Food and Drink February 2, 2012
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The Hannah Dining Suite
Location: Quex Park, Park Lane, Birchington, CT7 OBH [map]
Phone: 01843842168
Open: Mon-Sun noon-3pm, 6pm-11pm

A popular wedding venue set in 1800 acres of countryside, the grand, Regency period Quex House is home to The Hannah Dining Suite, located in the former catering hall attached to the internationally famous Powell-Cotton Museum. Named after the wife of Percy Powell-Cotton, the Victorian explorer, collector and conservationist, who made expeditions to India and Africa gathering zoological specimens and anthropological artifacts, The Hannah Dining Suite is presided over by renowned chef Dev Biswal. The Dining Suite is a stylish venue for lunch and afternoon tea throughout the summer season and provides an inspired and eclectic à la carte dinner menu, as well as a carvery on Sundays. The museum provides a unique location for functions, with drinks amongst African wildlife, followed by a sumptuous banquet in the restaurant or in a marquee in the manicured gardens.

Biswal initiated a major refurbishment to create a warmer more welcoming atmosphere, and has recruited a new team led by head chef Patrick Beach, who previously worked at the AA-rosetted Dunkerley's in Deal. Together, Biswal and Beach have created an 'around Britain' gastronomic tour, giving traditional dishes a fine-dining twist.

A meal at The Hannah Dining Suite might begin with a Kentish vegetable broth based on a classic Scottish recipe or the crabcakes with a lime and parsley velouté. Main courses include Cullen Skink, Kentish mackerel with gooseberries, hearty steak and kidney pudding in a rich red wine jus, Irish boxty - a delicious potato pancake dish - and Ramsgate fish and Quex chips. There is even a vegetarian take on a classic Scottish dish - watercress and chestnut haggis. Desserts include northern ginger parkin, the elegant old English burnt cream, plum crumble with vanilla custard and a selection of English cheeses. Fresh ingredients are sourced locally, with beef, lamb, vegetables and even cold-pressed extra virgin rapeseed and sunflower oils coming from the Quex Estate's own farms. Patrick Beach is always happy to recommend just the right bottle from their list of exclusive wines. Intriguing cuisine in an intriguing setting, a meal at Hannah Dining Suite makes for a memorable occasion.

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