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BITE user comments - wittenden

Comments by wittenden

The Fox Goes Free, Charlton

Called in here in July.Didn't plan to eat, but did. Good but pricey-well it is next door to Goodwood. Beer excellent. As good as it was a couple of years back.

8 Aug 2011 21:57

The Salehurst Halt, Robertsbridge

This is a neat brick and tile built cottage by the church in a small rural community just away from the A21 and the bustling metropolis of Robertsbridge. Inside, traditional bare boards, low beams and open fires, together with an eclectic literary selection.
The Halt is renowned as a source of Dark Star beers, and today was no exception, with Hophead alongside Harveys Sussex Best, and Rudgate’s Ruby Mild, together with Biddenden Bushells Cider on handpump.The Hophead perhaps wasn’t at its peak:that wonderful citric hit seemed to be missing, but was still a grand beer. I hadn’t had the Rudgate’s Ruby Mild before, and was highly impressed with it; a luscious malty beer with a mouthful of dried fruit. A bit heavy for a traditional mild, but a classic all the same.
As a community pub, the Halt sources its food, as well as the beer, locally as far as possible. As a noted glutton, I found the beef pie very succulent, and the burgers looked good as well. I’m pleased to add that the beef comes from Sussex cattle.The rhubarb fool wasn’t bad, either.
There’s a pleasant garden , looking out over hopgardens in the Rother Valley. It seems to be a haven for dogs, though we left ours at home, it being the hottest day since last September. We’ll be back.

22 May 2010 23:48

The Rake, London Bridge

This was my first visit to this temple to beery delights. As I am the most untrendy man in the Weald, I’m afraid I must have stuck out like a sore thumb, however I was impressed with the businesslike attitude of the bar staff-I didn’t find them standoffish or patronising. I had a pint of Wolf’s Golden Jackal, which I found satisfyingly hoppy, and with more depth than most golden ales. Alongside on the bar, but not tried were an IPA form RCH , and some blackberry confection from Saltaire. Many of the punters were drinking exotic looking bottles from”abroad”. I’m not a brave drinker, so I passed these by, as also the imports on Keg dispense.
Not, perhaps a pub for the little Englander, but one I’ll return to on my infrequent visits to or through London. 7/10

2 May 2010 00:16

The Brew Wharf, London Bridge

I didn’t really like this :the idea is wonderful-under the arches, a micro brewery on site, interesting beer, but cold and clinical.
I found it achingly trendy and eye wateringly expensive: my pint of “Field of Dreams”, an “anglo/US hybrid beer” was £3.90, and much too cold. Having held the understated glass in my hot and provincial hands for ten minutes, the beer actually tasted quite interesting, but by then I was wishing I was elsewhere. 4/10

2 May 2010 00:14

The Tickled Trout, Wye

The final stop in our day on the Stour Valley Walk was perhaps the most rewarding. I’ve been past this pub countless times, and might even been inside it when I think it was called something else. Situated by the bridge over the Stour and next to the station, I’d often dismissed it as a tourist trap. It advertises itself as a “Kentish Pub”, and generally lives up to that claim. Inside, it’s all open studwork and unplastered bricks.
For a Saturday evening it was disconcertingly quiet-a few groups eating, but hardly busy.The staff were very friendly, and the food was very good value: the fish ‘n’ chips that most of us had would have dented the Rye Bay fishing quota. I was very pleased to see Hopdaemon Skrimshander IPA available: I’m very fond of this beer, but rarely see it on draught. I was a bit worried as it poured cloudy, but happily it settled and dropped clear by the time I sat down to enjoy it. Hops to the forefront- currants- with a grainy follow through. Also available were Youngs Bitter, Hopback Summer Lightening, Timothy Taylor Landlord and Greene King IPA, together with the usual fizzies.
We liked this pub, and would come again.8/10

27 Mar 2010 22:36

The White Horse, Chilham

An old world pub in the picturepostcard square in Chilham. We were first in on an early spring Saturday lunchtime. A central bar serves a number of seating areas, the most attractive being the one you enter first, with the moulded beams in the ceiling and the open fire in the inglenook.SoEnglish it features on the front cover of the local OS map.
Our dogs ,and those of numerous other patrons (Chilham being on both the North Downs Way and the Stour Valley Walk) were made welcome. There were a few punters in for drinks, but most were eating. Our barsnacks were heavy on the bread front, but moreish, and my pints of Adnams were up to scratch.The beer range was rather pedestrian: apart from Adnams Bitter they offered Ruddles and Flowers IPA. I’d hoped to have seen Gadds, as I gather they’d had beer from Ramsgate in the past.
A perfectly good pub for a meal and a drink, but perhaps not a locals’ pub, though the clay shooting trophy on the bar might well prove me wrong. 7/10

27 Mar 2010 22:32

The Spotted Cow, Lower Bourne

This pub had been recommended us ,but unfortunately it didn’t deliver. Firstly, I’d question its status as a pub:more a winebar/bistro without the charm. We were welcomed with all the effusive enthusiasm of the salesman eager to close that deal, and shown to our rickety, sticky table. Sevice was quick, but they were hardly busy for a Saturday night-a few other parties and a braying horde of Surrey’s finest who were waiting to dine hugger mugger on burgers in a dining area the opposite side of the pub.
The food was not marvellous-gastro prices and gastro portions, but not fine dining quality. My pie was the safest and best option, the fish ‘n’ chips were OK, but the burgers were over priced and unfinished by our teenagers, which says a lot. As soon as we had finished the previously welcoming staff gave us the evil eye, presumably to clear our table for the braying crowd. Naturally we sat and chatted to our friends as we had all travelled a fair distance that evening. Not a “good night” as we left.
On the other hand, the beer was good and well kept;Triple fff’s Moondance and Hogs Back TEA. I didn’t try the Timothy Taylor’s Landlord.Of course the beer should have been good as it calls itself a pub! Plenty of fizz for those of that persuasion. As it was dark and a foul night I can’t comment on the much vaunted gardens. We won’t be back. A grudging 5/10

21 Mar 2010 22:13

The George, Bethersden

Despite living only in the next parish, I hadn’t been in here for years, so I took the opportunity provided by an evening meeting in Ashford to pop in on my way home. A foul March night, the pub was fairly quiet, but the locals welcomed me, and I joined them in reminiscence of local worthies.
The beer range was fairly limited-Adnams Bitter, Brakspears and a couple of others, but my Adnams was in top order.The pub hosts a couple of beer exhibitions, the next being in April. The newish couple in charge previously ran the Woolpack in Warehorne, and similarily high standards are evident here, though we haven’t yet eaten at the George. 7/10

21 Mar 2010 22:09

The Three Horseshoes, Hernhill

Sheps-love ‘em or hate ‘em (I admit to being quite a fan)-they do have some thunderingly good country pubs. The Three Horseshoes is a case in point, a typically Kentish farmhouse with weatherboarding and a catslide roof. Inside, there’s a small bar, furnished with tables, benches and all the accoutrements of pub life. The end of the bar furthest from the open fire, but heated by its own rather ornate fireplace is laid up for dining.
Our visit was on a damp Thursday lunchtime during February half term: the pub was sadly quiet, a few locals and the brewery rep on official business.The food has deservedly good reputation: I had an historic steak and onion pudding, and the chicken baltis looked tempting .A family run business, everyone was most welcoming. This is the second pub that we’ve been in this year that boasts an onion competition-I suppose it ‘s a change from all those Geordies and their leeks. Musical entertainment is also promised, and various sporting events are recorded on the pub notice board.
I am a great fan of beer served by gravity dispense –not so often seen today. Here, the Master Brew was served in this time honoured method, and was most acceptable. However, the star of the session was the Late Red (on handpump). I’m very fond of this beer,with a luscious maltiness , backed up by the hops, which I understand are the celebrated Cascades, grown in this parish for Sheps ,by a local grower.
The pub seems to be as one with the rest of this attractive village, as if it has always been there, as I expect it has. 8/10

