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Username: Sessionmaster

Age: 60

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The Old House, Ightham

Have not been back for maybe half a year for a multitude of reasons.CAMRA trips are not to be missed and when the OLd House is the venue, it becomes an event.

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

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

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

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

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

23 Jul 2013 13:39

The Golding Hop, Plaxtol

There is nothing finer than real cider during the heatwave, other than two pints of house rough and a veggie burger.

There is so much nonsense talked about Ed. He is a mans man and tells it as it is. If you dont like it just grow some balls or go somewhere else. He has never ben anything other than concise and charming to me and Sonja is a doll.

This togehter with the Old House and the Halfway house in Brenchley and "Elsies" are the finest pubs in this thriding of Kent. We are blessed to have two of them within walking distance from The Plough in Ivy hatch, which is a pub you naturally walk away from or walk out of for those inexperienced enough to venture in.

23 Jul 2013 12:34

The George and Dragon, Ightham

The building beckons you, a small central village location and leaded windows. At a glance you expect this to be a hostelry of merit.

Appearances are however highly deceptive. I have not been back since they tried to charge me £10 for a few paltry slices of pork and coleslaw under the guise of it being a village fete and hog roast.

This time I decided to venture in for saturday lunch. This could be a central London "plastic pub" with its extensive wine list and pretentious menu. However although it may aspire to be everything I despise it fails in that too for in the City atleats they have a decent choice of real ales. This is a lager palace for anyone who has lost their tastebuds and had a lobotomy.

Thus I walked up the Tonbridge road and went to the ever reliable Golding Hop.

23 Jul 2013 12:24

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Sessionmaster has been registered on this site since 26th August 2011