It felt almost like a return to normality tonight, as we took the short drive to The Palmichael joining David and Valerie to celebrate a recent birthday. The last time we were there was for Janet’s retirement ‘do’ back in March 2018 and a lot has happened to restaurants since then — especially since Coronavirus restrictions took hold.
One of those ‘happenings’ was a major makeover for this very popular eatery. Not just a lick of paint, but a total re-think. There’s now an ‘upstairs’ area, and as a result, the restaurant looks totally different inside.
Walls have been removed, all the tables and chairs replaced — in fact pretty-much everything has been replaced, even down to the plants! Us locals have always known here to be a very popular place, but it was always a bit of a crush, pre-makeover (part of its charm, but a nightmare for the Servers) to squeeze every customer in! The first lockdown back in March has allowed the owners to pretty-much ‘start again’ with the interior.
And it appears to have worked, allowing a lot more space between the tables whilst giving an increase in total capacity. The somewhat dated look has now given way to a much brighter, lighter and more modern interior. The upstairs area, we’re told, will eventually become a lounge area (post virus), but for now, it’s home to a few more table to cope with demand.
When we arrived just before 6.45pm, it was already pretty full and that’s how it stayed for the time we were there. The Palmichael has been around in Kettering since 1981 and whilst many other local restaurants have come and gone, this one has not only survived, but now grown too!
Current lockdown rules wouldn’t allow the four of us to share a table, but some quick-thinking by Valerie just after the new restrictions were announced meant that a short phone-call later, we’d been given tables next to each other — not a bad compromise given all the other restrictions associated with COVID-19! 😊 We also got to see the new upstairs area too! Fantastic!
The food and service had always ‘punched well above its weight’ (Kettering isn’t really known for high-end culinary experiences!) and tonight proved that some things don’t change. 😊 This was a restaurant at the top of its game, doing what it does best!
Just before 8.30pm, it was over, and we all left with a big smile on our face. The combination of the service, food presentation, and of course, the food itself was nothing short of excellent. All-in-all, a fantastic experience and I’m sure we’re going to be back again before too long! 😁