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Bull, Barming - pub details

Address: 5 Tonbridge Road, Barming, Maidstone, Kent, ME16 9HB [map] [gmap]

Tel: 0871 951 1000 (ref 35722) - calls cost 10p per minute plus network extras

Nearest train stations East Farleigh (0.6 miles), Barming (1.6 miles), Maidstone West (2.2 miles)

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> Current user rating: 6.1/10 (rated by 9 users)
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> Local guide: Kent pub guide
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other pubs nearby:

Redstart, Maidstone (0.2 miles), Duke of Edinburgh, Maidstone (0.6 miles), Fountain Inn, Barming (0.7 miles), Victory, Barming (0.8 miles), Cherry Tree, Maidstone (0.9 miles) - see more nearby pubs

user reviews of Bull, Barming

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

5 most recent reviews of 8 shown - see all reviews

All change please all change at the Bull at Barming, judging by the last review of over a year ago. The Bull appears to have undergone something of a serious maekover and is now not only serving a decent range of quality options on its extensive food menu, but also dishing up 5 cask ales for your delectation.

Taking the beer first, we enjoyed a spread of options; 2 being more ubiquitous and familiar brands (Sharp's Doom Bar and Wells Courage Director's) for the less-adventurous drinker, and 3 being a little more select and unusual (Ramsgate Gadd's No 7, Adnams Lighthouse and a third which escapes my memory just now). The No 7 and Lighthouse were sampled and hugely enjoyed by all. If this is the usual run of things then they've certainly committed to providing a competitive range of ale which I hope will help bring customers back in. There is a large board outside which says nothing of food but simply declares that "real ale is available here" - an encouraging sign.

As to food, we all ate here and found the food to be most acceptable. A vast menu sometimes can be a little overfacing, and can create concerns as to whether the kitchen specialises in quantity but not necessarily quality. Apparently there is a new chef here and he appears to be managing both. 2 of us took starters (whitebait and scotch egg - delicious), and all 4 had mains - mushroom and olive omelette, lamb shank, sausage egg and chips and liver and bacon. All agreed these were cooked well and certainly did justice to the concept of good old British pub grub. As a small criticism I'd say my lamb was ever so slightly lacking in flavour; a little more careful seasoning would really lift it. However, we all left feeling replete with meals and drinks.

The feature that struck us most was the successful balance they've achieved here between a drinkers' and eaters' hostelry. The bar area at the front and to the left was clearly dominated by regular drinkers, which is as a local pub should be, while the right-hand side and rear of the extensive building were devoted to tables and diners. The two blended quite nicely and although one would be forgiven from the exterior for assuming this is now foodies only, happily that appears not to be so.

Clientele was consequently varied - plainly there were one or two more 'hardened' liquor enthusiasts in there, but there was no unpleasantness during our lunchtime visit on Saturday. Certainly fellow boozers and victuallers were not perturbed. Service from the bar staff (both at the bar and from the kitchen) was also exemplary.

Perhaps not the most atmospheric of places, but I wouldn't hesitate to recommend that people give this one a go if in the area, whether it be a pint and/or a pie you're after.
TWG - 22 Oct 2012 10:37
I drive past the Bull frequently though I don't call in very often. I don't recall it being boarded up, but if it was, it certainly isn't now, and wasn't when I last dropped in not so long ago. It seemed very much as it was when I last reviewed it over 2 years ago, except that the only cask beer available was the inevitable Harvey's. That was OK, though more choice would have been welcome. I guess this is largely a lager drinkers' pub, though, and I'd rather have one ale in good nick than several tired offerings.
The pub's OK.
earlydrinker - 1 Oct 2011 13:20
I'm told the pub has now been boarded up. Well surprise suprise.
Paul_Rochdale - 8 Jan 2011 23:14
Called in with my son on Father's Day for a pint and to watch the World Cup football. Very nice pint of beer but then just as we sat down, some ear splitting obscene 'disco' music started. Conversation was all but impossible. I asked the barmaid if the row was going to go on all afternoon and was told it was. An all but unintellible Scottish knuckledragger stopped his game of pool to tell us that they were just having fun, that he was the manager and that we didn't have to stay there if we didn't want to, something we'd worked out for ourselves. Another customer - there were only four or five customers in, I wonder why - wasn't happy either but seemed resigned to it. We finished our drinks and walked out both agreeing that is there any wonder that pubs are closing down at such a rate. The once respected position of Mine Host seems to have been taken over by retards. So off we walked to the nearby Redstart. What a contrast!
Paul_Rochdale - 21 Jun 2010 08:37
A pleasant change in the sea of drabness and 'novelty' pubs and bars in Maidstone...

Sampled both the food(Lunchtime menu,usual 'pub' farye.Nicely presented,plentiful and fair priced.) and the ale- Four out of Five pumps on,not the best pint quality ever but 'REAL BEER' in a friendly establishment......

That's all I want!!!
nuckster1511 - 11 Jun 2009 21:02

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