Sunday, March 25, 2018

Deal, Sandwich and The Lane Cafe / Restaurant - The Kent Coast

I'm glad so many of you liked the carrot and red lentil soup of my last post. I made it again this morning and it is equally good this time (fifth time!) around. Mini Bite even managed two bowls of it this evening, despite being under the weather with a temperature.

Lunch from The Lane Cafe/Restaurant, Deal

Like the soup, this post has been sitting in draft form for a little while. It relays sights and memories from a day trip Mr Bite and I made back in February, when we each took the day off work and left Mini Bite in nursery while we went exploring. It is the second time we've done this, and while it feels a bit mean as parents, it gives us much needed and rather rare time as a couple.

On this occasion, we drove the 90 minutes to the nearby towns of Deal and Sandwich on the Kent coast. For those not familiar with England, Kent is a south-east county bordering London on one side and the coast on the other. We are on the London side, and despite living in the area for 2.5 years, we have yet to explore many of the coastal towns.

Deal Castle

Deal was our first stop and we started with a visit to the rather unassuming, squat looking Deal Castle (above). Run by English Heritage, we were not overly impressed with the outside of the castle, but were surprised by the depths and scale of the interior and below-ground areas. It probably doesn't need a return visit but it was worth seeing while we were in the area.

From Deal Castle it is an easy walk along the beachfront to the centre of town. I didn't take any photos of the town centre, but it was a refined, appealing area with a large number of antique and homeware stores. We suspect many of the residents are of the older, retired variety with money spare!


Unusually, I hadn't picked us a lunch spot in advance, largely because my brief searching didn't turn up any specific vegan or vegetarian eateries. There were several cafes that could have catered to us but we settled on The Lane, a cafe, restaurant and bar so named because it is tucked on a lane off the high street.

Upstairs interior of The Lane

Despite the empty tables in the photo above, The Lane was busy for a weekday lunchtime and the downstairs area was filled. This gave us the opportunity to sit upstairs, where there is more space and an appealing mix of wooden tables, large windows, exposed light fittings, and a fireplace or two. We liked it.

I also liked the look of the menu (thus why we chose the place!). There were multiple vegan choices for me, ranging from an all day vegan breakfast, a falafel wrap, a vegan quesadilla, and vegan chilli. Whilst all of these were appealing, they also included foods I regularly cook at home. I therefore opted for the vegan superfood salad. Described as "quinoa, lentils, cucumber ribbons, grated carrot, guacamole, roasted beets and soya beans" it also includes ingredients that I regularly cook, but I had high hopes for a salad that was more than the sum of its parts.

The salad was, in fact, exactly the sum of its parts. Beautifully presented, each ingredient was plated up separately and there was no dressing or seasoning aside from the guacamole. It was a very generous plate, the ingredients were fresh, and it felt like a healthy meal - but it wasn't a very exciting one.

I was also left underwhelmed by my matcha green tea latte with soya milk, which was vibrant in colour but a little too matcha flavoured for my tastes. Alas - you win some, you lose some.

Mr Bite ordered from the breakfast menu to select a bagel with smoked salmon and poached eggs (shown above my salad in the above photo) and did enjoy his meal, although also found it filling and he didn't get through all of the eggs. 

All in all, it was an enjoyable lunch in a nice setting but I was underwhelmed by my own menu choice.

After lunch we drove on to the nearby, smaller town of Sandwich. This is a quaint village with traditional buildings, a traditional town square, and a tranquil canal side. We hoped to see a tea shop advertising sandwiches in Sandwich, but either no one has taken advantage of the opportunity, or we missed the sign.


If you find yourself in Kent, Deal and Sandwich are worth seeing and The Lane may be worth a visit - but choose something other than the superfood salad if you want an exciting meal!

Have you enjoyed any day trips or outings lately?


  1. I have never heard of Deal before. Sorry your meal wasn't great but it looks interesting to visit.

  2. I understand your disappointment with your meal but after a few meals that I have been disappointed with lately I would welcome this instead - though it is amazing what a difference a good dressing can make so they could improve it quite easily. It looks so beautiful that at least I hope you enjoyed the presentation. Sounds like a nice day out and perhaps if you ever give up your day job there is a still an opening to start a sandwich shop in Sandwich!

  3. Perfect for the two of you to get away. pity the food doesn't always match

  4. What a shame the salad didn't meet expectations - I would definitely have been a bit bewildered by the lack of dressing. Still, the fact that there are vegan options on a cafe menu in the middle of Kent is great news, even if they could do with a bit of spiffing up! I hope you have more day trips planned!


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