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Kent Café of the Year Winner: Aunt Sally's Kitchen

Aunt Sally’s will be 10 years old this year. The original concept was to provide our wonderful community in Allington with good quality, locally produced, home-made food - which it continues to do to this day.

Aunt Sallys

Aunt Sally’s will be 10 years old this year. The original concept was to provide our wonderful community in Allington with good quality, locally produced, home-made food - which it continues to do to this day.

We offer a wide variety of tasty dishes from breakfasts, lunches, daily specials and home-made cakes.

We try to include local produce in as many dishes as we can, so keeping up with seasonal ingredients is key to our success.

It’s also very important to us to be able to offer ‘something for everyone’. Therefore, where we can, we will offer alternatives for individual dietary requirements, which affects so many different people.

I love it when I look out into the café and see a wide variety of customers. It could be a group of builders in for a Full English, mums with babies having a chat over a coffee or even some of our elderly locals tucking into one of our traditional lunches.

Having lived in Allington all my life, I know what a fantastic community it is. The concept for Aunt Sally’s started off as somewhere where our local community could come and meet friends and enjoy a home-cooked meal that was tasty, fresh and wholesome. A lot of our community are living on their own and don’t get to see many people, so the idea that they could pop in for lunch, even on their own, was something we felt very strongly about. We still have customers who have been visiting us since we opened and come in two or three times a week for something to eat but more importantly to come in for a chat. It’s really heart-warming to know that we have made someone’s day by just chatting to them and providing them with a meal.

It’s important for us to know what ingredients are going into our dishes, which is why, where we can, we will cook them from scratch. Home-made stews, pies, desserts, cakes and brownies are all made on-site. We’re very traditional and using local produce and suppliers goes hand-in-hand with that.

Since we started, we have used Kent Crisps, Owlet’s juices, Barradale Eggs, Crouch Butchers and Kentish Mayde pies.

As times have changed and menus have progressed, we then sourced Campbell's Chutneys, which can be found across the county at farmers' markets and foody fairs.

Mrs Sourdough is a very new business, having only launched in lockdown, but she has recently opened her first bakery in Chatham. Using these two businesses, we have created one of our best-selling dishes in our 10 years of trading - smashed avocado on sourdough toast topped with a Barradale free-range poached egg and a drizzle of chilli jam.

They also collaborate in a toastie. Sourdough toastie filled with Brie, bacon and cranberry and red onion chutney. Also pairing up with the toastie is Kent Crisps: a local company that was only months old when we first started using it and has now gone on to win awards for its unique flavoursome snacks.

We are so lucky living in the Garden of England. We will keep sourcing our finest ingredients and suppliers and carry on doing what we do best - serving our tasty food to our wonderful customers.