18 Feb 2010 23:15

The Bell and Jorrocks, Frittenden

I drive past this pub frequently, and know that it is “the” pub in the district, but haven’t been in for at least thirty years. However, today, on a foul Saturday lunchtime I had a bit of time on my hands, so I went in for a quick pint. I’m a dog lover, so was pleased to see a couple of attentive black dogs patrolling the bar.
An L shaped bar: open fire one end,darts the other: I was very pleased to see a proper Kentish “black” dartboard-no trebles or outer bull.Quiet, as you might expect, given the weather, but it gradually filled up with groups and families.The food looks good and not too pricey.
The beers were Harveys Best, Adnams Bitter and Black Sheep Best, together with various fizzy offerings. The collection of resting pump clips hinted at an interesting guest beer policy. I saw clips for various beers from DarkStar and Westerham, always a good sign in my book.The Harveys was on good form, and made me glad I live in England.
The pub also doubles as the village Post Office, and plays an important role in this isolated community. 9/10

16 Jan 2010 15:57

The Lord Raglan, Staplehurst

We’d planned to go to the Swan In Sutton Valence, but the village seemed to be in the throes of some New Year’s Day celebration, so we moved on through the flooded Weald to this pub. I’m sure I haven’t been here since I was in Young Farmers, but I have happy memories of it.
An old cottage type building, with a curiously shaped bar opposite the front door, decorated with hopbines, this being still a hopgrowing area.Two open fires, glowing rather fitfully at either end of the bar added to the rural atmosphere. There was a pleasantly busy lunchtime trade, with both diners and drinkers.
I was gratified to see Goachers Fine Light Ale, together with Harveys Sussex Best. The Goachers was on top form, and I will be ecstatic if every pint I drink in 2010 is as good as this. In addition, they had Double Vision Cider and a Perry both on handpump.
There’s an interesting looking menu on chalk board behind the bar: we had the likes of hamburgers, sandwiches and sausage, egg ‘n’chips: all good hearty fare and good value.
I’m sure that the pub is a picture in the spring, set as it is amongst orchards. We liked it: a fine start to the new year. 8/10

1 Jan 2010 21:06

The Jolly Farmer, Dalton

A rather ordinary looking pub on a wet November Sunday:not, perhaps the most auspicious start. However,having made the decision to leave the warmth of the car we found that the pub was that rare bird: a proper pillar of the community,host to all kinds of village organisations.
From where we sat by the front door, the pub stretched away round the bar ,filled with contented groups of drinkers. Family run, it was like dropping into your favourite auntie’s for Sunday lunch:excellent roast beef with all the trimmings.
The landlord is a keen and knowledgeable exponent of good beer:regular beers are John Smith’s Cask and the wonderful Theakston’s Mild. The latter is in the running for my beer of the holiday, if only because it represents my idea of the archetypal Yorkshire beer.The guests were Constantine from York,which I liked-not as extreme as Decade from the same home which I drank last year, and more characterful than the ubiquitous Terrier.This was accompanied by Hambleton Ales Nightmare, which I did not try. Unusually, the pub boasts a cider and a perry on handpump.
We were most impressed by the Jolly Farmer: in an age of identikit pubs selling boring ale and industrial meals it stands out as an integral part of its landscape, uniting all interests, and unassumingly welcoming all comers. 9/10

21 Nov 2009 23:44

The Fox and Hounds, West Witton

A classic Wensleydale pub:originally a monastic establishment dating from the middle ages with a warren of rooms and passages, this has been a favourite of ours for several years. The cosy bar opens out to a larger back room, complete with a well used dartboard. When we came in on a Wednesday lunchtime there was a smattering of good natured locals and visitors. We left our dogs in the car, but an immense labradoodle was making much of himself in the bar
The beer choice was somewhat more adventurous than is often the case in the Dales:Yorkshire Dales Muker Silver was a very pale,dry I suppose Silver ale-very drinkable.Salamander Brewery from Bradford offered Tower of Babel, a rather tasty golden ale in a series of biblically themed beers.Also evident were Black Sheep, and John Smith’s. Interestingly, this was selling well: I suppose its snobbery on my part, but I never touch the stuff-time to give it a second chance perhaps. There were various fizz founts for those of that inclination. Naturally, sparklers rule here, giving that wonderful settling –out ritual.
The food was good and honest, pleasantly served. We could happily make this pub our local: a rare accolade from us.9/10

5 Nov 2009 18:50

Seven Stars, Shincliffe Village

First time in here (or Durham) since 1976, and much as I remember it, a middle class pub in an attractive village a few hundred yards from Durham City. One of the few pubs selling real ale in those benighted days-Dryborough from somewhere in Scotland if I recall correctly. It still sells a good selection of beers: Timothy Taylor’s Landlord, Black Sheep Best, and Durham Magus. Things may well be worse generally now, but the choice of beer and food is definitely better.
As this is not All our Yesterday’s in the Evening I’ll get back to the chase: there’s a public bar to the right, complementing the dining rooms to the left: in a semi bar area complete with squashy sofas there’s a remarkable fireplace, straight out of some Geordie chimney sweep’s vision of Viennese kitsch.There’s also a charming small private dining room glimpsed from this bar, rather like an illustration from some Victorian manual on Good Cheer.
The food was good value and excellent, and not too pretentious as I had feared.For some reason I abandoned my usual pie, and had a chicken risotto, which hit the spot.I’d never had any beer form the Durham Brewery before, and I was pleased with the Magus: a hoppy initial impression , followed by an almost nettly dryness, not that I regularly eat nettles, you understand.The welcome and service were charming and efficient:for once, nostalgia didn’t let us down.

3 Nov 2009 23:23

The Swan on the Green, West Peckham

I’ve wanted to visit this pub for some time now: we arranged to meet my in-laws there on a drizzly October Sunday lunch.A brick fronted house, set on the eponymous Green. Very pleasant in the Cricket season I would suggest.
Food led :high quality, but portions seemed to be variable in size. I’m a greedy man, and like a good feed when I eat out, but my roast pork was lacking in quantity-not enough veg! Our beef-eating members had the better bargain. Gluttonous quibbles aside, this pub is noted for the beers produced in the micro brewery. The five hand pumps offered beers using green hops from this year’s harvest: in these days of food traceability it would have been interesting to see details of where the hops were grown-hopefully fairly local.My first pint was Last Challenger, which was a darkish full and malty beer-not really a session. I followed this with a dark mild using Goldings: I enjoy mild, but this was inoffensive-roast malt but no chocolate.The best of the bunch was Sovereign Gold: intensely hoppy, but almost coppery in colour, rather than the gold that one would expect.
The girls behind the bar and waiting at table were very jolly and businesslike, a couple brought a friendly old dog in:we’ll probably come back. 8/10

