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The Oak On The Green, Bearsted

This is a very atmospheric pub with plenty of character, adjacent to and without very short walking distance from the large village green. The food is excellent, the beer well-kept and well-served by friendly and welcoming staff, and the clientele a lively, mixed bunch of families, ale enthusiasts and locals. The emphasis is on eating, and I got the impression most people were visiting with families and parties to dine.

The interior is ostensibly dark, but it isn’t at all gloomy and claustrophobic: the furniture and wooden fixtures are heavy, comfortable pieces like an old-fashioned country inn, and the vintage low ceilings are festooned with hops. The bar can be crowded, as it shares space with a dining area, but the business isn’t overwhelming.

I enjoyed Summer Lightning and Oak ale in here, which were both damned fine.

Parking is tight in the rear car park, as it’s always very busy, certainly during the day.
We parked in a side-road and walked.

A bit of a trek to get to, but well worth it.

7 Apr 2015 14:29

Ship and Trades, Chatham

Interesting interior attempt at a modern bar, largely successful, but with some very odd seating arrangements (teetering stools and cushions at small, square tables). Beer was alright, but only that, which is surprising as I presume it's a marquee venue for Shepherd Neame (who, in my opinion, do make some fairly bland ale). Food and prices perhaps inflated to reflect the prestige for which the brewery is striving.
I wasn't tempted to linger, as, while very busy with an agreeable crowd of mainly young drinkers and diners, it wasn't very relaxing, feeling a bit like a drinking corrall before dining. It's also difficult to get to by anything other than car, which is a good way to keep out hardened boozers and barflies, I suppose. Despite my experiences, I did appreciate it was being enjoyed by the presentable, attractive and happy young folk there, which is far better than the dirty, dingey boozers frequented by aggressive yobs to be found throughout Chatham.

6 Apr 2015 18:31

The Malta Inn, Sandling

Has been a Beefeater for as long as I a can recall, so beer is second place to food. I've eaten a few times here out of necessity and not been disappointed, but not overwhelmed either. Service is very slow, even at quiet times. Its location is the main selling point. You can take your lager or Spitfire (I'm sure that's about as adventurous as the range of ale goes) and sit by the banks of the Medway and watch the vessels drift by.

6 Apr 2015 18:12

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MutoBoxes has been registered on this site since 1st April 2015