When a new cafe bar opened in Tunbridge Wells, launched by some ex-army guys no less, Ali over at Muddy Kent needed little excuse to march on over and check it out. If you live in North East Sussex, looks like you may want to do the same. Over to Ali…
Next time you’re in Tunny Wells you might want to check out Framptons – a cool new café bar & kitchen that opened just last month. Located in the heart of the Pantiles and split over two floors it’s the kind of place you can drop in for breakfast through mid-morning coffee, light or full lunches, afternoon tea and full evening meals. No, obviously, not all in one day – *rolls eyes at mere suggestion* – even my elastic pants won’t stretch to that…
This is the second restaurant to be launched by three ex-British Army entrepreneurs, Tom Walker, Ed McAdam and Sam Westlake, who also have a eatery by the same name in Ringwood, Hampshire, so they must be doing something right. The first thing I noticed downstairs is the decent-sized buzzy bar, see above, which was full of lots of suited workers Friday Lunching. We ate in the dining area upstairs.
So what’s the griff? Well it’s a funky looking venue both outside and in. They’ve gone for the whole stripped-back warehouse look – lots of quirky lighting, exposed brick walls, pipes and patchy plastering. There’s a nice touch with the kitchen being open to view, so you can see Head Chef, Sam Stone, and his team at work.
The food, like the restaurant, has a laid back, quality vibe. There’s Salads (such as Pan Fried Chicken and Chorizo or Roasted Baby Beet and Pumpkin) or Sandwiches (Baked Mozzarella & Cherry Tomato or Smoked Salmon & Cream Cheese Bagel). But in this chilly weather you’ll probably want to choose from the Framptons Favourites – which has more winter-warming options, like Seasonal Soup or 28 Day-Aged Sirloin Steak. Here’s some piccies to wet your appetite.
I ate the Fish Cake with Poached Egg, Hollandaise Sauce and Lilliput Capers – delicious – and at only £6.50 – a bargain. My lunch companion, and lovely friend Sarah, went for the Roasted Baby Beet and Pumpkin Salad (think she was doing that whole post-Christmas healthy eating cleanse!)
Now Sarah has actually visited in the evening, with a group of girlfriends, and said it made a good venue for a fun, group get-together. Her only slight complaint about the evening was that it was a bit chilly. We asked the very friendly, helpful staff if they were aware of this and they explained that since it’s a listed building, their hands are a bit tied on the double glazing front. However I certainly felt more than comfortable enough and there certainly were heaters and radiators dotted around. Just probably worth a mention that if you go in the evening you might want to skip the crop top this once.
… now you don’t!! Turns out, oh yes, we could!
So overall? This is a vibrant and comfortable place with a decent lunch offering at a great price – I’ll definitely be back.
THE MUDDY VERDICT:
Good for: Work lunchers, Shoppers, Group meals or drinks in the evening.
Not for: This is not really for Romancers – far better suited to a girlie lunch or hanging out in a group. It’s not particularly cosy or intimate which is what you want for a romantic dinner à deux, right?
££: Good value – you can get a filling Salad around the £7.50/£8 mark or Sandwich around £7/£8. Classic Beef Burger is £10, Beer Battered Haddock £12.
Framptons, 2 The Pantiles, Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent, TN2 5TJ, framptonsbar.co.uk