11 Oct 2009 22:27

The Tally Ho Inn, Broughton

A white painted double fronted pub opposite the church in a pleasantly rural village. Two bars, one laid up with puzzlingly reserved tables at one thirty on a Sunday lunchtime. They remained unclaimed during our visit.
The peculiarly lime painted bar opens to both rooms, serving 3 beers on hand pump: HMS Ajax , from the Cottage Brewery, Sharp’s Doom Bar, and Ruby from the Yeovil Brewery. I’d heard unfavourable comments about Cottage’s beers, so rather unfairly ignored the intriguingly named Ajax . I remember that I enjoyed Cottage’s Somerset and Dorset last year, so I shouldn’t really be influenced by what I read on the Net.The Doom Bar ran out as I waited to be served, so I had a couple of pints of Ruby. I’ve heard a lot of hype about Doom Bar, but must be the only person in the UK never to have drunk it: I’ll keep waiting.Ruby was described as a red ale, and in deed there was a reddish tint to it. Malty: initially I wasn’t impressed, but perseverance paid off, and the fruit was balanced to some extent by a moderate bitterness.
We sat outside at the front-there’s a garden at the back, and after some cofusion with the order, enjoyed plates of London Grill, though the Mixed grill that our daughter had (part of the confusion) looked better.
A community pub: the ladies behind the bar were cheerful: I’m not sure if dogs were welcome as we left ours in the car to bark at all comers, and the regulars seemed a jolly bunch. 6/10

20 Sep 2009 22:52

The Rising Sun, Nutbourne

An attractive and popular creeper clad pub in a quiet Sussex village street.Bare boards and rustic tables, with an open fire at one end.A room at the back was laid up for dining, and there’s a garden, which we didn’t frequent.
We were first in on a Saturday evening-the pub rapidly filled up .The usual suspect-Adnams Bitter and Fuller Smith and Turner’s London Pride served by Beer Engine together with a varying selection of beers from micros. I spotted pump clips from amongst others WJ King. Last night featured HPA form Hammerpott and Pompey Royal, currently brewed by Oakleaf. Unfortunately this ran out before I could try it, and was replaced by Young’s Special, which no longer does much for me. The Hammerpott was one of those understudy Golden Ales-rather one dimensional; a bit earthy. Perfectly good, but earlier we’d been to the Amberley Beer Fest, where I’d had glasses of Rooster’s Hedgehog and Dark Star Limeburners :these are first division, and not real ale for lager drinkers.
The food was good , but not exceptional, service cheerful and efficient. An amiable terrier wandered round the bar, but our dogs were tired out after the beer fest, and elected to stay in the comfort of the car.
We’d come back if in the area. 7/10

6 Sep 2009 12:58

The Lion, Sudbury

An attractive heavily timbered pub in evocative countryside. It has a good reputation for its beer, a GBG regular. Today it was offering alongside Greene King’s IPA, which seemed to be the beer of choice of the regulars, and Adnams Discovery, 2 less well known (to me at any rate) beers from local breweries-Mighty Oak and Nethergate.I’ve long heard of both, but had only tried one of Nethergate’s “umbel “ beers at a beer exhibition many years ago. I enjoyed that, but perhaps was less struck by Ashes ale, which I suspect, but may well be wrong, contains honey.Perfectly good, but not really to my taste. My second beer was Summer Holiday, from Mighty Oak. Again, I’d had one of this brewery’s beers several years ago.Fairly favourable , as I recall. While not a relevation, this golden style beer was clean, hoppy and refreshing. Served direct from the cask in the cellar, I would have been pleased to have had another, if time had permitted.
As with most country pubs nowdays, food plays a big part. We ate in the bar: the family’s burgers were generous, and my liver and bacon with bubble and squeak was satisfying and good value. There is a seperate restaurant area to one side, together with a games and television room at the entrance from the carpark and garden.
The girls behind the bar were most friendly, though the landlady seemed rather grumpy, and our dogs were tolerated in the pool room.
As a lover of dark beers, I’m always hoping to see a mild or porter: Mighty Oak do a mild which by all accounts is pretty good:the mild here was fizzy (GK I think), but I was heartened to see 2 lads order pints of Brown and Mild.7/10

1 Aug 2009 23:35

The Lion, Sudbury

An attractive heavily timbered pub in evocative countryside. It has a good reputation for its beer, a GBG regular. Today it was offering alongside Greene King’s IPA, which seemed to be the beer of choice of the regulars, and Adnams Discovery, 2 less well known (to me at any rate) beers from local breweries-Mighty Oak and Nethergate.I’ve long heard of both, but had only tried one of Nethergate’s “umbel “ beers at a beer exhibition many years ago. I enjoyed that, but perhaps was less struck by Ashes ale, which I suspect, but may well be wrong, contains honey.Perfectly good, but not really to my taste. My second beer was Summer Holiday, from Mighty Oak. Again, I’d had one of this brewery’s beers several years ago.Fairly favourable , as I recall. While not a relevation, this golden style beer was clean, hoppy and refreshing. Served direct from the cask in the cellar, I would have been pleased to have had another, if time had permitted.
As with most country pubs nowdays, food plays a big part. We ate in the bar: the family’s burgers were generous, and my liver and bacon with bubble and squeak was satisfying and good value. There is a seperate restaurant area to one side, together with a games and television room at the entrance from the carpark and garden.
The girls behind the bar were most friendly, though the landlady seemed rather grumpy, and our dogs were tolerated in the pool room.
As a lover of dark beers, I’m always hoping to see a mild or porter: Mighty Oak do a mild which by all accounts is pretty good:the mild here was fizzy (GK I think), but I was heartened to see 2 lads order pints of Brown and Mild.7/10

1 Aug 2009 23:34

The Grange, Boreham

An odd pub, this: through a lorry yard, next to a Premier Inn, built fairly recently from reclaimed materials. As an earlier poster noted, a pub by numbers. However it seems to work. The beer wasn’t as interesting as on previous visits:Adnams, Young’s Special and Wells Bombardier, though the Adnams and Youngs were OK
Good fish and chips,pleasant and efficient staff. Not sure if it was dog friendly, though I doubt it. 6/10

5 Jul 2009 22:43

The Hamilton Hall, Liverpool Street

I’d be the first to admit that this isn’t my ideal pub-too busy, next to a railway station, and part of a chain(Spoons), but after ascending from one of the hotter circles of the Inferno on the Northern Line, I was in need of refreshment. All the usual suspects were available, together with a couple of beers from Welton’s. I was pleased to see Westerham’s single hop varietal ‘Challenger’: this hit the spot-not too strong, with a clean ,not overpowering hop element.
I can’t comment on the food or the bogs, the pub was clean (it was still only 11am), the barstaff businesslike and pleasant. I played spot the ticker/alcoholic until it was time to catch my train.
Oh yes, a good bit of plasterwork on the ceiling. 5/10

5 Jul 2009 22:33

The Fox Goes Free, Charlton

Sprawling flint and brick pub in an attractive village in the South Downs. Very popular for Sunday lunch-I hadn’t booked-you know my policy on that –fortunately our friend managed to bag the only free table, more or less in the inglenook fireplace, which was lit, it being a wet and cold May morning. Characterful interior, with beams and a pleasantly uneven brick floor. Most of the pub is laid up for meals, although there is a proper main bar.
The beer range on hand pump was Hopback Summer Lightening, Ballard’s Best Bitter, Harvey’s Best, together with a House Beer ‘Fox Goes free Bitter’ at 3.5 ABV. I was unable to determine whence this came. Ballard’s was new to me, though I’d had some of their bottled beers in the past. Pleasantly coppery and generally malty: I was not initially impressed, but the hoppiness won through, and I made the executive decision to repeat the process for my second pint. A good choice. I was tempted for old times’ sake to try the Summer Lightening, but resisted, as I had important business lined up for the afternoon. There was also a draught cider on hand pump-I forget which. For the record, there was a selection of gassy offerings, for those whose taste lies that way.

