I have to be careful what I say about Maidstone; one of my top readers lives there (probably in the posh bit with a long name).
A town best known, of course, for the best Travelodge in the country.
This was my first trip to Maidstone for 3 years, which is a long time for a sizeable town not to have a new Guide entry. Not that it’s under-pubbed;
Plenty of choice of railway stations, too. I picked the East, but the walk to the Barracks has the classic shot of Maidstone United FC in the distance. I’m sure Duncan has been there, and probably Cellars too.
I’m not too fussed about the Old Brewery history . Of much more interest is the Lie Detector company across the road whose products will no doubt be used by CAMRA to determine whether beers are quality or not.
Cellars has the most unprepossessing entrance since the Rock & Roll Brewhouse.
It’s clearly identifiable as a micro pub, whether or not it obeys the Herne Rules (do the Rules allow keg beers ?).
Just me and a pleasant barman on Friday, so hard to judge atmosphere or capture that unmistakable Kent banter, but there’s a fair bit of character and I think you could hide away with a book if you wanted.
A really good Kent Pale, though the 9.0% Track would have detained Mrs RM.
No chance of Maidstone murky here.
3 loos too, perhaps a record for a micro.
I had half an hour to again see whether Maidstone looked anything like a County Town*
No, not really. But, like Chelmsford, it’s probably the busiest centre, and has a certain charm, despite damage suffered at the hands of town planners and the Luftwaffe.
Shame the underpass between Travelodge and town is closed, but you know how much I love a chicken run.
I’m sure you’ve all got your favourite bit of Maidstone;
I’d go for the Tourist Info & Museum, a great place to leave your children while you nip over the road to the Albion for a pint of Masterbrew.
*Q – Has anyone ever immortalised Maidstone in song like they have Margate and Dover ?
A – Steve reminds me Squeeze have. So it’s all OK.