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Chequers, Farningham

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user reviews of the Chequers, Farningham

please note - reviews on this site are purely the opinion of site visitors, so don't take them too seriously.

Went to the Chequers between Christmas and New Year. Excellent choice of beer as usual. A great pub. I took my Mum. My Mum is not a great fan of pubs but loved the Chequers. Keep up the good work
Boyne - 23 Jan 2015 14:52
The landlady is from the Ukraine so she not happy with the ruskies at the moment.Understandable.
Gump - 27 Oct 2014 10:25
Very nice pub in a lovely semi rural location. The decor was interesting: there are two large paintings painted directly onto the walls - one of them a great painting of the street outside the pub! Unless I'm mistaken the barmaid seemed Spanish speaking. Pint of Pride was well kept.
MJEllis77 - 11 Oct 2013 14:57
Something of a corker here, which for whatever reason I hadn't visited since about 2006, but managed to drop into on Sunday. Not much had changed - which was to the good - and the place was literally crammed with customers. This was partially down to the recently-returned hot weather I'm sure, but then the Chequers is essentially an indoor venue, so this could be the way one finds it every Sunday afternoon. If so, it is doing very nicely for itself. It did come with a glowing recommendation from some local people I'd got chatting to at the nearby Bull at Horton Kirby.

A charming cottagey street-corner exterior leads you in to a traditionally-decked out and comfortable bar area, which is graced by - amongst other largely irrelevant things - a series of about 7(?) handpumps which I think were all occupied on my visit. Took a pint of Crouch Vale Golden Duck, which was new to me but tasted superb on a hot July afternoon. Various other worthy ales offered - go for yourself to discover more. Service was speedy enough given the sheer number of punters braying for beer, though I am bound to say a little off-hand. Smiles had deserted the young girl who served me sadly. Also, if I'm to nitpick further (others do so why not I?!) the measure was well-short, and the chances of getting the barmaid's attention again for a top-up were somewhere between 'fat' and 'no'. All that being said though, none of it would preclude me from going back ASAP for another sup on their splendid beers, and to mingle with the seemingly friendly and jolly bunch who presumably are lucky enough to fetch up here more than once in 6 years.

If in the delightful village of Farningham for a decent drink, forget all other options - they're pretty by-numbers - and head for the Chequers instead. You may struggle for a seat at busy times, but if you're anything like me standing is a small price to pay for quality beer and cheer.
TWG - 23 Jul 2012 17:17
Now made this my Friday night local and for good reason. The beer and ciders are well kept and varied and I agree the Russian landlady and staff are very friendly. Keep up the good work please.
meland - 7 Mar 2011 12:45
Myself being a publican leashold/ freehold & having my own holding company! i find the chequers one of the only remaining propper pubs left & its all down to the landlady of whom is of russian decent & is a credit to her nationality along with some of the other russian bar staff.Enter the pub the 2nd time you will be greeted by name just how pubs used to be .The locals are friendly & respectfull who in turn respect the landlady.If you walk in on your own someone will always talk to you.This is a great pub with brilliant atmosphire & best of all the bar staff.The pub offers food has a brilliant real ale selection & inbetween cooking times the landlady will bring out free fare!!THE CHEQUERS!! SUPPORT IT its a propper pub!!!
jaguarp9 - 23 Feb 2011 00:43
This pub could be so much better - strange russian? lady served me - didn't have a great grasp of english, however a decent pint in good condition
DEMETER - 7 Aug 2010 13:24
Popped in here to have a drink with my sons and daughter after their grandad died. Ordered food which was frankly very average and cooked and served by a man with B.O. nice touch!!!! Beer selection good as ever though so not everything bad.
meland - 1 Jun 2010 13:00
Really liked this little free house apart from the decor.

I'd strip it back ... get rid of the carpets and the strange Indian themed items that are dotted around.

Aspalls Cider on draught and friendly service. Lovely cheese and (proper) ham sandwich for around 3.

This pub is a much better option than the more popular (mainly for diners) Hotel just around the corner.
Pat_Bateman - 17 May 2010 10:05
Can't fault the beers, excellent choice and well kept.
Have spent many long days on the bench outside waiting for an Auto Prang, without success so far, as the sunday drivers cut the corner.
A firm favourite !
razorbill - 3 Sep 2009 22:24
I really like this pub; it deserves its high rating. It's like what pubs used to be about - beer rather than food (though I think the food's quite good). The place is always pleasantly busy, with a slightly shabby, 'lived-in' air about it; always a good hum of conversation almost but not quite drowning the often strangely eccentric choice of background music. Wide choice of beers - mostly, but not entirely, well known names, on my last visit. Pleasant and very efficient service from some extremely attractive young ladies. Strongly reccommended.
earlydrinker - 30 May 2009 12:44
Lovely pub, has more real ales than lagers - and even the lagers are nice (Budweiser Czech puts the American version to shame). Regular beers include Fuller's ESB and Harvey's Best. Guest beers have included some from Whitstable Brewery, Mighty Oak Brewery and Crouch Vale Brewery.

Snacks are reasonable with twiglets, porh scratchings and a huge variety of crisps. On sundays they bring out sausage rolls, cheese and biscuits, nuts. Lack of space is made up by the lovely decor, and the unusual figurines. Also noticed a few bottled beers from the past on the shelf at the back.

