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Woolpack Inn, Warehorne

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user reviews of the Woolpack Inn, Warehorne

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

This has turned into a favourite haunt. Curiously, when I first came here a number of years ago it looked like so many other gastro pubs; someone had come along, knocked all the internal walls down, cleaned it up and carefully washed away anything meaningful and characterful about the place, leaving a nice old building detached from its past, its ghosts, its timeline and any kind of atmosphere. Since then, Ramblinns have come along and have retro-fitted it. I say retro-fitted, but as I don’t know what it looked like before I’m not sure that this is the right term. It may never have looked like it does now, can never be re-connected to its past, but at least the décor and atmosphere have been addressed. Gone is the minimalist open plan Farrow&Ball look and in are the internal walls, nooks and crannies, cosy seats, bonkers steam-punked bits and bobs in glass, wood and brass (up-turned half champagne bottle candle holders, chain and copper pipe loo roll holders etc etc) and the atmosphere now warm, welcoming and convivial. It’s a bit restauranty, but you can still have a good pint here – well kept Tonbridge ales and a central pubby area. It has a gin menu and the wine I am told is good. The food is a big draw and the main earner (the days we live in I fear). But the food is also top notch and locally sourced. The staff are immaculate, there has been a bit of a turnover over the last couple of years but whoever comes in is always very very good, very attentive and friendly. Throw in the bucolic little village and the views of the church and across the marsh and the local walks and this place really hits the spot. Someone has worked very hard to make this place work and it shows.
Billyfish - 5 Jun 2018 11:38
Reopen after major refurb. Greatl local beer, lovely food, excellent service. Highly recommended. Book if you wish to eat, especially at the weekend.
Maninblack1 - 2 Aug 2015 14:03
Closed up last time I went there
Billyfish - 12 Aug 2014 14:08
Was last here a couple of years ago, at the time we felt the freehouse offered tremendous quality, value & a vibrant friendly atmosphere.

On the grapevine we'd heard a few rumbles of discontent over the past few months & having enjoyed it so much before I felt it fair to reacquaint ourselves .

What a dreadful mistake!

Cloudy Ales served too warm for my palette & cold tasteless grub punching well below the apparent 'Award Winning Chefs' assumed credentials. Service was friendly but ineffectual & I don't wonder if this is the first hospitality business run by these charlatans?

Hey ho, seems like the folks reviewing the Woolpack on Trip Advisor have a point!
raleighboy - 28 Jan 2013 09:05
I visited in November 2012 on my way to the coast. I picked the pub at random for a lunch stop. What a find ! Firstly the pub itself which is off the beaten track but well worth the short detour from the 'A' road. Second, the building, beautiful old place in a rural setting opposite the old church. But best off all inside, a tremendous welcome, lovely freshly prepared and cooked food and great real ales . I would heartily recommend it. The new owners are very enthusiastic and very capable.
tonibeerdrinker - 20 Nov 2012 07:41
As you will see from a previous review, I have used this pub for many years. Not a regular visitor, but I do pass every 2 or 3 months. One of these visits was a couple of weeks back and once again the place seems to be under new owners. We ordered a simpe burger and chips and onion rings. The chips and onoins rings were seeped in so much oil we couldn't eat them, and it took over an hour to come out even though there was only one other couple eating.
However what put me off even more was the landlords attitude towards the staff and his wife. He was astoundingly rude, and this attitude appeared to have carried over to his customers as well.
After 9 years of visiting this pub I will finally call it a day, bad food, bad atmosphere.
sunny10 - 12 Oct 2012 13:29
First off the beer was fine ....
That said although I seldom comment on food I feel I must redress the balance here..
The homemade beef and ale pie which we ordered is of the round individual type .. ours was full of gristle of the kind one usually cuts off the edge of a rump steak......this served with chips, salad and gravy with an overall cheesy aroma .....!!!!
10.50 if this is your bag...

I note since the new owners that two of the three reviews are one off postings ...
Conclude what you will ...
kisstaker - 25 Apr 2011 10:04
We heard the Woolpack was back on the scene a few months ago with a new team of ex pat Australians having opened in October 2010 but we hadn't anticipated such a quick turnaround from the previous incarnations!

Lo and behold we dropped by for an inspection last friday night and couldn't even get a table initially, the front room was filled to the oak beams. So we took a couple of half 's of Rother Valley's Boadicea, a delightful drop i might add and assumed our position at the bar in the hope of a table becoming available and soaked up the warmth of the freshly decorated room . Sometimes I find a candle lit atmosphere a tad on the gloomy side but here its just right. 15 minutes later we were sat down menu's in hand on our second half of the Goacher's fine light which took the biscuit for me - smooth with hints of honey, slightly cold but fresh and lively to the palette.

