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Old House, Ightham

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user reviews of The Old House, Ightham

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

Good pub (no sign outside) serving great ales by friendly Landlord.
pwilkins - 16 Oct 2015 12:37
I hadn't visited the Old House for 15 years, and apart from a TV in the bar - for the Boat Race, and otherwise sparingly used - happily virtually nothing had changed. The right-hand room has been spruced up, but the conviviality centres around the counter in the main, small bar. At least half a dozen ales from microbreweries are served direct from the cask, plus three real ciders and a perry; Kentish Pip cider was absolutely delicious, and dispensed at just the right temperature. Landlord is very friendly and welcoming. Thoroughly recommended, but note the restricted opening times.
Viewfinder - 12 Apr 2015 14:18
Brilliant choice of ales - landlord and customers very friendly. Given a few tasters and all were in top notch condition. The Fyne Ales Jarl was superb and is something of a regular. A must visit for hopheads.
spoinge - 29 May 2014 12:45
Have not been back for maybe half a year for a multitude of reasons.CAMRA trips are not to be missed and when the OLd House is the venue, it becomes an event.

My return was welcomed like the return of a prodigal son and was immediately into conversation with a lovely labrador owner who clearly knew everyone. Being introduced to people, having educated discourse on wherever the conversation may lead....this truly is an English trait that may only survive in this antiquated gem. Dogs in the bar, lots of free nibbles and wit.

The Landlord Nick and his regulars are both informed and informative about what really matters. Beer!
Where else can you converse with drinkers about the differing bittering and aromatic properties of Cascade, Crystal, Kent Goldings and Fuggles hops and actually have someone who knows their relative alpha acid levels and actually blind tasted a beer and guessed correctly the hop varieties used. Yes Jarl does taste like grapefruit and now after 45 years drinking real ale I know why !

Beer served in quarts, if you have you own a glass safely stored behind the bar. Clive, you are a gentleman for even allowing me to try your ale bucket. My heart went out to the big Yorkshireman whose lead crystal jug had met with an unfortunate end. But he laughed it off made a quip or three and then bought us all a round. I am now as a result convinced that all beer produced in Lancashire is unfit for human consumption unless it uses water from the river Ribble which starts in "Gods Own land". This pub even tolerates lager drinkers provided they remain subdued, it was a pleasure to meet you "Pickle" and I admire you for sticking to your pleasures against the prevailing "religious" system espoused with such passion and conviction.

The Old House is the complete package. Fantastic beer, amazing educated, fun loving and eccentric conversationalists and a totally charming time capsule of a building. The loss of the empire can only be attributed to the demise of such institutions. I even agreed that we should invade "occupied lower Kent" , thats France to most of us, purely on the basis that harrying the French is a traditional summer pastime and we could get back to the Old House for the evening session.

No need to ask who gets my vote for Pub of the year.


Sessionmaster - 23 Jul 2013 13:39
Staid stolid traditional and utterly sublime.

They have lapsed into the murky world of selling lager. Luckily the word has not got out as there were no visible signs of peasantry. Dog lovers, beer lovers and conversationalists. Hunting , right wing politics and cricket. No sign of a TV with the latest turgid instalment of "premiership" United versus City.

