy pub but at the same time, it’s an established eatery that knows what it wants to be.
To start I had the incredibly naughty twice baked cheese soufflé served with spinach and my goodness I now know what heaven looks like. A plate of delicious creamy cheese served with one of the lightest and fluffiest soufflé’s I have had in a very long time. Although carby, it would have been even better if there was a little bread stick or a piece of garlic bread to mop up all of that remaining cheese.
Mark chose the London cure smoked salmon served with pickled cucumber, horseradish and crispy melba toast. Now if you want generous then Deakin’s is where you need to come – the salmon starter was delicious with a small amount of smoke to really lift the flavour and the crispy melba toast gave it the texture it needed. Whilst generous (and we’re not complaining), this dish could easily have been half the size and there still wouldn’t have been any complaints on the portion size.
For my main I had the Mac and Cheese served with Westcombe cheddar, Kentish blue and brioche crumbs and it was only when the plate touched down on my table that I realised I had yet another dish of more cheese (oh well, what a shame)!! As you may know by now, Mac and Cheese is ‘my thing’ – if it’s on the menu I can’t help but not get it. There is something about the comfort of tender pasta and creamy cheese that just gets me going. Now it’s no secret but Pork and Co’s Mac & Cheese has always been my favourite but after eating Deakin’s Mac and Cheese I have to say, it’s a real contender and I’ll certainly be back for more.
Mark’s main was the baked line caught cod loin served with a creamy winter squash purée and roast sprouts. The colour of the squash purée made this plate sing and those crispy sprouts were a little delight. Simple and effective although for me, the cod was slightly under and a tad watery but for Mark it was perfectly cooked.
The pudding was simple. Came in a skillet (like all of my dishes it seems, I definitely chose to wear the skillet crown for this one), cosy and lovely – it has to be the warm milk chocolate pudding with a dollop of salted caramel ice cream. This delicious, gooey chocolate loveliness rounded up a delightful lunch before a gentle stroll around Canterbury.
Deakin’s is simply a home-from-home. It isn’t a place to go for brand new, modern food but it is the place to go for good local quality comfort food. The service is very attentive and very friendly and it’s in a prime location. Overall, Deakin’s is a cool new joint that’s super for gatherings with a big group (especially if you take on their bottomless brunch deal which includes 3 courses for £29.95).
The food here is well priced, comforting and you’ll find yourself here for a little longer than you would a usual restaurant because it’s such a fab place to people watch.
Watch out Canterbury, there’s a new place about town and it’s definitely worth a visit!
1-2 Sun St
Canterbury CT1 2HX