Happy Birthday, No.35 Restaurant!

It is with great enthusiasm that we here at InCanterbury wish a very happy 1-year anniversary to local restaurant, No. 35.

Opening mid-pandemic, and just days before a nationwide lockdown, has come with some serious ups and downs, but this destination for local, fresh food is doing a-okay.

In the spring of 2020, Anna Carpenter and her team at a long-standing, high street cafe found themselves suddenly jobless. In an evening text message from the cafe’s owner, Anna (the general manager) and her crew of servers and cooks—close-knit, like a family—were told that there was no work to come back to in the morning.

Anna had been in the restaurant business for years, and she’d always had as slight itch to open her own place. She decided that now—in the midst of a global pandemic—was the time, but she had one condition:

Anna messaged her entire cafe team, telling them that she had decided to open her own restaurant, but only if each of them decided to come with her.

She received a resounding ‘yes’, and so, No. 35 was born.

After a search for the perfect location (on St Margaret’s Street, between the tea rooms and a little cafe), the newly minted No. 35 team worked for months with no pay to realise their shared mission.

They totally refurbed the 17th-century building, cleaning, adding new paint, scouring charity shops for decor.

Personal touches abound; the garden is infused with Anna’s childhood memories with pieces from her parents’ garden. And the chef statue (aptly called ‘Kenny’) was a gift to her dad, Ken, a life-long chef.

The space was theirs as a unit, a concept that Anna holds dear; she says that she may be the owner and financial stakehodler, but the restaurant belongs to all of them.

She lovingly refers to the staff as her ‘kids’, and she calls No. 35 as ‘ours’ in conversation.

No. 35 opened on the 20th of November 2020. All of the food is made from scratch, and every ingredient is locally sourced. What they can’t make themselves (think scones and cakes and pastries), they get in fresh each morning from local businesses.

The restaurant is a special spot, indeed. Walking in feels like entering a friend’s home; it’s at once familiar and unique. The staff truly care about the ethos of the space: ‘if you’re happy where you live and work, you want everyone else to enjoy it, too’.

Once you’ve tried it, you’ll become a regular; we’re sure of it.

Happy birthday, No. 35!

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