Pub Chat

Pub Ramblings and Visits

Toad Rock Retreat at Rusthall

Rusthall Toad Rock Retreat

On entering customers are faced with a double open-sided wood burning fireplace separating the main bar area, featuring parquet flooring and wooden tables and chairs, from a peaceful snug area containing comfy leather seating arranged around the fireside. The dining area to the left includes cosy tables lit by fairy lights intertwined around internal branches attached to the walls.

Alongside the regular Harveys Best, real ale is being promoted with 2-3 guests sourced from local breweries like Old Dairy and Tonbridge through to those from further afield like Adnams, Sharps, Woodfordes and Gales. Nick and Shelley are keen to generate more of an interest in real ales in a pub which formerly didn’t offer much for the real ale drinker, so they need the help of thirsty customers like you!

Diners are well catered-for as they continue to offer the formula of good value home cooked pub fare that was so successful in the Dovecote.

Now that summer is officially here why not enjoy a drink on the outside front terrace or the adjacent raised garden in a rural-feel atmosphere.

Disabled access can be found via the side entrance.

Further details including opening times and food serving times can be found by following this link..

Whatpub Link

Located at the Tunbridge Wells end of Rusthall, the pub is reached by following Harmony Street down from the Rusthall Road and just past the famous rock formation which gives the pub its name. A number of footpaths from Rusthall Road through woodland also lead to the rocks. Bus stops are very conveniently located by Harmony Street and the Arriva bus 281 service from Tunbridge Wells runs very frequently, 4 or 5 buses every hour during the day Monday to Saturday, and half hourly in the evening until late. There is also a half hourly service until early evening on Sundays.

                                  So why not get along there and support a good news story!

Rusthall Toad Rock int 2

 

Rural Retreats with St.Out and A.B.Out

Chipstead George & Dragon 2

Every now and then my job will send me to the outskirts of the West Kent CAMRA empire there is the necessity to be refreshed.

Take last week for example. Heading back from Dartord I turned off the A25,followed the signs to Chipstead and arrived at The George and Dragon. What else was there to do but to give it a try?

It is a delightful sixteenth-century building and most customers I would image enter from the car park which means you arrive to face the bar with dining seating left and right. From the layout it is obvious that the emphasis is upon eating but not exclusively. It is not a restaurant as there is a substantial area in front of the log fire where drinkers can stand or make use of the sofa.

I was greeted by smiling and friendly staff, eager to help and quick to put me at ease making me feel at home. I was also greeted with two pumps both serving beers from the Westerham Brewery. One pump dispensed George’s Marvellous Medicine’, a house brew which the owner has helped develop. The second was Westerham’s Grass Hopper bitter.

I’ve always been suspicious of brews developed specifically for one pub. If the brew was a tip top winner then surely the brewery would want it to be available for all. How different can these one off brews actually be so how does the customer know what  they are to receive. Suspicious of the possibility to the need to appeal to all and create an indistinctive beer, I opted for the Grass Hopper bitter which was excellent.

Talking of excellence, the menu is not your typical ‘pub grub’. Some pub grub I have found is akin to eating grubs which may well have nutritional content to the warmed up and slopped fare that can be delivered using the disguise of ‘traditional pub fayre’. Here the food was sublime. Not a warmed up frozen delivery but obviously made from fresh ingredients and prepared and cooked in the kitchen. This is reflected in the price but in the view of St Out, well worth the extra pound or two.  There are still traditional favourites on the menu like ’beef burgers’  but it is only the name that bears any resemblance to the product found upon many high streets. Not a beef eater I cannot have to rely upon my companion AB to provide the evidence. My risotto was the best risotto I’ve tasted.

The verdict is that this pub is worth going out of your way to find and although geared up for an upper end eating experience reinforced by the quiet atmosphere. No music, TV or gaming machines here. If you are looking for a quiet pint whilst doing the crossword after work or a lunch time chat with friends this is your place. Will I go there again? I certainly will but next time will take the missus, it’s that type of pub.

Details

The George and Dragon

39 High Street, Chipstead,TN13 2RW

Tel : 01732 779019

email : info@georgeanddragonchipstead.com

https://whatpub.com/pubs/TTW/22/george-dragon-chipstead

The Windmill, Sevenoaks Weald, TN14 6PN. 01732 463330

https://whatpub.com/pubs/TTW/225/windmill-sevenoaks-weald

West Kent Branch is pleased to report a very welcome improvement to our stock of pubs in the form of the refurbished Windmill pub in the village of Sevenoaks Weald.

Formerly a Greene King house, the pub is now an independent free house, which opened for business at the start of October after a period of renovation, and offers the real ale and cider drinker an enticing selection from six hand pumps on the bar. Quality lagers and bottled beers are also available
Local CAMRA members visited recently and were delighted with the range and quality of drinks, working our way through Larkins Traditional and Porter, Hopdaemon Incubus, Skinner’s Betty Stogs (replaced by Goachers Silver Star during our stay) and Harveys Old Ale. Local Chiddingstone Cider was also on hand pump with a further real cider served from a chilled unit behind the bar.

The pub was enjoying a healthy lunch time trade with plenty of diners having booked for Sunday lunch, all in a cosy atmosphere incorporating candlelit tables, wooden barrels and settles and thick bundles of hops hanging from above the bar. There is a separate dining area for those not wanting to eat in the large bar, which also offers plenty of room for eating or drinking. Lots of locals appeared to have dropped in whilst walking their dog on what turned out to be a lovely winters day. Congratulations to the all those involved in setting up and running the Windmill, all of us that visited were very impressed.

How to get there using public transport
Sevenoaks Weald is served, Monday to Saturday, by the Arriva 402 bus route linking Tunbridge Wells, Tonbridge and Sevenoaks.
On Sunday, Sevenoaks Weald is served by Go Coach route 401 linking Westerham, Sevenoaks and Tonbridge.
Bus timetables can be found on TRAVELINE