The Pilot at Dungeness is a popular place to eat fish and chips by the sea

94 Reviews

Star Travel Rating


Review type

Things to do

Date of travel

June, 2023

Product name

The Pilot, Dungeness

Product country


Product city

Dungeness, Kent

Travelled with


Reasons for trip


It’s been a few years since I last had a meal at The Pilot at Dungeness and it has changed a lot in that time. I had `phoned in advance to see if we could reserve a table but the pub no longer takes bookings. The recorded message informed me that even if it’s busy nobody will have to wait very long for a table. In the middle of a spell of hot and dry weather in June we set off from our home just outside Canterbury one Friday afternoon and drove down Stone Street, the Roman road that led to Canterbury from Lympne , which was then on the coast. Taking the `scenic route’ across Romney Marsh (we always get lost trying to remember the way to Lydd) we saw lots of grazing Romney Marsh sheep and lambs and eventually arrived at the Pilot just before 5.00 pm.

There was a foreign coach in the car park and we worried we wouldn’t get a parking space, let alone a table, but we were lucky with the parking and since our last visit a new dining area has been added so we easily found a table, in the original old bar. What you get at The Pilot is not haute cuisine but good, well cooked food – fish, or Romney Marsh lamb if you prefer – and the set-up is efficient and impressive. We studied the menu and ordered and paid for our meal at the bar. Having had fish and chips the previous day I was tempted to have something different but as my husband and son were both having fish and chips I did too, although I chose a smaller portion, the Senior cod and chips. To be honest cod is not my favourite fish, to me it is tasteless, requiring copious amounts of salt and vinegar; I prefer haddock or huss, but the senior size meal was cod or nothing! It came with garden or mushy peas. My husband and son both chose a medium cod and chips (£16.50 each). I ordered and paid for our meal at the bar while my husband queued to get our drinks. The order arrived really quickly. The staff were efficient, hard working and friendly. It was an excellent meal and set us up for an early evening walk through the private Dungeness estate as far as the old lighthouse.

The weather was glorious; the other pub at Dungeness, where we’ve eaten in the past – The Britannia – was closed, the garden at Derek Jarman’s old house was looking good with the sun setting behind the house and as we passed the Snack Shack at the Dungeness Fish Hut the owner greeted us. Fresh fish is sold here and the Snack Shack has a simple menu featuring the catch of the day grilled and served in rolls plus other seafood snacks. The food smelled really good: I think that will be somewhere we must try in future.


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