From the outside, this quaint, 16th-century hostelry has ‘traditional country pub’ written all over it, but refurbishment has left it all in superb condition – the re-worked interior comes fashionably stripped back and unbuttoned, all easy-on-the-eye wood floors, bare brick walls, low-beamed ceilings and blazing winter fires, plus five remarkably swanky bedrooms upstairs. This is the place to sample great Kentish beers and wines: hand-pulled ales from Goachers of Maidstone, Hopdaemon of Faversham and Gadds Ramsgate Brewery, alongside Biddenden cider straight from the barrel, and wines from Chapel Down, Terlingham and Biddenden vineyards.
On the menu, straightforward British classics feature Kentish produce including roast organic ranger chicken served with parmesan chips, gem lettuce and aioli; Kentish pie of the day with mash and mushy peas; and South Coast catch of the Day. The 28 day aged Angus beef steaks are a popular option served with fries, watercress and a classic béarnaise sauce, as is the vegetarian Mac & Cheese which features mushroom and leeks. For something lighter the starters are also available in larger portions and comprise the likes of a lentil salad with green olives, sun-dried tomatoes and walnuts.
Desserts comprise British favourites such as sticky toffee pudding with vanilla ice cream; apricot Bakewell tart with clotted cream; chocolate mousse with honeycomb; and a traditional seasonal crumble with custard.
From the bar menu guests can enjoy more typical pub classics available to eat in or takeaway. Snacks are perfect for sharing with a pint and include crowd-pleasing favourites such as whitebait with garlic mayo, pork crackling with Bramley apple sauce, Folkestone whelks, and pots of cockles. Woodfired pizzas can be made bespoke with a range of toppings to choose from, while the smokehouse proffers battered cod or haddock with beef dripping chips, mushy peas and tartare sauce.