I initially planned to write a blog post about five of my favourite places to go for a romantic meal around Tunbridge Wells, but it was too difficult to fit them all in! So here are seven of my top picks for that extra special night out…

#1 The Warren

After visiting The Warren for the first time this week, it is now a firm favourite and one of my go-to places to recommend when anyone asks me to suggest a local restaurant.  The Warren is fast becoming known for serving the freshest, highest quality food with a focus on game and seasonal produce – a well deserved reputation which I’m sure will continue to increase.

The Warren Restaurant, Royal Tunbridge Wells

Photo: David Burke Photography

Much of the food is farm to table, from the owner’s estate in Crowborough, which covers 700 acres of woodland and farmland at the edge of the Ashdown Forest. The restaurant’s iconic orangery windows overlook Tunbridge Wells High Street and Station, perfect for people watching, and the overall vibe seems to be sophisticated with a creative twist! Top tip? Arrive early and enjoy a cocktail or glass of bubbles at the beautiful bar before your meal.

#2 The Beacon

Located on the outskirts of Tunbridge Wells on Tea Garden Lane, The Beacon has some of the most stunning views across the countryside. Set on 17 acres with three beautiful lakes, it could be the perfect place for a day-time date so you can take advantage of the gorgeous garden and terrace.

The Beacon Restaurant

Since The Beacon was bought by Pete Cornwall and the ‘I’ll be Mother Group’ brand in 2015, it has had a complete overhaul and is tastefully designed with lots of quirky additions throughout. Look out for The Beacon’s #10milemenu which changes every week and highlights the locally sourced ethos which it is proud of. If you are going for the A La Carte, try the Wild Duck, Spiced Red Cabbage and Pomme Anna – amazing!

#3 Vittle & Swig

Following a recent visit to Vittle & Swig on Camden Road, this is another top choice of mine for a romantic meal. We went on a Saturday evening and there was a buzzing atmosphere – quite different from when I had visited it in its former guise as The Camden Quarter.

The imaginatively named cocktails come in generous sized glasses and a dynamic menu left me torn between choosing the ribeye and beef shin. Both options looked and sounded divine but I went with the steak in the end. Chateaubriand is on the menu as well, which is the perfect meal to share during a romantic meal for two.

#4 The Twenty Six

Another addition to the ‘I’ll be Mother’ brand is The Twenty Six in Southborough. You guessed it – the restaurant seats just 26 people and is a dream destination for an intimate meal for two. The ever changing menu is both innovative and inspiring – the brainchild of Scott Goss who appeared on Gordon Ramsay’s The F Word in 2009.

Twenty Six Restaurant

The Twenty Six is also within walking distance from my house, making it even more appealing without having to arrange a taxi to take us home after a few too many glasses of bubbles. It’s tricky to recommend an exact dish as the menu changes a lot, but if you are looking for a table for that special celebration, then make sure you reserve a place beforehand!

#5 Thackeray’s

I deliberated whether to include Thackeray’s in this post, as I haven’t actually had the pleasure of eating there. However, it has been recommended to me many times as one of the top places to go for a romantic meal and maybe one day I’ll get to see what it is actually like?!

Thackeray’s is all about high quality food and creativity provided in a warm atmosphere. The building itself, which is over 300 years old, is full of character and the 10 course Menu Exceptional tasting menu sounds like something I could definitely indulge in. Watch this space…

#6 Soprano’s

Since it opened in 2011, I have been back many times to Soprano’s both for romantic meals with my (now) husband, gatherings with some girlfriends and more recently, I took my Mum there after a busy day of shopping. Located in the heart of the Royal Tunbridge Wells Old High Street, Soprano’s is small but perfectly formed!

There’s a super selection of tapas on the menu and if you are a meat eater like me, then you must try the Chorizo al Vino Tinto – Spanish sausage cooked in red wine. Diners can choose to have a small selection of tapas washed down with a tipple from the international wine list or go for a full ‘Tapas Mains’ menu – the choice is yours.

#7 Zagatos

I recently visited Zagatos when we were lucky enough to have a night away at The Spa Hotel (which you can read about here). The food was sublime and Zagatos has been beautifully refurbished with a relaxed but rustic feel. The cocktails are amazing (are you seeing a pattern here?) and the venison scotch egg starter was out of this world.

Romance at Zagatos

I wanted to be adventurous and choose something different on the menu but we both went for the steaks with chips which were cooked to perfection. There’s live jazz on Fridays in Zagatos which adds to the awesome atmosphere, but still makes it appealing for a special meal.

my tunbridge wells logoThere are also several other restaurants which could be a great option too, including Don Giovanni, Rendez-Vous, The Eating House, The Old FishMarket and The Kentish Hare.

Image of champagne flutes at The Warren courtesy of David Burke Photography.