A few days ago I got a phone call from my parents completely out of the blue to see if we wanted to book somewhere for a mid-week meal near us as they hadn't seen us in a little while.
There was a major problem with this.
They basically just asked me to make a restaurant decision. They apparently do not know me at all. I have a word document on my desktop at work that is filled with lists of restaurants to try and so can flip flop for days before committing to an actual booking. A lot of them are fish based and in the seaside towns which I discounted immediately as I thought the Oyster Festival was on (it wasn't. It was on the week after. I need to learn to check websites before making sweeping declarations and doing myself out of trying that lobster place I've been eying up for ages).
The Granville as we hadn't been there in a little while.
My grandparents lived in America for a long time and picked up quite a few traditions whilst they were over there, including one involving a pre-wedding meal (rehearsal dinner I think it is called) which they treated Steve and I to when we got married (you basically invite the wedding party plus immediate family for a dinner or lunch the day before the wedding). These rehearsal dinners can involve 5 people or 100 people. I think ours involved about 20 and was held at The Granville. It was a lovely opportunity to be able to spend intimate time with friends and family as the next day didn't really afford that luxury due to it being such a whirlwind!
Thank you again Grandad America! (my pet name for him when I was little).
So anyway, back to The Granville.
The Granville apparently uses the same local producers as the Sportsman does as well as fresh produce that the chef grows on his allotment but has a completely different atmosphere and I have always found the quality of the food to be much higher.
It is pretty unpretentious from the outside. It has a gravel carpark that makes that satisfying crunchy noise when you pull up and inside it is pretty rustic. There is a large bar, board games on the sideboard, a dart board and a large garden. You can sink into squishy sofas whilst you are sipping a pre-dinner drink or just come in for a pint and a chat (choose from local Kentish cask ales and a broad wine menu although surprisingly no local Kentish wines). The menu is chalked up by the chatty owner on a daily basis and is full of fresh local produce and ingredients depending on what was caught or dug up that day.
This was one of the only downfalls about the Granville. It is right next to the busy Nackington Road and the sound of the traffic made conversation outside really quite difficult plus the bugs were particularly active that night. We cut our losses and made a quick dash back inside where we nabbed a large table by the window.
I happen to love oysters and the Granville always serves beautiful large fresh rock oysters complete with a red wine and shallot vinaigrette, one of my favourite ways to eat them. Dad, Steve and I ordered 6 to share (mum loves them as well but has eaten so many she has made herself allergic. Cue Homer Simpson 'D'oh!'). There was also fresh baked bread and pumpkin seeds on the table to snack on before the starters arrived.
It is still a wonderful pub/restaurant that has served me numerous excellent meals and it deserves the benefit of the doubt!