Relish a pre-theatre treat
PUBLISHED: 15:03 27 January 2010 | UPDATED: 11:26 23 August 2010
THE capital s theatreland has become synonymous with pre-theatre meals. However theatre-goers in north Kent can also have the pleasure of a delicious meal before settling down to a show at the Orchard Theatre in Dartford. Having visited the venue on num
THE capital's theatreland has become synonymous with pre-theatre meals.
However theatre-goers in north Kent can also have the pleasure of a delicious meal before settling down to a show at the Orchard Theatre in Dartford.
Having visited the venue on numerous occasions I was at first sceptical about how The Circle Restaurant would feature with limited space for an eatery.
But during my visit I was pleasantly surprised as I feared a bunch of tables squeezed in to the corner of the bar area would risk damaging the theatre's strong reputation.
The restaurant appears sophisticated, well planned and not too crammed, with a welcome partition separating the diners from the main bar.
Forget your mainstream chain where your shoulders bump on to the table-for-two sitting next to you as owners cram in tables to maximise profit. The first thing I noticed was the space between tables, not to close to other tables and carefully decorated and presented.
The restaurant seemed quite busy but relaxing, the service impeccable and the menu and food rivalled any nearby restaurant.
For starters I had baked macaroni and cheese with smoked haddock while my guest had a tasty terrine of chicken liver and roast peppers served with crusty bread, baby gherkins and chutney. Both were served promptly and made a great starter.
Main was lamb hot pot and roast fillet of salmon served on a bed of creamed leeks and new potatoes. Both were exquisitely presented, with root vegetables for a side, quality to rival any posh restaurant.
Our three-course meal ended with a sticky toffee pudding and a refreshing tangy lemon fool desert served in a wine glass.
With our meal we had a bottle of Pinot Grigio, a crisp white that should always feature on any decent wine menu.
Although this would make a great venue for a pre-theatre meal there is no reason why you can't try it even if you have not booked a show.
The menu is to be seasonal and is expected to include themed menus depending on the show, so I'm really looking forward to see what the chefs do with the up-coming Chinese State Circus visit.
Prices are reasonable with starter £4.50, main £11 to £13 and dessert £3.50.