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Feeding time at Sir Phillip Sassoon’s Opulent, Former Stables
port lympne garden room

Feeding time for my family of hungry animals takes place at Port Lympne Hotel and Reserve’s beautifully restored Garden Room.

We’re staying at the Kent destination’s luxury Treehouse Hotel - read our review here - and have dragged ourselves away from its views of savannah-like scenery and rhinos to jump in our golf buggy for dinner.

Originally the stable yard of Sir Philip Sassoon's country estate, The Garden Room sits beside Port Lympne's grand, Grade II listed mansion, which was built for Sassoon and has welcomed everybody from Winston Churchill to Charlie Chaplin. 

port lympne mansion

The Cape Dutch style mansion and its Garden Room sit within 15 acres of immaculate, landscaped gardens, complete with hippo water features.

True to its name, The Garden Room's black or exposed brick walls are festooned with leafy foliage and Art Nouveau mirrors, while its glass roof is studded with oversized chandeliers. 

It’s opulent, but cosy and welcoming and our children happily plonk themselves among the perfectly chopped, tapestry cushions.

port lympne food

All of the food is sustainably sourced from local, artisanal suppliers, with produce picked from the Port Lympne gardens. 

It is high quality, beautifully plated dining. We start with the sticky sesame pork belly in a wonderfully sweet and spicy, chilli caramel sauce, while the children sweep up red pepper hummus and baba ghanoush onto steaming hunks of fresh, rosemary focaccia.

port lympne dinner

Next, comes my stand-out dish - a perfect sea bream fillet (with skin like pork crackling and tender, flaky flesh) perched atop celeriac puree and cavolo nero and served with buttery, brown crab mashed potato, which I could happily eat by the bucket, with a spade. 

port lympne garden room

My partner has the venison cottage pie with green beans and shallots - the juicy, rich meat bubbles around the golden potato crown, which the fork satisfyingly cracks through, into its buttery potato centre.

cottage pie

The children devour mac ’n’ cheese - gooey, creamy and moreish - and light and crispy chicken nuggets with chips, before their chocolate brownie desserts with cookies ice cream, from which they grudgingly allow us a small (delicious) spoonful.

We close with a smooth, creamy and sweet chocolate and cherry martini, and return to our treehouse home for the night, excited about breakfast here the following morning.

cherry chocolate martini

And we are not disappointed. My partner and I have the Full English Breakfast - everything here is fresh and swiftly cooked to order.

port lympne breakfast

The high quality, smoked back rashers are perfectly crisped - not the soggy, grey slices often served at hotel breakfasts - with two excellent, locally sourced sausages, a giant, field mushroom, roasted tomato, perfectly orange and runny free range eggs, with beans in a separate dish, as is the law of breakfast

continental breakfast

The children are served fat, golden croissants with strawberry jam, and their plates heave with fresh fruit, Greek yoghurt, berry compote and buttery granola. 

It’s perfection and fuels us for the day, feeding far more exciting animals - more on that, here.

Port Lympne Hotel and Reserve, Aldington Rd, Lympne, Hythe CT21 4LR

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