Kitchens by design – The Kentish Hare

31 October 2014 by
Kitchens by design – The Kentish Hare

The Tanner brothers' latest venture takes them back to their home county of Kent. Lisa Jenkins goes behind the scenes to find out more

Located on a prime corner spot in the village of Bidborough in the borough of Tunbridge Wells, the Kentish Hare pub is the latest offering from chef brothers Chris and James Tanner.

Under instruction from owners Sir Keith and Lady Maureen Mills, the property was stripped back to its bones before refurbishment began. The project, overseen by Lady Mills and the Tanner brothers (who are co-directors), took five months to complete, with the chefs opening the doors in May 2014.

The old-school, galley-style, open-plan kitchen looks out onto a stylish restaurant decorated in muted shades of grey and green and fitted with natural wood furniture.

The kitchen design makes good use of the limited space and a small extension at the rear is used as a cold room, freeing up the remaining floor space.

Head chef Sam Spratt leads the brigade in Kent on a daily basis and is a previous employee from the brothers' eponymous restaurant in Plymouth. The flow of the kitchen, with under-counter refrigeration from Foster Refrigerator, produces clean lines and plenty of work surfaces.

"It was important everything flowed," says Spratt. "We can do up to a 100 covers on a Saturday, so the space really has to work well for us."

The chef brigade uses a Rational combi-oven and a Blue Seal twin fryer and turbo oven. The Hobart dishwasher, tucked away in a corner, is well-used as customers pop in for morning coffee and afternoon gatherings in the snug.

The menu pays homage to some of the finest ingredients in the UK, and the chefs have designed a kitchen that reflects the casual dining style of a local pub.

Assisted by architect Malcolm Mills of Limehouse Design, they chose an induction cooking suite from Control Induction and a modern Kamado Joe barbecue, set flush alongside.




The Hobart warewasher has a host of in-built technologies to give valuable time back to operators including the
Power Plus wash programme with patented technology to remove the hardiest of food residues. The brothers chose this corner unit as a workhorse.

The Blue Seal Turbofan is an electric convection oven that can grill, bake, roast and hold a variety of foods, making it ideal as a primary oven for smaller establishments. Its features include side hinged doors with cool-touch handles and up to 20 programmes to choose from.

The brothers opted for new technology in the shape of an induction cooking suite from Control Induction. The induction planchas work well in the open plan kitchen, with plenty of space around the cooking surfaces.

Preparation counters and the pass


The under-counter refrigeration from Foster Refrigerator is used throughout the kitchen, maintaining clean surface lines and ensuring all the ingredients are close to hand.

The Blue Seal Twin Fryer is versatile and easy to clean, featuring a vitreous enamel control panel, with heavy-duty large capacity wire baskets and rugged
basket hanger.


The Kamado Joe barbecue was selected for its height and size. The counter-level unit allows space alongside the induction cooking suite and water bath for
maximum cooking flexibility.

The Rational combi-oven is used for a variety of dishes including daily batches of fresh bread.

The restaurant and the galley-style kitchen

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