Erlangen Nick finally manages to leave behind Germany’s finest basic pub next week and visit wonderful Thanet. I might pop down and see
Tabor him over a half of weak beer in Ramsgate.
I’m not sure that the nearby Weald of Kent would be quite to his taste, beer wise. Fairly staid beer selections, or Shepherd Neame if you’re lucky.
For the unenlightened US tourists not visiting for the beer though, the area around Tenterden on the eastern edge of the Weald is pretty much what they’re looking for in “lil ‘ol England”, particularly if they’ve taken the route via Leeds Castle.
Biddenden, source of the ubiquitous local cider, is a tiny but compelling little village of ancient houses and church with rambling graveyard (always fun). Attractive houses, though not in quite as pristine a condition as you’d expect, but perhaps I was spoilt by Essex last week.
Walking round here is pleasant but unspectacular, with a game of “Spot the oast house” the highlight. Mrs RM plays “Guess the price-tag” of course.
High Halden’s Chequers on the Green is quite something, particularly if you can forgive the knives and forks set for the midday OAP rush. A warren of rooms with hops dangling from the ceiling, it might look a little contrived but feels welcoming to drinkers. Shame about the row of barstools at the bar.
Having had a fantastic Old Dairy beer once, I feel obliged to order their Red or Blue Top whenever I see it. I enjoyed the Red (NBSS 3) while walking round the pub, which was very uncivilised of me, but you can see for yourself how attractive it was.
Tenterden itself is a decent sized town, with the vital facilities that surrounding villages need; Waitrose, Home Bargains and Bang & Olufsen. It feels like the Harpenden of the South East, a long High Street surrounded by greenery, but a bit clogged by traffic.
Just the one Beer Guide pub, but the Woolpack looks the most impressive in town, with St Mildred’s as the backdrop. It’s the best bit to explore by a margin.
It also looked the most drinker-friendly of the town’s four, helped by a couple of German tourists enjoying the current £/euro exchange rate to the max. An excellent Red Top (NBSS 3.5), despite being served in one of those dreadful semi-octagonal glasses that look like they’ve been nicked from a primary school. I also feel obliged to warn you that when I paid the barman said “Merci”, which would have merited a point deduction if I hadn’t already logged my score.
Surprisingly little food trade at 1pm, with most of the town’s OAPs in twee little cafes and chain restaurants. That made the place feel more pubby, but places like this need a bit more than a few dozen lager sales to maintain their all day opening hours.
QUIZ TIME – Name the Game (pieces may be missing)
Name the pub and I will be impressed (it served Samuel Adams Blonde Ambition)