As for the food? Well I can report that I'm happy to order steak again in these parts - I'm a simple man, so get the simple things right and I'm yours for life! The thick juicy and tender sirloin slid down with passionate fervor whilst my friend thoroughly enjoyed his pigeon breasts - hopefully they are still on the specials menu when we return next time. We completed the meal with a slice of lemon cheesecake and a bread and butter pudding and a couple of strong coffee's.

We met Nick the Chef on his tour around the tables welcoming everyone towards the end of our evening. Turns out 'ex pat Australians' doesn't do our hosts Nick & Wendy justice - for they have run restaurants and hotels on what strikes me as 5 different continents over 35 odd years and my oh my it shows - and apparently this is their first pub!?

Think I've just found my favourite rubadub. Welcome to Kent may you never leave!
raleighboy - 14 Mar 2011 10:53
I finally plucked up the courage to re-visit this pub now it is under a new tenancy (as of Oct 2010). The price of the beer has returned to normality. It is cheaper than some other local pubs !!
The menu is small but very interesting. The beef cheeks are superb and excellent value. I would rate these as worth a visit alone (12.50). The kids had beautifully cooked fish and chips again very good value.
The new tenants Wendy, Nick and their son Luke are very welcoming and have pretty well put every thing that was wrong with the place right. Yes you can now buy normal crisps and nuts along with reasonably priced drinks.
What a relief to start the year with a decent local pub again.
All we need now is to re-start the Warehorne cricket club....
badgeroftheyard - 31 Dec 2010 15:21
This is our local pub and we have seen it change hands a number of times (too many in the last few years).
Tonight we tried it out under the very new owners. Though the place was quiet the welcome was warm. They have redecorated to the benefit of the place lightening it up a lot. The menu is relatively short but very affordable and varied. I had the prawns to start with and steak and ale pie for mains. Both dishes were absolutely lovely, home cooked and obviously used fresh ingredients. My friend had goats cheese salad then the Lamb shank and again food was fresh, delicious and well presented. The portions were generous and the service good. I will most definately go back and look forward to seeing the place fill up again.
Can't comment on the drink neither of us are drinkers so we stuck to lemonade and tea! However I have been given it on good authority that the real ales are very good. Well done to the new owners!
sunny10 - 17 Nov 2010 21:27
Update - the rumour mill says new management will be in place at the end of September.

And I've just noticed that captainelmo can't spell wonderful either...
MankyBadger - 26 Aug 2010 08:04
if u want a meal which is nice but over priced 5.20 for small glass of wine plus 2 extra drinks added on.my partner birthday treat ended with the landlord threatening us with abusive language and wanting to fight will WILL NOT BE GOING BACK,
hollydog - 8 Aug 2010 14:26
The word on the street is that this pub is about to change hands again, which can only be for the best. Surely the fact that the place is being "bigged up" on this site by posters who've never reviewed any other pubs in BITE speaks volumes. It may well be worth a visit in a month or two, but at the moment, it's not good.

Just an observation - captainelmo spelt the words "pieces" and "category" incorrectly, and his capitalization leaves much to be desired.
MankyBadger - 1 Aug 2010 11:03
this is the first time i have been on to one of these sites and i believe in trying out somewhere to eat, if i don't like it i wont slag it off on the internet, (this can destroy peoples lives)..... i wont go back .

The woolpack however does not fall into this catagory, therefore i am posting this review in response to the total garbage that has been posted by others on this wonderfull pub.

I have been visiting this pub for over twenty years and quite frankly it has never been better, granted the food is not cheap, but you can tell whilst eating it (if you have an ounce of food knowledge or class) that the produce they use is first class.... and that doesn't come cheap.

so if you like good food cooked well by good chefs this is the place for you......

Just to finish off... this pub was driven into the ground by a few previous owners and most people wouldn't know that this place was allways a pub for good food and it is nice to see it back.

i have had the chicken caeser here before ( please note the spelling manky badger ) and it was the best i have ever had, with crispy bacon peices, maple scented croutons and lots of parmesan... wonderfull.

if you are serious about your food and ale you will love this place and want to return again and again as i do.
captainelmo - 25 Jun 2010 21:45
Good food and nice atmosphere. It is overpriced (14.00 for pork belly on mash) but in a lovely setting. I would recommend looking at other pubs in the area over this one.
ktt - 25 Jun 2010 09:59
Frankly dreadful pub offering overpriced haute-cuisine tat.

