The picturesque town of Tunbridge Wells, or Royal Tunbridge Wells as it’s been known since 1909, has a lot going for it. From beautiful parks, an idyllic town centre and friendly locals, there’s plenty of reasons to visit this quaint location in Kent. Among the highlights are the fantastic eateries on offer, ranging from traditional British pub lunches to French haute cuisine. To help you choose, we’ve put together some of the best restaurants for you to try on your next night out in Tunbridge Wells.
Overlooking the nearby Happy Valley and recently taken over by the I’ll Be Mother group, The Beacon is a quaint restaurant and tea house featuring an exceptional outdoor terrace space. A popular venue for weddings and private hires but open as a functioning restaurant during the week, the seasonal menu is composed of traditional British favourites with locally sourced ingredients. If you have the chance, be sure to visit on a Sunday to try their exceptional roast dinners.
Combining the elements of a classic brasserie with a casual charming style, Rendez Vous is a perfect visit for a romantic date night or a dinner out with friends. Its menu mostly takes on French influence but with a special focus on game, all sourced locally from the Kent countryside. Started by professional chef Mark Harper, after he had decided he wanted to open his own venue, the restaurant has a lovely warm atmosphere that will make you feel like a regular in no time.
First opened as a pub and restaurant in 2012, the Mount Edgcumbe has a history almost as exceptional as its welcoming interior and delicious menu. Found inside a Grade II-listed building dating back nearly 300 years, today, this endearing gastropub serves a huge variety of options, from a Sussex rib-eye steak to a Thai green curry with tofu. If you are after an extra special dining experience, the pub has a genuine sandstone cave available to book.
A firm local favourite, Vittle and Swig is frequently considered to offer some of the best food in Tunbridge Wells. After taking over the spot previously run by the Camden Quarter a couple of years ago, Vittle and Swig has cemented itself as one of the top restaurants in town, thanks to its excellent menu, attentive staff and chic ambience. Serving a mix of British and European dishes, it’s the steaks that are the true speciality, with the dry-aged scotch rib eye being a personal favourite. The restaurant is open throughout the week, apart from Mondays, and it also serves a fantastic brunch menu during the day.
Found in the former house of famed Victorian novelist William Makepeace Thackeray, from whom the restaurant takes its name, Thackeray’s offers guests a delicious selection of traditional French cuisine. The menu was put together by the head chef Patrick Hill and features a variety of submenus, including their casual lunch menu, a five-course set menu and the extravagant chef’s tasting menu. If you’re a fan of seafood, you have to try the scallops.
Need somewhere to stay in Tunbridge Wells? Book one of the best hotels not too far from the area – all within reach of London’s Gatwick airport – through Culture Trip and make the most of your weekend by exploring all the scenic surroundings.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.