The menu looked impressive, though pricey, but of course one is in the shadow of Glorious Goodwood. We had planned on a cooked Sunday dinner in the evening, so went for the bar meal option. Mrs Wittenden and I both had an excellent and large helping of steak and kidney pie, perhaps too large in view of the forthcoming shoulder of lamb. Not withstanding, the pie was crammed with steak and kidney; the gravy was not stinted either.An almost classic pie ,in short, despite the pastry suffering a minor crisis of identity:”Am I pastry or am I suet?”
A good, almost great pub. Most of the staff were cheerful. I’m not sure if dogs are welcome:fairly academic on a busy day as there’s little enough room for the punters. There’s a garden at the back, and a kind of courtyard in the front with benches-a sun trap in season. 8/10

18 May 2009 22:41

The Jackdaw, Canterbury

Pub has been redecorated and reopened. No rating left, as I have not been in yet.

20 Apr 2009 22:53

The Oak, Charing

Formerly the Royal Oak, now a light and airy bistro like bar, in a medieval building in Charing’s High Street. Pleasant in its way, with welcoming and attentive new owners, I am not entirely sure which “demographic” is catered for. I suppose food, again is the driver: I have eaten in the attractive dining room ,but under a previous administration .More recently I enjoyed a tasty bar snack.Interestingly, food is served every day, which seems unusual in this neck of the woods.
For such a forward looking establishment, the beer choice was dull:Masterbrew(in good nick) and Pride. As much as I love Shep’s I make it a rule not to indulge unless in a Shep’s pub. Why nothing from a Kent micro? Why nothing from… Darkstar?
It’s the only pub I’d go into in Charing, apart from the excellent Bowl, which arguably is in Stalisfield, but I can’t really see my self returning, unless it was to attend a meeting in the function room. I’m not sure if it is dog friendly, but from the look of the tastefully sanded floor boards, I doubt it. 6/10

11 Apr 2009 00:26

Bridge Inn, Grinton

This is an old coaching inn, about a mile from Reeth, on the banks of the Swale. We’ve been here a few times on our holidays-we’ve eaten in the good dining room, in the central bar, and have gone in for a drink.
It has an air of solidity, and that buzz that comes from a varied and inclusive clientel.The bar staff seem very jolly, and dogs are made welcome. As a Jennings pub, one of the few that I’ve seen in this part of Yorkshire, its now part of the greater Marston’s empire:however, the beers don’t appear to have suffered,though I was disappointed that the mild was unavailable when we came in October. The Cumberland ale made a refreshing consolation, as I recall. Guest ales were evident-Butcombe, and something welsh was listed as forthcoming.
For the lover of whimsy, there’s a wickerwork sheep perched on the ridge of the roof: last seen it was playing the French horn. 7/10

8 Apr 2009 23:03

The Wheatsheaf, Leyburn

A rather melancholy public bar attached to a cosy looking hotel in this Dales village. Much is made, in a restrained way, of the fact that Veterinary and Mrs James Herriot spent their wartime honeymoon here. I have since discovered that Bill’n’Hillary are supposed to have enjoyed a weekend here in their Oxford days. Now that’s impressive.
To more serious matters:We seem to have visited this pub during several autumn half terms-perhaps that explains the air of melancholia. We’ve always enjoyed our times here, sat in the bay window with the Gills FC sticker. The beer has always been good, if a bit unadventurous: Black Sheep or Theakston’s-you know the score. The barman is a cheery soul, and service is pleasantly efficient: my pie, as I recall, was meaty and juicy, and innocent of micro waves.
The more I think of it, the more I like this pub: it would be grand to see it a bit busier.
7/10. I’m pretty sure dogs are welcome-ours were knackered after a seven mile walk and stayed in the car.

27 Mar 2009 23:28

The Cricketers, Duncton

An attractive white painted pub under the South Downs in good walking country.We came here on a mid week Wednesday lunchtime, celebrating a family birthday:a gathering of mums and toddlers were in a little room to the side, the main bar housing a pleasant mix of tweed wearing locals and day trippers like us. According to my reliable sources, the pub has a good reputation for beer and food:standards need to be high so close to the organic and motoring heaven that is Goodwood.
In a cold winter, one craves hearty grub such as suet and dumplings: my steak and kidney pudding had all the comforting elements that one can desire in a meal, and my wife’s lamb stew with dumplings was similarily bounteous. The burgers were impressive, and the (stolen) chips were memorable.
I was pleased to see a beer from WJ King of Horsham on the bar-I used to love K& B , and have been impressed with some of Hepworth’s Ales, especially Prospect in bottle: I am yet to try the third of the diaspora- Welton’s. Horsham Best Bitter is a pleasant session ale, with a satisfying straight forward bitterness, and a hint of smokiness. I could imagine an enjoyable evening holed up in here with this ale. Also on display was Betty Stoggs from Skinners of Cornwall, however nostalgia and a smaller carbon footprint won the day(quite ignoring the fact that we’d travelled through three counties to get here…)
Dogs (and toddlers) welcome, and there looks to be a good garden at the back. We liked it. 8.5/10

19 Feb 2009 19:31

The Padwell Arms, Seal

Over the years I’d heard good things about this pub, and as we were walking at Oldbury Hillfort this morning, we thought we’d go there for lunch.A cold February Saturday with snow on the ground is possibly not the best time to visit a strange pub: indeed the pub was very quiet, with only two chaps in the bar when we arrived, and the new landlord was managing bar and kitchen on his own;the tail end of a nightmare week.
On a positive note, the beer-Larkins Traditional was excellent:the more I drink this, the more I like it. For a session bitter with a comparatively low ABV, this is full of character. Also available were Harveys, and something to do with Whippets, which I’d not seen before. Unfortunately the legendary Larkins Porter was no longer available: it would have hit the spot on a day like today!
All food appears to be homemade: my Cumberland sausage and mash was good and warming, and the baguettes were good, but the singlehanded barman/chef would be hard pushed on a busy session.
However, the pub seems sad, and would benefit from some TLC, difficult I know in the current climate.The setting, in orchards is idyllic, and the little front patio would be a sun trap in the summer: today, the Harveys umbrellas dripping snow were a forlorn sight.This is a comparatively wealthy corner of Kent, with much in the way of historic attractions;given a favourable wind, this pub should be able to play its part in life of the district.
Our dogs and us were made most welcome. 6/10

7 Feb 2009 23:11

The George Inn, Egerton

I’ ve known this pub since the mid seventies: it was always a welcoming village local, which it remains.A white weatherboarded building , with great views of the Weald, it occupies a central position in the village. A large, beamed bar, with open fire occupies the major part of the pub, with games room to the rear. On the opposite side are two little dining rooms, attractively laid out.
I’ve often said that I don’t drink Shep’s in freehouses, but last night the bar carried Masterbrew, Kent’s Best and Spitfire, together with Fuller’s London Pride. The Masterbrew was on excellent form, almost as good as it gets.I admit to being disappointed that there was no local micro offered.
There is a new family running the George:the menu looks good, though we haven’t eaten here yet, and dogs seem to be welcome. I’m impressed. 7/10

