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“Overpriced and lacks atmosphere” 2 of 5 stars
Review of The Poet

The Poet
Maidstone Road, Matfield, Royal Tunbridge Wells TN12 7JH, England
+44 1892 722416
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Ranked #2 of 6 Restaurants in Matfield
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Price range: $23 - $42
Cuisines: British
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Dinner, Breakfast, Reservations
Description: Well-sourced ingredients is where any good food journey begins, so Charlie spencer, head chef and owner of The Poet,ensures we make the most of what the county of Kent and surrounding areas hasto offer. We are very fortunate to have such great quality British produce available to us and it is a pleasure to cook with it. Charlie works with bothmodern and classical methods of cooking, mostly taking influence from British and French cuisine, and to a lesser extent Italian and Spanish.Ultimately Charlie has a drive and passion for food that he wants to share. The Poet at Matfield pub and restaurant, which is situated in the heart of Kent near Tunbridge Wells, offersa warm and comfortable atmosphere to come and experience those efforts.
Tonbridge, United Kingdom
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“Overpriced and lacks atmosphere”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 8, 2012

I've now been to this restaurant three times to give it the benefit of the doubt because I want it to succeed. But each time it has been near empty and there's a good reason for this - the food is extremely expensive and the portions are tiny. It's a shame because the food is fairly good, and a neighbourhood restaurant which got it right would do a storm in this location.

I've been both for an evening meal when main courses were £19 to £24 (including pretty standard chicken dishes), and for Sunday roast (the roasts were priced between £14 and £16). It's not Michelin quality - it's well cooked but not fine dining - and the portions/ingredients used just don't justify the prices, so you end up feeling ripped off.

I'd urge the owners to visit Apicius, The Vineyard, and The Chaser, see what they do for the money, and how they are packed out at every sitting. They need to bring prices down, bump up the portion sizes, and inject more personality front of house - the waitresses are a bunch of disinterested teenage girls who, together with the empty seats, create a rather forlorn dining experience.

  • Visited October 2012
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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178 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
“Fantastic!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 27, 2012

It was my birthday meal... And it was absolutely fabulous! I wouldn't just stop here for a spot of dinner as the portions are small... But for a nice meal for a special occasion I would decently recommend we had a fabulous time! And 100% go back over and over! I hope it doesn't change!

    • 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.
Royal Tunbridge Wells, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Fantastic Evening”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 9, 2012

4 of us went to the Jazz Evening on 28th August and had the set 6 course menu. All courses were beautifully presented, innovative and absolutely delicious. Whilst the quality of food is the lifeblood of any restaurant, we were also delighted that the general ambience and service
matched the excellence of the food. The jazz trio were very good without intruding, and the
waitresses were attentive and cheery. The restaurant is cosy with the ability to seat small or large parties as well as having seating for those just wanting a pint. So nice to find such a good restaurant in such a lovely village. We shall definitely be returning.

  • Visited August 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Thames Ditton, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
33 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
“A Splendid Lunch!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 15, 2012

We visited the previous incarnate, Morello a number of times and had meals ranging from terrific to very good.
Upon attempting to book again, finding the Morello phone number on another review site, we encountered a poor gentleman who had inherited the restaurant's phone number, but was polite enought to direct us to the Poet with its new number.
Ŵe have just returned from an excellent lunch. The portions were not, as another reviewer suggested too small at all, but quite perfect. The food wasn't quite Michelin star as we have experienced, but pretty close. Delicious! Very good value for what we had, in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere.
A nice touch was wine (from the by-the-glass list) suggestions by each course. Whilst we are quite comfortable choosing for ourselves, such listing gives a useful indication for those dishes that could pull in different directions, depending on the fashion of the actual cooking.
The ham hock croquette and pea velouté starter was outstanding.... Try it!

  • Visited August 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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UK
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“A very welcome treat”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 13, 2012

We stumbled across The Poet shortly after being turned away from the Dovecote in Capel (after cycling there and being told at five past 2 that they stop serving at 2, how accommodating of them...), so we were pleasantly surprised, after peddling hard in the hope of finding a pub with more flexible eating hours, when we came across the sign saying 'lunch served between 12-5', result! It was a lovely sunny day and we were spoilt for choice for seating in the garden - for outside dining it's possibly not the best location as it's on the road, but we were hungry and happy to have found somewhere. It was a bit more expensive than we were looking at for a Sunday pub lunch, but worth it - the service was exceptional, we were waited on by 3 delightful young ladies who couldn't have been more helpful. We were swiftly bought some lovely warm bread and butter which kept us going until our mains. The veggies were perfectly cooked and a lovely selection, I had lamb which could've been more tender and pink, although this was made up for with the delicious roast potatoes. The recommended wine complemented my dish beautifully, a yummy NZ Pinot noir - I should've gone for the suggested large glass! Looking forward to our next visit... perhaps when the nights are drawing in and we are all in need of cheering up with a hearty meal, great service and tasty wine.

  • Visited August 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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