If you’ve spent the day re-living your childhood at Margate’s Dreamland park, Cinque Ports is the perfect spot for a bit of grown-up dining and drinking. The autumn menu offers simple ideas with a creative twist – and the cocktails are to die for!
The Cinque Ports gastropub itself is steeped in Margate history – a sea-facing haunt for the mods and rockers of the 1960s. Since then, it’s been refurbished to create a sleek, shabby-chic inspired venue with an open kitchen and ample space for enjoying a drink or some dinner. During the summer months, you can even sit outside and watch the sun set as you breathe in fresh sea air.
The kitchen’s focus is on using local and seasonal produce, offering classic gastro pub dishes with continental influences. And the dishes on the autumn menu are impressively diverse.
Fresh from the Scenic Railway rollercoaster ride, we rolled in with windswept hair, quickly ordering up a Bramble Collins cocktail – the adult antidote to a day of youthful exuberance. Some of the best bread I’ve ever had in a restaurant made its way to the table, quickly dipped in a balsamic oil and scoffed down. Olives too, which I ate the ENTIRE bowl off. And some of our neighbours’ too. Oops.
My spiced whitebait starter (£6) was impressively large. Whole whitebait fish, deep fried in breadcrumbs – super crisp and satisfying. I couldn’t quite manage the whole portion, and I’d definitely recommend this one as a tasty little sharer!
For a tried-and-tested classic, you can tuck into a burger or chargrilled ribeye. If you want to embrace the seaside setting, go for beer battered cod or sea bream with clams. I decided to try out the pan roasted guinea fowl (£11), served with confit leg, cabbage and game sauce. It was EXCELLENT. The texture of the guinea fowl was perfect, with a game-y, full flavour. The confit leg, served shredded in a patty, gave the dish a more unusual and continental twist, and the cabbage tasted so fresh, it was almost as if it had been plucked from the ground that very day.
For dessert, I was my usual predictable self and ordered the chocolate mousse (£6), which came with salted caramel ice cream. Best combo. The chocolate mousse was smooth and rich, complemented by the light caramel taste of the ice cream. Thanks to a genius having a brainwave on our table, lots of us changed up our post-dinner coffees for espresso martinis. Coffee AND booze to end the day? Best idea.
After a busy day of having fun by the sea, Cinque Ports is conveniently located AND offers good quality food and drink, at affordable prices. Whether you’re visiting Margate as a couple, group or family, there’ll definitely be something on the menu for all tastes.
50 Marine Terrace, Margate CT9 1XJ
*Our meal was complimentary – opinions honest as always