21 Jan 2009 19:47

The Wheatsheaf, Borough

Pleasant two roomed pub in busy area:Youngs was as good if not better than before the move to Bedford. Good atmosphere, freindly staff:I hear that it is to be demolished in the name of gentrification or expansion of London Bridge Station. Someone should put a stop to this sacrilege.Good pub 8/10

19 Nov 2008 21:56

The Gun, Shoreditch

Busy pub in Spitalfields Market. Grandfather used to sell apples here about a hundred years age-doubt if he'd recognise the place now! G K IPA, Adnamn's Broadside, Deuchers IPA-all in good condition. Rugby on countless screens:good pub, especially early on a Saturday evening. 6/10

15 Nov 2008 21:59

The Elm Tree Inn, Embsay

I’m not qualified to follow in the sainted footsteps of the great tony_pachus, so I’ll confine myself to humble prose.I often find that going into an unfamiliar village centre pub brings on a case of front room syndrome: stares from the regulars, and gruffness from behind the bar. Fortunately, my fears were allayed when our large and excitable family group tumbled in, bearing the first snows of autumn with us.
A pleasant dales stone building, a blazing fire in the hearth, and plenty of space.We were there at lunch, and found the food to be reasonably priced, generously served and good quality. Several of us had a beef stir fry-could have been a bit more spicy, but that’s a minor niggle. My pie eating apprentice was complimentary about his:certainly it appeared to have all the qualities of perfection.
I’ve been coming to North Yorkshire for several years now, and have never managed to try any Copper Dragon Ales:other posters on these boards rave about them. Thanks to close study of BITE and the GBG, I determined that this pub stocked them. Golden Pippin, the CD beer that springs to mind wasn’t available, but that lack was more than made up by CD’s Scotts 1816. I found this to be complex, with a depth of flavour often lacking in some more widely available Yorkshire beers.An added bonus for me was the pump dispensing No Eyed Deer from Goose Eye. The barman said it was popular, but some found it too bitter.Indeed, the bitterness was perhaps only second in intensity to some Hepworth’s Prospect that I drank a couple of months ago. No Eyed Deer was my beer of the festival back in Kent : it lived up to its reputation on its home turf.Unfortunately, my father in law’s Bombardier was not at its best.
Not sure if dogs are welcome, but even if they weren’t, I’d still like this pub.7/10

11 Nov 2008 23:51

The Punch Bowl Inn, Swaledale

We gave it a year and tried again. This time we came in for a pint early on a Friday evening: the fire was lit, but the welcome was chilly: something much more interesting was happening at the back of the bar. We weren’t planning to eat, but they didn’t know that.
There were a few couples in, but it was hardly thronged, and no local faces: a pub in such an isolated community such as Low Row should be at the heart of things.
The fixtures and fittings were beautifully made, and clearly no expense was spared in the refurbishment, but the place was soulless, like any trendy city bar.
I really wanted to like this pub, as I’ve heard so many tales of its heydays in the 60s and 70s. I very much doubt if dogs would be welcome, and the Riggwelter was average.

6 Nov 2008 22:50

The Black Sheep Brewery, Masham

Not really a pub, but it serves good value and well cooked meals in an interesting atmosphere:not tacky, despite being part of a major attraction.
I was pleased to see that they had Black Sheep Ale on hand pump, as well as the ubiquitous Best. BSA is , in my opinion, much preferable in that it has a longer depth of flavour-the intensity of the hop is countered by a mellower fruitiness. Unfortunately, I rarely see it when we are in the Dales.
Surprisingly, I didn't have a pie, as I indulged in a Joycean offal fest: others had a rather appealing chicken dish. Service was brisk and attentive. We'd like to do the tour, at least the son and heir would, but we usually come on the way back from our hols, so time is of the essence.
I doubt if dogs would be welcome, but they've been in far too many pubs already. I'm rather fond of this place. 7/10, as its not a proper pub.

5 Nov 2008 23:24

The Blacksmiths Arms, Lastingham

If I was an ex-pat, in my mind’s eye I would have an image of a village pub in autumn, with a lit range, steaming and snoring Labradors, tweed clad locals, and beer and food garnished with the sepia of nostalgia. Given that I’m not an ex-pat, but merely on our annual trip to the county of my (distant) fathers, I can safely say that the Blacksmiths Arms comes close to my platonic ideal of what a pub should be.
I was very impressed by the friendliness and efficiency of the staff: our large family group’s byzantinely complex order was handled with aplomb and great good humour.Helpings of food were reassuringly generous: my lamb pie has gone down in the annals of famous pies-the pastry unctuously oozing with the liquor within.
On the beer front, the regular Theakston’s was partnered by Another Fine Mess from the Northumberland Brewery. I thought Laurel and or Hardy came from Ulverston or Barrow in Furness rather than Bedlington but never mind. In all accounts , it’s a fine ale, and I’ll look out for Northumberland’s beers in future. The beer in the future board was frustrating in that unfortunately I’ll be unable to sample the delights produced by the Great Heck Brewery, due to the need to get back to work.
Oh yes, the range was lit, the dogs were snoring, and tweed was in evidence.

4 Nov 2008 19:38

The Green Dragon Inn, Hardraw

I'm slightly ambivalent about this one-it has been well restored to its pre 1970's look: the bar parlour and adjoining rooms are anyone's idea of a Dales pub, with ranges and settles. However, these are tacked onto a tacky hotel wing, though I understand that the restoration process is ongoing.Certainly, this wing looks pretty grim when you walk back to the pub from the celebrated Hardraw Scaur.
To the matter in hand: when we visited over half term Timothy Taylor's Landlord and York Brewery's Decade were on, together with I think Old Peculier or Riggwelter. The Landlord was as good as ever, though its a pity that I've never seen any other TT beers in pubs-I'm intrigued! The Decade was unusual, though not unpleasant: very pale and citrussy. Among the "empties" outside were some casks from Copper Dragon amonst others.
The food was perfectly adequate, if somewhat on the sparse side: my cumberland sausage, replacing an unavailable yorkshire pudding (shame!) was satisfactory,though the mash was lumpy.
The friendly bar and waiting staff were short handed
A good pub , but it unfortunately has little hold over us: a pity. 6/10

3 Nov 2008 19:33

The Black Rabbit, Offham

Having been to more H and W pubs recently, I have to revisit my posting of 20th. August: the beer was definately odd, so I will regrade the score to 5/10.

14 Oct 2008 22:23

The Chequers Inn, Well

A generally upmarket country pub, on a surprisingly busy back lane. A most inviting prospect, with the vine laden trellis leading to the bar door.Very pleasant on a hot summer’s day, though there’s a woodburning stove lurking for later in the year.
Inside, the bar is dark and wooden, with sporting prints and fresh hops on the wall-are hops still grown locally, as they were in the past? The beers were Hall and Woodhouse: I’m not really familiar with them, and I gather that they aren’t particularily fashionable, but I found the Badger and the Fursty Ferret (silly name),to be pleasant if not memorable. Behind the interesting looking brick fireplace and chimney breast in the bar is a room , laid up for meals.
As it was a pleasant autumn day, we ate in the garden:food was on the expensive side, though perhaps not for Hampshire, but the portions were comfortably large, and freshly prepared. Perversely, as I can’t eat bread, I had a burger with all the trimmings: the burger was of epic proportions, and well made.In the event, the baps weren’t wasted:Stanley, the pub dog spotted an opportunity and made off with them while I was distracted.
If I lived and worked in the area, would I be welcome in my muddy boots and overalls? Perhaps not: a pity, as the Chequers is this much away from being an archetypal English country pub. I like it, also dog friendly. 7/10

14 Oct 2008 22:19

The Mundy Bois, Pluckley

Happyeaterkent:1.This is a pub, so I would think that the "head waitress's" action was showing best practice.
2. Your experience is diametrically opposed to ours: I suggest that you have strayed fro a parallel universe.
3. This site's name is Beer In The Evening.Not a mention of beer in your post:say no more...

