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“Simple and Sophisticated” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Rafael's

Rafael's
The Goods Shed, Station Road West, Canterbury CT2 8AN, England
(0)1227 459153
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Ranked #56 of 293 Restaurants in Canterbury
Price range: $61 - $61
Cuisines: British
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Lunch, Dinner, Reservations, Late Night
folkestone
Top Contributor
57 reviews 57 reviews
56 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
“Simple and Sophisticated”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 2, 2013

This won't be up everyone's street... it is different and absolutely excellent, but not in the dreaded "fine dining" way.

The dining area is in a big shed by the railway station and the space is shared with a farmer's market. So, there are a few issues concerning the temperature in the evenings and people coming and going...personally I love it.
The space is exciting and dramatic, and provides great theatre.
My advice is to pack a cardigan if you are eating after dark. I wore my beret throughout yesterday evening...

The space informs an approach to service with is relaxed but completely professional.
The food is prepared from seasonal local produce. The tastes and textures are worked with real precision and care. The plates don't match either...

This is, I imagine, like the old Petersham Nurseries cafe. If you're put off, great. For the rest of us, this is comfortable, relaxed, sophisticated and intelligent.
That's just as we like it.

My dinner of rabbit and black pudding terrine, followed by a big hearty dish of fish stew (with all the bits) was really excellent and tasty. We will return.

Visited November 2013
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315 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    155
    102
    31
    18
    9
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Canterbury, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
22 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
“Very disappointing”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 23, 2013

I came here some years ago and was disappointed. I was persuaded to try it again (new management) but it is still the same:
Cold eating area
Service very slow - 30 minutes until starters arrived.
We had to keep asking for everything; we were not "looked after" at all
Neither food nor drinks were served to all our table (4 people!) at once. Very disjointed
Food very tasty and well-cooked but on cold plates
Helpings meagre
Bill large for the quality of venue and service.
It will be some more years until I visit again!

  • Visited October 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Canterbury, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
28 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Best breakfast in Canterbury”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 22, 2013

My husband and I often come here for breakfast at the weekend. It has a great setting above the farmers market and the food is fantastic, all fresh produce from the market below. Good value if you go for a full breakfast over just a 'snack' as you pay a cover charge and then by the item.

  • Visited October 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fleet, England, United Kingdom
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Wonderful food in a unique setting”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 15, 2013

We were recommended to visit the Goods Shed by the owner of our holiday rental cottage and we are grateful to her for allowing us to experience one of the best meals we have had. The setting of the Goods shed is simply unique - I've never eaten in such a place before, with all the smells and sights of the Farmers Market on hand. The food was excellent, I've never eaten steak like it, the wine was extensive and although not cheap was of high quality. Service was friendly and not intrusive. I would recommend anyone to go here if you are visiting Canterbury or staying within reach.

  • Visited October 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Watford, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“Go for it”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 9, 2013

It isn't an obvious location for a good restaurant, that is beside a railway line with a view on the other side of a series of market stalls in a big shed. But that's the point, it is different and good. What better place to source your supplies than by being beside a Farmer's Market. You find it by heading towards Canterbury West station and take a few steps further. Into the market which for our dinner date was essentially closed, up the stairs and then received by efficient staff. Booking beforehand is highly recommended, particularly for Saturday. As the menu changes with the seasons I can see that more than one visit would give a better idea of quality, value etc. We we pleased with our fresh soup and lamb dish. Try it makes a change from those chains with Italian names. And you can watch the trains come and go.

  • Visited September 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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