Published on September 5th, 2018 | by James Drew0
Belgian bravery honoured in Kent
The upcoming centenary of Armistice on 11 November revives memories of great acts of wartime heroism, writes Martin Banks.
One such example is the bravery of Belgian Baron Jean de Selys Longchamps who performed a dramatic raid on the Gestapo for the RAF. The fighter pilot had links to the Belgian royal family and was killed instantly when he crash-landed his Typhoon fighter-bomber at Manston in Kent on the August 16 1943, aged 31.
He is buried at Minster Cemetery nearby where his bravery was commemorated for the Wings of Memory (WoM), a Belgian organization set up to mark and preserve the memory of lost WW2 airmen for future generations. It was their first event outside Belgium. He’s also remembered for his rebellious actions of bravery which are legendary in Belgium.
His act of bravery still attracts visitors to this picturesque Kentish village from Belgium and elsewhere.
If you find yourself in this part of the Garden of England, another place you really should head for is The Corner House, a delightful eating restaurant. It attracts scores of diners lured by its hard-earned reputation for fantastic food.
Situated in the heart of this historic village The Corner House is an independent, award-winning restaurant offering fine homemade British food such as mouth-watering lamb from the nearby Romney Marsh (a mainstay of the menu). This is a slow braised shoulder of lamb that is cut and served for guests at the table.
Its mere appearance is something to behold so little wonder that is has appeared on the menu ever since it opened five years ago.
Other popular dishes include the delicious confit of pork belly and goat’s cheese and pistachio fritters (battered and served in breadcrumbs). Another good seller is the equally mouth-watering monk fish wrapped in Parma ham while yet another recommendation is the super steak which is also a constant on the a la cart and currently includes a choice between rib eye and flat iron.
Much of what else is on the menu is seasonal but the one thing everything has in common is that it is very, very fresh, exceptionally tasty and also comes in satisfying portions.
Unlike so many places, vegans (as well as veggies) are also very well catered for here with a totally separate menu (a choice of two starters, two mains and two deserts).
This partly reflects the growing rise in veganism and guests asking for gluten-free products. Other places talk about this but The Corner House is actually doing something to meet customer demand (which even extends to the “specialised” drinks it offers).
Critically acclaimed, it has won the title of Kent Restaurant of the Year in 2015 and 2017 (among several leading awards that have come its way since opening).
Restaurateur/owner Matt Sworder has worked at a number of London restaurants including Gordon Ramsay’s La Noisette but is now thrilled to be back in his home region (that is, Thanet) running things superbly both here and at his sister restaurant in Canterbury. The Minster kitchen is under the expertise of Serbian-born head chef Predrag Kostic who takes enormous pride in the quality of ingredients and ensuring that any visit is one you will remember.
If the food and wine are good so too is the helpful and polite service from the very enthusiastic and well-informed team as well as the intimate yet classy interior (all old oak beams and wooden floors).
If you find yourself in nearby Canterbury then Matt’s equally wonderful restaurant there is well worth checking out.
The Minster venue, though, is a truly beautiful, intimate restaurant, and set in the heart of an authentic and traditional Kentish village.
Thanet, in Greek, apparently means “death” but The Corner House is living proof that the fantastic and going renaissance in “Great British” food continues apace.