19 Sep 2008 23:47

The Mundy Bois, Pluckley

It’s suddenly struck me that I’ve used this pub since the mid seventies, and haven’t commented on it on BITE. I’ve always enjoyed it, being somewhat “on the edge”, but the ghosts of former times need not detain us for too long. We came here on a Saturday night to celebrate our son’s GCSE results: the first warm day for seeming weeks ensured that a good number of customers were out in the garden, but the pub itself was remarkably quiet.Service was welcoming and efficient.
The beer was well kept, though I was disappointed by the Wells and Youngs Youngs Bitter, which had no relation to Youngs Ordinary of former times: perfectly good beer, but bland. I don’t usually drink Shep’s beers in freehouses: I love most of their beers, but do like something a bit more exciting when in a non Shep’s pub. The Masterbrew was refreshingly bittersweet: two session bitters, one of which would have bored me to an early grave, the other I could have happily drunk all evening. I’d like to see a Westerham beer on the counter, as I understand that the pub was once tied to the original Westerham Brewery.
As this was a celebration evening, mention should be made of the food: all the meat is locally produced, and our daughter’s steak was tasty, though not as good as it would be had it come from a well matured Sussex steer. I enjoyed my Pork belly, though the apple sauce wasn’t sweet enough- no cloves either. I resisted the pies, out of respect for the former incumbents, who produced a mean pie.
This pub, which sits where the Weald joins the Greensand Ridge, has been sympathetically looked after, and maintains a public bar, together with a recently converted games room. Food is of necessity at the heart of the business, but not at the expense of its traditional constituency.

1 Sep 2008 22:16

The Dalesman Inn, Sedbergh

We came here last Autumn, but I've only just found my notes.It struck me as a pleasant market town pub.Fairly quiet when we visited-a week day lunchtime over half term, but a good atmosphere and welcome.A decent pint of Tetleys bitter, and a house ale which I think was Tetleys rebadged, but who am I , an ignorant Southerner, to tell? I must admit to hoping to see something tasty from Dent on the bar.
Grub was reasonable and good value-the all day breakfast was prime. Suprisingly, I didn't have a pie.
Looking at the website, the pub could have changed hands or been refurbished in the interim.
Perfectly good pub, with a bit of imagination , could be magic:perhaps it is.

27 Aug 2008 23:07

The Black Rabbit, Offham

We came here on a wet and cold August evening: I admit to having doubts about the place, having read some rather damning reviews on this site, but having been recommended it by a friend from the area, I kept my own counsel.
The bar staff were very friendly and professional, and the food was well presented and good value: mutterings about banks of microwaves were, I think, unfounded. My steak and Tanglefoot pie was moist, and accompanied by red cabbage-extra points here!

I’ve not really come across Hall and Woodhouse’s beers before-I’ve still not forgiven them for the demise of King and Barnes- but I found both the Tanglefoot and the Badger floral to the extent of fulsome: perhaps it was me, perhaps the glasses/pipes, perhaps the beers themselves. Anyway as the only beer drinker in our party, I couldn’t make comparison with any one else.
This pub is perfect for what it is-a tourist haunt in a beautiful location: it is n’t a gastro pub; it isn’t a locals pub; it does serve good value food and drink in an expensive area. If I lived in Arundel I probably would walk along the riverbank on a summer’s evening, but I would hope for more of a community atmosphere.Our dogs were made welcome.

20 Aug 2008 22:34

Saye and Sele Arms, Broughton

This is a classic English country pub , in a symbiotic relationship with the “Big House”, in this case Broughton Castle(highly recommended, incidentally).Most of our fellow lunchers were, like us , waiting for the House to open. The pub, built in the local stone, appears to have been sympathetically looked after. The welcome from the landlord/chef, and enthusiastic barman was warm and genuine.
I was heartened to see that Hook Norton Hooky Bitter was one of the guests, being within shouting distance of its spiritual home. It seemed more golden in colour than I remembered from several years back, but I found it admirably hoppy and refreshing on a sticky August day. The other guest was Holden’s Black Country Bitter: I was sorely tempted,but Hooky won the battle of the second pint.
We all enjoyed our meals: my pie of the day(minced beef and stilton, with a good onion gravy) was intriguingly unctuous.The little beer garden out back looked inviting.

7 Aug 2008 22:52

Lord Crewe Arms Hotel, Blanchland

Glad that this pub has been added.We went in my pre BITE days,(as tourists!) and I'd forgotten its details.Its definitely a fine establishment, with the atmosphere of antiquity and monastic hospitality. Unfortunately it was too long ago to comment on the food and ale, which were definitely good, but for welcome and ambience it scores highly. We aim to return one year...

27 Jun 2008 09:47

Selborne Arms, Selborne

A pleasant sixteenth century former farmhouse, somewhat let down by the inevitable brewers pebbledash fronting the road. Inside, there's a lot of warm, mellow wood:most of thespace is given over to meals, but the bar area is pleasant enough.We sat in the garden with the dog-not raining for once.The steak and kidney pies were homemadeand genuinely good, though it was a pity that we couldn't have had both chips and veg:perhaps we could, but the pub was short staffed, though the welcome and service were friendly.
On the beer front, several new (to me) ales were available, including Bloomfields from Suthwyk/oakleaf which was refreshing and genuinely bitter.I don't usually run after blond beers, but Hidden Brewery's Fantasy was remarkably pleasant: the friut notes went very well with the above mentioned pie.Other beers were a couple from Ringwood ,a house beer-Zig-zag from Hogs Back, and a strong looking number from Irving of Portsmouth. (Not forgetting dear old Courage Best)
We enjoyed this pub, and would use it fairly regularily if we lived nearer.

2 Jun 2008 20:20

Flying Horse, Smarden

Colourful-yes, rough, never!

25 May 2008 22:28

The Shepherd and Cock, Burmarsh

We visited here one Saturday lunchtime in May, having seen it mentioned on another website.Rather like going back in time to the 70's, with photos of a young Ted Heath (boo, hiss), Churchill, and a former leader manque whose name I dare not mention. Politics aside, we found the atmosphere very friendly, with good fish and chips, and Ham 'n eggs, and interesting beer-they're Cask Marque accredited. Adnams is the regular beer on hand pumps, backed up on our visit by Marston's Merrie Monk. I'm sure that this once was really something: now its a seasonal mild, but still of some merit. I found it rounded and malty, and perhaps at 4.6 too heavy for a lunch time. Worth it all the same. Dog friendly pub.
Yes, we like it.

24 May 2008 00:05

The Bowl Inn, Hastingleigh

I've been wanting to visit this pub for a while, so we decided to go walking on the Downs towards crundale.My hopes of finding a proper pub were realised: a warm welcome, fine dog,and excellent ale-Cottage's Somerset and Dorset- a tasty, malty mild.Who needs fancy restaurant food when the sandwiches and pickled eggs are this good.Definately worth the slog up from Wye.

