Sunday, 26 January 2014

The Best Food in Canterbury

On Friday, author of Dogs on the Runway and martial arts expert, Roger Thyer-Jones and his wife, Michelle, took me out to lunch at Rafael's Restaurant. It is situated on the mezzanine in the Goods Shed at Canterbury West railway station. If you have not yet visited it, do so now.

The Goods Shed food market, Canterbury.
Rafael's Restaurant is up the stairs on the left.

Open every day except Monday, the Goods Shed is a market for local produce -- meat, fish, fruit, vegetables, bread, beer & wine and such like. I like to buy my apples here because they are all shapes and sizes, not uniform Tescometric, and no matter what the variety they are all priced the same so you pull a brown paper bag from the hook and serve yourself, mixing them all in the same bag.

Rafael's Restaurant serves the finest meals in Canterbury and much of the food is sourced from the market itself. I ordered a lamb leg steak having seen it just being brought up from the butcher's counter below.

A half-scale model of the locomotive Invicta
which hauled the trains into Canterbury.
 The atmospheric cloud of steam is coming from the bread oven.
The Goods Shed is near the site of the original station of the Canterbury & Whitstable Railway which, I am sure you remember, was the world's first, fully steam-hauled passenger railway, opening in 1830. What the enthusiasts sometimes gloss over is the fact that some of the steam hauling was done by a stationary winding engine in the Blean woods because the locomotives of the day could not cope with the gradient out of Whitstable. Canterbury West railway station also boasts another record: a plaque on the wall declares that the world's first railway season ticket was issued there.

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