It might work in central London where pretentious idiots on expense accounts are trying to impress other pretentious idiots. But not in Kent. there are plenty of pubs within a five mile radius of the place that serve a decent meal.
chocolate_thunder - 19 Jun 2010 18:52
I'm thrilled to find the Woolpack in talented new hands. The food is delicious and at last i have a local to be proud of, and a place i can take family and friends for food guaranteed to please taste buds. I'm from a foodie family and we're hard to please, but the Woolpack pleases us utterly. Some of the combinations on offer are clearly devised by a passionate chef and I like the presentation which seems perfectly pitched for a country pub that's a little bit special. It's not the cheapest pub around but I don't mind paying for food that's a treat. Try the delicious pork belly if you're not counting calories, and especially if you're a fan of good crackling. The gorgeous salty breads are baked on the premises and i can highly recommend you try them with everything! I think I must have tried all the starters by now, the terrine could be my favourite although I rate them all. Aside from the food, the atmosphere at The Woolpack is warm hearted and welcoming. I love the choice of music, all sweet old tunes that my parents used to play on lazy Sunday afternoons. The ales on offer please me although currently I favour the Biddenden cider!
If you fancy some tasty english food, a good old ale/cider, and whiling away your time in a relaxed fashion then The Woolpack in Warehorne's the place for you.
Cate - 12 Jun 2010 17:44
Over Priced and Under Cooked!
malc.om - 12 Jun 2010 11:48
Please disregard my review from 3-10-09. In reply to Sandys, that review was made when different people were running the pub. The place is now under new management and is quite frankly the biggest rip-off in Kent. When I visited last October, the place was full, Today, all but empty.

When one pays nearly ten quid for scallops, one expects more than two of the things. When one orders a cesar salad, one expects more than a few lettuce leaves smeared with salad cream.

We exchanged a few words with fellow customers who were equally disgusted, and we went elsewhere. We will go back, because I can't see the current management keeping the place going for long. I shall return in a few months to see who takes over... And no matter who takes over couldn't do a worse job....


MankyBadger - 5 Jun 2010 19:56
i've visited this pub seval times since it changed hands in november 09. i can truly say its one of the nicest, cosiest and friendly pubs i've ever visited. theres a good selection of beers and ales and a fine selection of wines.
the food is fresh, locally sourced and prepared to order, theres no microwave "ping" meals here !!
its well worth a trip to find something a little different, try it.
alf_mather - 23 May 2010 20:52
Thought I would comment on this pub and hopefully the owner will read it and do something about it.

No wonder theres so many pubs closing down...and its not all because of the "recession"!!

The beer was flat, did return it to the bar in which they apologised and agreed with me so poured another. Again that was the same. The went and did something...guessing they were changing the barrel. Came back and said the beer was off. So I had a different one....returned to my seat which was by the window and looked out...nice country pub I thought. Took a sip of the 3rd beer and it wasnt much better. I couldnt be bothered to argue about it. Anyway it doesnt stop there, I was pretty hungry with it being past lunch time and was in 2 minds about ordering food...hey if a pub cant get the beer right, what was the food going to be like I thought to myself. I looked at the time at it was nearly 2pm so thought Im not going to get anywhere else in time so I ordered some lunch and then a coke. That s something I could drink.

My lunch was brought out and the it was well undercooked. The salad garnish was shivelled up brown soggy end lettuce. Majority of the chips were icy.

It could be a realy nice country pub. Im sure its not hard if you own a pub, then you must know something about beers and get yourself a different chef. They obviuosley cannot be bothered or happy within their job.

Perhaps the Manager and Chef should look at this food before it leaves the kitchen and ask themselves would they eat that!!