15 Apr 2008 23:11

The Chequers Inn, Smarden

This pub is in Smarden, 9 miles from Ashford!. The new landlords are a great improvement on the previous jokers who not only served imported beef, but did so with bad grace.The pub is now attracting a good local trade, some acheivement in a village with two other good pubs. The Adnams I had was well kept, though we haven't eaten there yet: I'll report when we have.
It has all the potential of becoming the principal pub for the area which it once was.

6 Apr 2008 23:35

King William IV, Benenden

Sad to hear that the landlords are leaving, and going to the White Dog at Ewehurst Green. Apparently a local family are taking the pub, and aiming to keep things as they are. I await developments with interest. Interesting to see that a non reviewing rater has awarded this pub a mere 4 points. Looks like the knockers are about!See also the Bull.

30 Mar 2008 19:12

The Bull, Sissinghurst

Came in here awhile back when waiting to collect our grub from the excellent tandoori opposite. Good traditional public bar-freindly locals and staff-well kept Harveys.Interesting architectural features underneath the more recent additions.

29 Mar 2008 00:02

The Six Bells, Chiddingly

A bit like memory lane for me as I sat down to an excellent ham shank in that I saw a poster for Britain's biggest bullock competiton in Ashford market back in 1978-we put a big old charolais steer in:needless to say it wasn't the biggest!
Back to business:this is a very pleasant local pub, featuring good value bar meals, including a large veggie section, not that we indulged. The Harveys Best was pretty good, and contrary to what some posters have suggested, I don't think that it has altered over the years, and still is in the running for one of my must have ales.
A dog friendly pub: a group came in with a lovely wheaten lurcher-always a plus point with this family.
I agree about the Gents! Could try harder.

1 Mar 2008 20:33

The Quarryman's Arms, Box

We visited over the February half term. Slightly difficult to find, but well worth it.The regular ales are Butcombe, Moles and Wadworths 6X. I hadn't had Butcombe before, and found it a well hopped, almost marmaladey beer.The barman offered me a taste of Trendlewood bitter form Abor brewery, again a new one: rather on the burnt side, and perhaps not to my taste, but worth a pint. The bar meals are generously served, and cooked to order.
The pub is built over the mines that sourced Bath stone:there is much mining memoriabilia in the pub. Brunel's Box Hill tunnel can't be far away.
great views over the valley, excellent value.Good pub.

26 Feb 2008 22:28

The Bull Inn, Benenden

Solid old pub next to the village green, one of the birthplaces of cricket. It has had its ups and downs over the years, but is now most acceptable.There is a restaurant area, which we have not tried-bar meals are good value, using meat from the excellent village butcher.When we were last in, Dark Star Hophead was on, which was new to me:it lives up to the hype on certain other sites.What was more, Larkins Old was also available, and on good form.Has the air of a proper village pub, pity its a bit too far from home.

23 Feb 2008 20:01

The Peacock, Goudhurst

Ancient building, sympathetically updated. Used (ages ago!)to be the only pub selling Harveys for miles around. Now a Sheps pub;I tried the Kents Best-didn't that use to be a Fremlins trademark?- and the Masterbrew, both were on good form.The Rye Scallop Stout was on the bar, but I resisted the temptation. Bar meals are good value, and dogs are welcome.

21 Feb 2008 19:09

The Woodcock Inn, Benenden

Looked in here between Christmas and New Year; new tenants, and unfortunately no food that day. Its now a Greedy King pub, but as well as the usual badge engineered ales, they had GKs excellent mild. We'll go back to try the food. An attractive pub in an isolated wooded area:the bar area has the feeling of someone's front room. Good pub.

20 Feb 2008 22:49

King William IV, Benenden

This si a destination/special occasion pub, specialising in high quality locally sourced food. It isn't cheap, but you get what you pay for. The Sheps is always good, and the landlord won a brewery wine competition recently.Pleasant old building in an attractive village-I know I'm showing my age, but it was the in pub in the 1970s-mercifully much improved.

20 Feb 2008 22:44

The King William IV, Mickleham

I've known this pub for about 10 years, but haven't been in for a couple until this week:what a disapointment-grumpy staff behind the bar, and by all accounts the chef has run away,taking the stove with him:shades of the microwave. It was , and could be a gem, in a picturesque village in good walking territory.

20 Feb 2008 22:37

Flying Horse, Smarden

This is an excellent and genuine village pub, hosting a wide and varied number of local groups.The Masterbrew is always on top form, supported by a selection of Shep's stronger or seasonal beers. The food is great value, and is locally sourced, unlike the Chequers round the corner. Dog friendly.

7 Jan 2008 19:44

The Black Lion, Sittingbourne

This is definately a gem: we visited just before Christmas-the two fires were blazing away, and the welcome was equally warm from the erudire landlord. What is more, this pub is a shrine to Goachers ales. I started with the Mild, which is probably my desert island beer; the chocolate tones were ideal for a cold December's lunchtime. I then moved on to the Fine Light: this was a revelation:I used to drink this in the Smarden Bell's glory days in the 80s and 90s, and remember that it was fine, but had a particular tang that wasn't to all tastes. Now, however, this ale has a wonderful marmaladey taste, with an excellent level of hoppyness, as befits a Kent beer. Unfortunately I was unable to try the Dark or the Imperial Stout. The foods not bad either.

28 Dec 2007 14:18

The Cover Bridge Inn, Leyburn

Popular pub in good walking country by a picturesque bridge over the river takes a modicum of ingenuity to open the door, but having surmounted that hurdle, one finds a classic dales pub with a fire fresh from Hades in the small bar.An interesting and varied range of beers are stocked: when we visited in the Autumn, Black Sheep was partnered by amonst others, Falling Stone, from Wold Top Brewery from Drifield. This struck me as a well flavoured and malty beer, which partnered the ham and eggs for which the pub is famed.

15 Dec 2007 22:27

The Charles Bathurst Inn, Richmond

Of course, this is better known as the CB.

8 Dec 2007 14:26

The Charles Bathurst Inn, Richmond

A large pub in an isolated former lead mining dale. The food is well presented, and served in the bar, or in a more recent dining room. The bar stocks a well kept pint or Black Sheep and RiggwelterI. It has a welcoming atmosphere and buzz that is sadly lacking in its sister pub, the Puncbowl at Low Row.The accomodation is comfortable.Highly recommended.

7 Dec 2007 23:37

The Three Horseshoes, Leyburn

This is perhaps my favourite Dales pub, though there are several close contenders.For me , it has the inestimable benefits of being whitewashed , and having outside loos.More importantly, it is the 2nd. pub belonging to the Wensleydale Brewery, and has a large and varying range of these excellent ales. I suond like I'm on commission-honestly I'm not ,though I felt that Wensleydale Bitter was the beer of our recent holiday. Unusually, the pub has a grand piano in the bar_ don't know how that appreciates the roaring fire, and the damp off the walkers' boots.
Highly recommended.

28 Nov 2007 19:01

The Kings Head Hotel, Masham

A pleasant prosperous hotel in the centre of Masham,commanding the vast and windy Market Place.It has fairly recently and sympathetically been refurbished,giving a light and modern atmosphere, though not unpleasantly so.The bar meals are well prepared and good value, and the more formal offerings looked interesting. Beer frrom the usual suspects, given where the pub is: Theakston's Black Bull was perhaps appropriately a more rounded take on Black Sheep.