A true gem. 11/10


Sessionmaster - 7 Sep 2012 18:27
Long overdue visit due to limited opening hours. A very cosy local, with good beer (Shrimpers) from the barrel and peanuts offered by the regular. Only downside is hard to find a seat or get to the bar, which could make you feel like an interloper, but that's just due to the size.
mtaylor40 - 5 Mar 2012 18:47
Have been using The Old House for a while now. Didn't really want to write a review, because we don't really want everyone to go there - but credit where credit's due and we like everything about this pub. The atmosphere, the beer and wine and the general ambience is brilliant. There isn't a down-side, and every one should give it a try. There isn't food, as said previously - but its nice to go in a pub and not smell chip fat, and have dinners wafting past you constantly. Highly recommended.
s.manda - 20 Feb 2012 13:11
Just completing my reviews for the last month of sessions. Went in last Saturday evening. The Stag from Cairngorm brewery is all I had. When you find a beer this good there is no point in having anything else. I cannot laud this pub enough. OK they dont sell food, but have a bag of nuts and just appreciate what has to be one of the best pubs in the country. If you are hungry and dont want to increase the mortgage pop down the road top the Padwell. Or eat first and just go to the Old House all day. I could live in this pub and wish it was closer.
Sessionmaster - 6 Oct 2011 21:08
Having now visited The Old House several times since its resurrection, I can only concur with the unanimous praise showered upon it in recent reviews. This is one of the great pubs of England, not just of this locality; go there, drink the beer (or even wine, these days, if you prefer it), enjoy the atmosphere, and just thank God that pubs like this still exist and flourish.
earlydrinker - 1 Oct 2011 17:42
Having now visited The Old House several times since its resurrection, I can only concur with the unanimous praise showered upon it in the recent reviews. It's one of the great pubs of England, not just of this locality - go there, drink the beer (or even the wine these days, if you prefer it), enjoy the atmosphere, and thank God there are still pubs like this flourishing.
earlydrinker - 1 Oct 2011 17:38
EVENTUALLY FOUND THIS PUB ON SUNDAY AFTER MANY FAILED ATTEMPTS WAS IT WORTH IT? OH YES INDEED! ABSOULOUTELY LOVELY PLACE, FRIENDLY LANDLORD AND LOCALS, GOOD ALES IN GREAT CONDITION, A TRUE ENGLISH COUNTRY PUB! WELL DONE LANDLORD DONT CHANGE A THING ITS PERFECT!
TWOJACKRUSSELLS - 12 Sep 2011 17:07
One the "must do" pubs in the area. The Old House, The Golding Hop and the Padwell. Beers change weekly, and it is always a joy just to go and see what is on. This it what can be achieved when the Landlord is a true beer lover.
Sessionmaster - 2 Sep 2011 07:52
We managed to dodge most of the rain on Sunday and pop in for a quick one at this hidden gem of a pub. The Skrimpers wasn't ready, so I had a pint of Stag absolutely marvelous! All poured from gravity in a room behind the bar. There was a great selection of ales here and a fabulous selection of chatty locals. Exactly how a pub should be.
BiffoBeer - 6 Jun 2011 09:31
We visited this pub last Sunday lunchtime after seeing the reviews here and elsewhere. It really is something special, a lovely little unreconstructed country local in beautiful countryside, serving excellent beer. It is being kept alive as a labour of love and deserves the support of all pub lovers.
helicosphaera - 13 Apr 2011 00:21
Only recently discovered this pub, thanks to working near by/my dad taking me. It is brilliant, great selection of ale and wine, the opening times add to the atmosphere; he land lord effectively opens for his friends. Definitely worth a visit.
OhMyE - 18 Jan 2011 13:46
Absolutely tremendous news. I haven't been able to get there yet since it reopened, but I'm told that Nick has done wonders in smartening up the old place without losing any of its unique atmosphere. This pub is one of England's treasures; thank God it's not been lost, and get along there as soon as you can manage it.
earlydrinker - 8 Oct 2010 20:51
The Old House has now re-opened after a little light renovation, and with an enlarged selection of wines. At present open 7-11 (9:30Tue, 10:30Sun) also 12-3 Sat & Sun. Gravity dispensed beers as previously. This posting on behalf of The Old House.
Old_House_Ightham - 4 Oct 2010 11:48
Pub now closed
shrimper145 - 31 Jul 2010 18:46
If it is open - then your pub knowledge will have been furthered. Great pub. Remember your wellies.
guydagger - 8 Dec 2009 23:05
Turn up after 7 pm and you should be fine for a pint of Sharps Coaster, Gravesend Shrimper, RCH Pitchfork and fff Rat and Warthog (at the moment). Don't go expecting Axminster carpets here but do expect friendly welcome and chat with the locals. P.S I'm not a local either.

Easy to spot - there is an abandoned Range Rover parked outside!

mikey64 - 15 May 2009 08:25
The phone# listed here is unobtainable and no amount of googling could provide a valid number to check whether they close in the afternoon. As it happens, I was advised in the Golding Hop that they don't even open until 19:00(!!!) in the week. No rating left, despite a temptation to mark it down for such a policy.
trainman - 1 Jun 2008 12:44
I love the Old House. Its charm is in the way that it doesn't feel that it is run as a commercial venture. People are very friendly if you give off the right vibes. One of the only pubs that I occassionly go to but regularly end up having conversations with the locals. As long as you don't mind having a conversation about the price of local farriers.
pgrogan - 11 Jun 2007 22:58
A truly wonderful pub, long may it live. The Gravesend Shrimpers is to die for and now the Winter Warmer is in for Christmas.
late_supper - 21 Dec 2006 14:52
Does 'looking like a pub from the outside' have some intrinsic virtue that I'm unaware of? I think when Quinno mentioned it, he thought of it as one of this pub's attractive eccentricities. Perhaps Sir Percy has a thing about cascades of garish hanging baskets. Or perhaps he likes huge plastic signs advertising all-day wide-screen TV ? Personally, good beer, pleasant surroundings and friendly company will do me, and as far as I'm concerned, they're all here. And, for the record, I'm not a local.
earlydrinker - 12 Sep 2006 14:53
Sadly, I must agree with the last comment.

The beers are fine but for some inexplicable reason the publican runs the place as a 'local pub for local people', which is a shame.

Fans of television's 'The League of Gentlemen' will appreciate my comment! ;-)

"it doesn't even look like a pub from the outside" completes the picture.
SirPercy - 11 Sep 2006 15:23
One of the least friendly pub I have ever been I,m afraid, and the worst glass of wine I,ve ever been served (nameless and from out the back). Fair enough I may be on the wrong website here (must search for "wine in the evening pubs" but surely it's not tooo much to expect a public house to stock a decent red wine nowadays? And why is there no sign on the outside? It's as if the landlord doesn't want passers-by to go in. A pub for locals only it seems.
wino - 27 Aug 2006 14:29
What a fabulous find! Stuck well away in the sticks it doesn't even look like a pub from the outside. Time has stood still on the inside, straight out of the 40's by the looks of it. 4 ales of interest on tap, and a huge open fire that I am making a point of sampling when winter reappears!
Quinno - 26 Jun 2006 21:49
There aren't many like this left, sad to say. In fact there probably never were many pubs which could compete with the general all-round excellence of this one, where good beer and conversation are the things that matter.
A friendly and welcoming landlord; a changing selection of beers straight from the cask - no food; an amazing fireplace with a log fire all winter; but first and foremost just a great atmosphere. This is what pubs ought to be like - get there quickly, before it disappears.

earlydrinker - 26 May 2006 13:26

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