Interesting reading these other posts...the guy cycling with half a dozen mates all eat for 30 pounds....a fiver each for lunch. That should tell you something.
sandys - 10 Jan 2010 22:54
Visited the pub last sunday and drove some distance to check out (yet another) new chef. Very fresh, simple but perfectly tasty sunday dinner with fun desserts. Nice atmosphere and good ales. Would go again, good walks in area.
deltadanger - 27 Oct 2009 08:31
Popped in whilst cycling past with half a dozen mates. We all ate excellent meals (thirty quid for the lot of us) the food was good, and the ales on top form. Would certainly go back.
MankyBadger - 3 Oct 2009 19:28
More like a restaurant really but I suppose pubs can't rely just on beer. Beer was good but food disappointing and expensive. The pub is in a beautiful location but seems to have a sterile atmsophere not as I remember it
blatters2001 - 2 Aug 2009 08:28
As far as I can tell the decor, real ale and location are the same as always - traditional Kentish feel with hop-lined bar and 18 mins walk from Hamstreet crossroads, opposite Warehorne's peaceful sheep-filled churchyard. The food I had there recently one Saturday was very nice, as has been the case in the past. And the free footpath guides are still available!
I do miss the couple who previously run the pub and the crowd that came with them but I guess pubs are in constant flux just like most things in life.
agc2070 - 18 Mar 2009 19:49
Regarding JamesHall10's note, The Woolpack Inn has been owned by the same person (my father) for the past 8 years, there is no new owner only a new head chef.

The head chef that was there originally had been working at the pub since my father took it over 8 years ago. The only reason the food recently seemed to decline is because the head chef became very sloppy and bought in everything pre-cooked or frozen so there was little for him to do in the kitchen. This is why the head chef is no longer at The Woolpack Inn and now has a new head chef who is very talented.

This is still a lovely pub and is worth another go now things are being sorted properly. Please don't just dismiss it due to the lazyness of the previous chef, the pub still has all it's charm and the food is just as good as it was!
Oxborrow - 24 Feb 2009 10:17
We used to love coming to this Country pub a few years ago as it had such character, was extremley cosy, good service and the food used to be lovley so an ideal package and everything you could want. However I noticed it had lost its edge, still had good service but the food wasnt quite the same and the pub had lost its atmosphere. The decor of the place had changed and the little touches that were once there had gone and sadly was noticed. We still went back but after the 3rd or 4th visit we mentioned to one of the waitresses that we felt it had changed and she advised that the owners had sold the pub and had been taken over by somebody else. It really wasnt worth the drive and decided to look elsewhere for a pub. That was a few years ago now so it may well of changed since then but unfortunatley what was once a very warm and charming pub didnt have the same feel to it.
jameshall10 - 18 Jan 2009 14:45
This wonderful old brick and partly weather boarded pub dates from the 16th century and lies in a remote village on the borders of Romney Marsh. It has strong connections with smuggling and even has a secret tunnel that leads to the church on other side of the road. The rambling but cosy interior is largely geared up for diners but does cater well for the drinkers also. The main bar has a tiled floor and contains a lovely large inglenook fireplace. To the right of the bar is a raised dining area with spiral staircase and until recently dried hops dangled from the ceiling (these have now sadly been removed as health and safety deemed them to be a fire risk). On the other side of the pub is a small simply furnished room with dresser, beamed ceilings and another superb fireplace. There usually some leaflets and postcards about the pub and the surrounding area which is very good for walking. Journey further on through the pub and you come to a smallish restaurant area with numerous old adverts lining the walls. They do an all you can eat carvery on Wednesdays for 7.95 which sound like my sort of thing a shame I live too far away to take advantage. 3 changing ales available (Harveys + Summer Lightning + 1 other I have now forgotten) very good quality on my visit. There is plenty of seating outside overlooking the churchyard and the Royal Military Canal passes a few hundred yards down the road. The 6 mile round walk to Appledore is thoroughly recommended and a few pints in the Woolpack at the end is just reward for the effort.
RogerB - 13 Aug 2007 10:24
A very good country pub. It's not the cheapest around for either beer or food but both are of a high standard and represent genuine value. The sunday roasts are a little disappointing and there is little choice on the standard menu for vegetarians, otherwise you will be delighted with your fare. Go on a fine summer's evening and sit outside with a fine pint of Harvey's and you'll think you've found heaven.
CJG - 16 May 2007 10:09
Smashing pub half an hour's walk from the railway. Good beer and friendly service.
MankyBadger - 5 May 2007 21:20
Superb food and real ales. Just 20 minutes walk from Hamstreet village centre on Saxon Shore Way. Nice rural setting.
agc2070 - 28 Feb 2007 23:15
A white fronted 14th centuary free house in the scenic village of Warehorne.
Cask ales are listed on a blackboard along with the dishes of the day.
This is apub with a good reputation for good and reasonably priced food.
David George - [email protected] - 14 Aug 2004 20:31
Dark wooden interior with hops. Real ales. Fine food.
AGC - 25 Jul 2004 17:08

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