28 Nov 2007 18:54

The Kings Head, Richmond

A pleasant dales pub in this popular walking area: blazing fires, good looking food, though we haven't eaten here recently, and good beers from the likes of the Masham mafia and Daleside.The place has an encouraging air of eccentricity about it, and much more of a welcome than the Punch Bowl up the road at Low Row.

28 Nov 2007 18:47

The Rose and Crown, Selling

A haunt in the middle of Perry Wood, which welcomes walkers . We usually eat in the pleasant garden, though the inside is most attractive.The restaurant area looksfairlyintimate, as the building is a pair of ancient cottages.Enough of this! the main attraction is the beer-Goachers' Mild,which ranks highly in my pantheon.

27 Nov 2007 18:40

The Jackdaw, Canterbury

A cosy bar at the front of this attractive country pub masks a rather large and soulless dining area. Nothing wrong with the food, but the overlong menu tells its own story.A varying beer list provides interest: when we were last in an instantly forgettable offering from Vale brewery was followed by Festival from dark Star, which was a revelation.All in all, I wished we'd gone on to the Yew Tree at Barfrestone.

27 Nov 2007 18:32

Farmers Arms, Muker

Excellent pub, consistantly good. Not just a walkers' haunt,there is usually a local or two in the bar. The food is good, nothing fancy, and the beer is always on top form. In mid October, the Black Sheep and Rigwelter were prime, though a stranger to me, Yorkshire Dales Stag Fell, tasted rather peculiar, as though the brewer was rather heavy handed with the roasted barley. Perfectly drinkable though.Unfortunately, an old favourite, Castle Eden Ale was not available.We, and the dogs, can't recommend this pub too much.

17 Nov 2007 10:43

The Punch Bowl Inn, Swaledale

We indeed visited this pub in October and were sadly disappointed: the "welcome" was cold; the service acceptable. The refurbishment has left the pub a clone of any city minimalist bar, not conducive to a quiet pint.On a late October evening the fire was unlit, surely the heart of any dales pub.On the other hand, the beer, Rigwelter was on good form, and the food excellent.However, it lacks the buzz of its big sister the CB in Langthwaite, Arkengarthdale, and is a great disappointment.For a pleasant pint in a proper pub we'll continue to use the King's Head in Gunnerside.

4 Nov 2007 22:39

The Welby Arms, Allington

Back again for the 5th time at least in as many years, and I stand by my earlier comments-for the passing visitor this is an excellent pub, with good value food, good beer, and friendly service. The Tim Taylor's Landlord was in perfect condition.

28 Oct 2007 23:24

The Black Bull, Reeth

Looks a bit run down, but still a decent pint of Black Sheep. Good open fire, didn't try the food, though was well patronised.My father in law ate at the Middle House (Kings Arms)-food good, likewise beer' and seeming more on form I haven't been in for a while, but can't think that both pubs were under the same ownership.

28 Oct 2007 23:18

The Black Sheep Brewery, Masham

By 'eck they're right busy now-have to book for Sunday lunch; we didn't so went to the Kings Head in the Market Square-damn good- report to follow!

28 Oct 2007 23:09

The Britannia Inn, Dungeness

Any pub serving haddock and chips at this level of quality deserves praise unlimited, though I could have done with more chips. A Shep's pub, the Spitfire was in prime condition, with a welcome astringency that cut through the unctuousness of the fish.Unfortunately , I didn't have time to try the Masterbrew. Pleasant staff, and few chavs. Highly recommended.

18 Aug 2007 23:44

The Eight Bells, Tenterden

Further to my report of the 30th. May, this pub is to be turned into a "Cafe Rouge", what ever that may be. I doubt if Tenterden needs it-there is already a "Caffe Uno", a good independant trendy winebar, and any ammount of ye olde tea and coffee shoppes.What a waste...

29 Jun 2007 23:22

The Eight Bells, Tenterden

Shut; builders in. They need to get their fingers out if they hope to cash in on the tour de france bunfight.Haven't used this pub for years as it seems stuffed with kids. Funnily enough , this was the only pub where I was asked my age-I must have been 20 at the time-Jack Pocock was the longstanding landlord.

30 May 2007 13:43

The Tufton Bailiffehouse, Hothfield

Now boarded-up: a pity-an interesting looking pub. Went in once years ago when it was the Thanet Arms-a rough pub in a pikey village.

25 May 2007 20:33

The Moon and Mushroom, Swilland

We went here at the end of a long and eccentric visit to Southwold and other gems in late August 2006: we found it most welcoming, with a good selection of East Anglian ales, showing that there is life beyond Greene King, though where is the Tolly of yesteryear...
The food was good and well presented, though admittedly not everything was available, as it was fairly late in the evening.We'd go back-if we could find it again.

9 May 2007 22:26

The Swan, Wittersham

Welcoming village local:never been in it before, though we used to use the late lamented Ewe and Lamb years ago.I didn't try the foood, though it looked good.An interesting range of ales direct from the barrel at the back of the bat:I liked Rother Valley's Boadeacea, which kept the beer miles very low!
The pub well deserves its accolade as Kent Camra's pub of the year

28 Apr 2007 23:22

The Ferry Inn, Cawood

Very welcoming and attractive. I can recommend the Blach sheep, and also the food, which, when we visited last, was plentiful and good value. The swing bridge was an added bonus. I have a nostalgic attraction to cosy pubs in low lying and waterlogged landscapes.

13 Apr 2007 23:35

The Punch Bowl Inn, Swaledale

After being closed for some years, this pub has been acquired, renovated and reopened by the owners of the CB Inn in Arkengarthdale. I understand that it "has gone upmarket": we hope to find uot for ourselves this autumn.Perhaps a return to its glory days .

25 Mar 2007 08:17

The Bowl Inn, Charing

Definately one of the best pubs in this part of Kent. it has that certain buzz about it that only means a good pub;far too many have followed the gastro-pub route with mixed results, leaving the proper drinking/social pub in limbo-this however hits the spot.I needn't go into raptures about the beer, as I've never had a bad pint here.

22 Mar 2007 19:37

The Welby Arms, Allington

Our extended family stops here en route to Yorkshire each October half term: the welcome is always freindly, and the landlord pie marks the start of our holiday. The beers are well kept and varied

20 Mar 2007 20:39

Kings Head Hotel, Ravenstonedale

We visited this pub on a wet day last October. Unfortunately the main menu was only operative in the evening, however the alld ay breakfast fitted the bill, and the dent ales weree worth searching out. The landlord keennly told us about the local red squirrels, one of which we managed to see, despite the rain.

17 Mar 2007 22:36

The Three Chimneys, Biddenden

It was, and could be, a gem, but has been turned into a food destination. At the risk of being nostalgic, it was a gem in Ted Carter's time, when it sold excellent Fremlins from the barrels at the back of the bar, and bread and cheese beyond compare. I'm afraid it has been trading on this reputation for the last 20 years, while in fact it is merely a clone of many another country pub selling (good) food and reasonable beer. I'm afraid I don't use it enough to rate it.

16 Mar 2007 20:26

The Yew Tree Inn, Barfrestone

A fine establishment, with the right level of gentle eccentricity that is England's gift to the hospitality business. A heartening array of kent based micro breweries-Hopdeamon Incubus was a relevation, together with a seriously good Sunday roast.

14 Mar 2007 21:42

The Curlew, Bodiam

Excellent food, though portions too small; a touch too arty farty, though as we were being treated I mustn't complain. The beer-Caledonian Six Nations was surprisingly good.

14 Mar 2007 21:37

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