Quince in Westgate named in SquareMeal’s top 100 UK restaurants and Michelin Guide

Owners Rafael and Ben Photo Joe Josland Photography

A Westgate restaurant that opened just seven months ago has been listed at number 36 in SquareMeal’s top 100 UK restaurants. The accolade comes on the heels of a listing in The Michelin Guide,

Quince is a 32 cover restaurant by chef-patrons Ben Hughes and Rafael Lopez in Westgate’s Station Road.

Hughes and Lopez’s approach is to use seasonal ingredients to showcase amazing produce in an accessible way in a relaxed but refined setting.

Oysters Photo Joe Josland Photography

The duo previously worked together at farm-to-table restaurant, The Goods Shed, in Canterbury, where Lopez was at the helm for 19 years.

The ingredient-led ethos continues at Quince ,with a daily-changing menu. The wine list is curated with Clive Barlow, Master of Wine.

The bistro-style restaurant serves dishes, many with a Spanish influence, featuring British produce, much of which is grown or produced a short distance from the restaurant, such as Quex Estate Sussex beef and lamb, Longland Farm duck, Staple Stores sourdough, cheese from Cheesemakers of Canterbury, and vegetables from local farms. Fish and seafood is sourced from South and West coast day boats.

Rafael Lopez (l) and Ben Hughes (r) in the kitchen at Quince credit Joe Josland Photography

The pair are joined by Ben’s wife Portia who heads up Quince’s front of house, and additional staff with experience gained at The Goods Shed and The Fordwich Arms.

Ben said: “It’s been an exciting few weeks for the Quince team, with recognition from The Michelin Guide, and being voted at number 36 in SquareMeal’s top 100 UK restaurants, where we are amongst brilliant company.

“We have been blown away by the support and welcome we’ve received so far from local people and visitors to Westgate, since we opened 7 months ago.

Valhrona chocolate mousse Photo Joe Josland Photography

“Our aim has been to create a neighbourhood restaurant with a bistro-style feel and finer dining food offering, whilst showcasing the amazing ingredients that are grown and produced in the area. We are thrilled that is something that has been well-received so far.”

Opening hours:
Wednesday: 6pm – 9pm
Thurs – Saturday: Noon – 3pm and 6pm – 9pm
Sunday: Noon – 3pm

Reservations via www.quincewestgate.co.uk

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  1. i tend to agree with peter , i dont think i would eat my dinner off deal beach , and no doubt you pay a hefty premium for the ordeal

  2. Have visited Quince several times since it opened. Food is exceptional, service is excellent, one of the best restaurants locally. Congratulations on the listing, well deserved.

  3. Thank heavens Peter won’t be going there! That should encourage others to go. Bye the way it is very nice- not cheap- but very tasty. Less is more.

  4. We had a great meal there in the autumn and will be back on our next visit. Well done on the recognition – well deserved.

  5. It seems from the catty comments of sourpuss Mr. Checksfield , (yet again), that it is indeed he who has no class and certainly has no idea of the components that go together to make a quality meal even more special.
    We, as humans – well, some of us anyhow – use our eyes as well as taste and smell when enjoying our food. Presentation is an important part of this.
    Times and places for everything. Greasy Spoon when time and circumstances require a quick and wholesome meal, a top end classy restaurant when the occasion is more relaxed and time is available to experience the skill of the Chef’s art, as art it can be.
    It’s not always about piling it high on a dustbin lid sized plate or even a McCrappie’s abortion.There is a time and place for both types of cuisine rather than hearing the constant criticisms from those with no tolerance of others’ likes or preferences.
    I bet some people are real fun to live with!

    • Ironically, you don’t seem to have any tolerance for MY likes or preferences…

      The meal may well be “quality”, but if they spent more time preparing the actual food and less time with gimmicky and impractical presentation, then perhaps they could afford to lower their prices and/or enlarge their portions.

      Have you tried Sarre’s The Crown? It is far too old-fashioned and unpretentious to appear on any arty farty “best” list, but it really is pretty amazing, ditto Birchington’s Smith’s Parlour.

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