Only problem is the outdoor area, its two benches that are on the road. Mind you the road is not busy at all. Lovely pub, lovely village. Would recommend to anyone. Hope it stays like it is.
TyronW - 6 Jan 2009 21:38
Gump - you are correct; the Russian lass is an absolute stunner. Shame the place is so cramped - it means you can't get away from the offensive language of some of the rougher regulars. The beer is below par far too often to make this place a good ale pub - the landlord should reduce the number of ales on tap because the throughput is just inadequate to justify so many ales in a small pub like this.

BillJ - 6 Oct 2008 21:11
A great pub for the beer drinker who likes well kept beers and some unusual lagers and ciders you don't see in many pubs. Food is average but good value and I would recommend this pub to anyone.
meland - 3 Oct 2008 16:53
Wow - what a great pub! Eight pumps in use,and after several visits not found a badly kept beer. Foods good and prices are very reasonable.
Murals and clouds painted on the ceiling add to the slightly quirky decor. But don't let this put you off. Highly recommended.
beerwrinklie - 11 Sep 2008 12:20
Can't really add towhat has been said but the Russian barmaid is a beaut.
Gump - 18 Aug 2008 10:08
A wonderful pub. A great place to end up at for superb beers after a walk in the lovely surrounding countryside.
Boyne - 29 May 2008 21:04
Since the new owner took over this pub has really improved. Its real ale heaven with a great variety of choice. Landlord and Harvery seem regulars, Norfolk and Scottish ales and ssome great Essex brews from Crouchvale. The lunchtime menue was excellent. I did have one pint that I had to return as it had 'gone' but thi wa met without fuss. At least I had 7 others to choose from!
realrealaleman - 22 Mar 2008 19:09
randomly selected this place as a halfway point to meet my mother for llunch one Saturday, based on reviews posted here.

Was a bit nervous to see that it was a bit of an old-man's boozer (my mother can be rather snobbish!), however all fears quickly assuaged by friendly service, great spread of ales on tap (Norfolk Woodforde's Wherry my choice that day), and very reasonably priced, fresh food. The rugby was on telly, but the volume wasn't obtrusively loud. Loved the painted murals too!

BTW, went for a cuppa at the Lion after our post-prandial walk along the river, and can safely say you're better off in the chequers. The Lion's setting is nicer, but it's essentially a massive pseudo-rustic theme pub with flashy patrons paying too much for beer out of a plastic cup....
alexdoak - 8 Oct 2007 12:08
Not much to add to the recent reviewers remarks except to recommend the fish and chips, they also do salmon fish cakes which were up to West end standards - delicious! It is probably because the owner also has interests in Whitstable and gets his fish from there, I guess, judging by the freshness.
cookian - 24 Jul 2007 08:58
A genuine drinkers' pub. There were at least 8 cask beers on tap when I was in, including the outstanding and rarely found Goacher's Gold Star, at quite a reasonable price and in top class nick.
The pub itself is pleasantly shabby with an excellent display of plastic hops above the bar and round the top of the walls, which are adorned with the aforementioned murals, all in the best possible taste.
When I was there, the pub was pleasantly busy, but the unseasonal burst of fine weather, together presumably with the smoking ban, meant that there was plenty of room to find a seat inside, undisturbed, I'm pleased to say, by intrusive loud music.The young ladies behind the bar were delightful and their grasp of English appeared flawless.
An excellent establishment, well worth a visit.

earlydrinker - 9 Jul 2007 22:56
we revisited the pub not to long ago and found it had improved 100% since our last visit, it has indeed changed hands, however the beer range was very good , we tried, Dark Star Hophead,Woodfordes Wherry, Timothy Taylor Landlord, Mill brewing co Dartford Wabblor, also on were Fullers Esb, Discovery ,London Pride and Larkins Traditional, those we tried were in excellent condition.
The food was superb, and an extensive menu to cater for all tastes and pockets.
the interior has not changed to much, a tasteful mural of a county scene takes up most of the walls but this is done in a subdued way and adds to the charm of this once again top pub.
salty64 - 22 Mar 2006 20:52
We visited this "haven" last saturday (15.10.2005), as on may previous visits we have always found, the food and beer excellent, however we noticed that the decor had chaned somewhat and two young ladies behind the bar, who , how shall I put this , seemd to have little grasp of the english language and took sometime to get our order right( two drinks and a packet of peanuts).
Instead of the ususal 6 beers only two were avialable, one of which was not in the best condition.
we found out is has changed hands, hopefully the lack of beer is a small blip, but be warned don't expect it to be what is once was.
salty64 - 18 Oct 2005 22:08
Terrific late 18th Century trad ale house in a picturesque village near to Brands Hatch. A vast array of beers from microbreweries across the country, all extremely well kept. Sport shown on a couple of TVs inside the bar. Outdoor seating unfortunately limited to some benches on the steep historical High Street opposite a family butchers. Farningham is a beautifully-kept, classy village with a strong community & a number of societies linked with nearby Eynsford. The Chequers could well be one of the best pubs within this range of London. Simply a must-visit for any CAMRA affiliate. 10
young_camra_collectiv - 17 Jun 2005 14:34

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