Welcome to The Sportsman
We are very sad to say that The Sportsman will be closed until further notice.
We don’t know when the restaurant will be allowed to re-open, but we are hopeful that we’ll be back in time for spring.
We are sorry if you were due to visit us during this closure. Please do get in touch and we will do our best to rearrange your reservation. The telephone at the restaurant will not be manned while we are closed, but we will be responding to e-mails. It may take us a little while to get back to you so your patience is much appreciated. (Please note that all bookings for 2021 will need to adhere to current guidance on social gatherings.)
In line with government guidance on social distancing we will be operating with a reduced number of tables so availability will be limited. For the wellbeing of our customers and staff we have had to make a number of small changes.
We are following Government guidance on social gatherings, and we ask and trust that our customers will also adhere to these guidelines. We are taking table bookings for up to a maximum of 6 people and the group must be limited to members of two households. We will not be allowing any team members displaying symptoms inside the restaurant and we ask you to exercise the same cautionary approach.
In order to adhere to restrictions relating to capacity we are only allowing guests with restaurant reservations to enter the building. We ask that all bookings and enquiries please be made by telephone or e-mail. For non-dining customers we will have a small bar available outside with a limited selection of beer, cider and soft drinks. Please note that inside seating is reserved exclusively for restaurant reservations and there is no inside seating available for drinkers. (The outside bar is weather permitting only and you are advised to phone ahead.)
When you arrive for your reservation please put your face mask on before entering and wait at the door to be seated by a member of our team. We’re still keen for you to be able to enjoy a drink before your meal but while social distancing is in place these will be served at your table.
For the moment we are only offering one menu. This is a five course Tasting Menu comprised of small, seasonal dishes which showcase the local environment. This menu is put together day to day and includes recipes from the past twenty years along with new ideas. You will have a choice on the day between two or three options for each course. As always we ask that you please advise us of any allergies when booking and please be aware that we are not currently able to cater for vegan or dairy free diets. (To view a sample menu please go to 'Menus' and click 'Tasting'.)
Please note that for the time being we are not allowing children under 10 years.
Due to the 10:00pm curfew we have had to change our service times.
Please be aware that after the lunch service we will be closing the restaurant at 4:00pm. We are a little way out of the town and taxis can be difficult to get hold of at short notice so we ask that you please have return transport organised prior to starting your lunch.
In the evening we ask that you make your way home just before 10:00pm. Again, please have return transport organised before you arrive for dinner.
The first evidence of an inn at the site dates back to 1642 but the surrounding area of Seasalter was entered in the Domesday Book as belonging to the kitchens of Canterbury Cathedral. Even then it was an area of food production, farmed by the monks, supplying produce for the influx of religious tourists after the murder of Thomas Beckett in 1170.
We took over The Sportsman in November 1999 with the intention of serving good food in relaxed and informal surroundings. We have held a Michelin star since 2008.
Following the monks’ example we let the area around the pub dictate what we cook. Behind us, the Thames Estuary, leading out to the North Sea, provides oysters and fish, and in front, marshland, woods and fertile soils give us meat, vegetables and game. We also grow some ingredients ourselves. A small kitchen garden and now polytunnel, mean we can cook with fruit and vegetables that benefit from being picked only moments before use.
In Borowart lath, there lies a small borough named Sesaltre [Seasalter], which properly belongs to the kitchen of the archbishop. There is a church and eight fisheries... wood for the pannage of ten hogs. In the time of king Edward the Confessor, and afterwards, it was worth twenty-five shillings, and now one hundred shillings.
Get in touch
Tel 01227 273370
Tuesday to Saturday
Food service: 12:00-14:00 and 18:00-19:45
Food service: 12:30-14:45
PLEASE NOTE: NO INSIDE BAR AVAILABLE. At weekends there will be a small bar available outside with a limited selection of beer, cider and soft drinks. This bar is weather permitting only and you are advised to phone ahead.
Please note that inside seating is reserved exclusively for restaurant reservations and there is no inside seating available for drinkers.