MAD ABOUT MAIDSTONE

 

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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.

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£29 to you, Sir
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Loads going on here

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;

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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.

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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.

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Old Brewery – yawn
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Winch

Cellars has the most unprepossessing entrance since the Rock & Roll Brewhouse.

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Great pub entrances No.27

It’s clearly identifiable as a micro pub, whether or not it obeys the Herne Rules (do the Rules allow keg beers ?).

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Poles

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.

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Top reading

A really good Kent Pale, though the 9.0% Track would have detained Mrs RM.

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Kent Pale NBSS 3.5

No chance of Maidstone murky here.

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Clear as a bell

3 loos too, perhaps a record for a micro.

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Very clear

I had half an hour to again see whether Maidstone looked anything like a County Town*

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Oh dear

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;

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Fremlin Walk
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Could be Miami
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Bank St

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.

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The TIC
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Royal Albion

 

*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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

51 thoughts on “MAD ABOUT MAIDSTONE

  1. Been to Cellars- rather odd but likeable place. But, shamefully, not to the ground yet- only one needed in National League top division. It’s 4G and floodlit, so the pros save it till a harsh winter’s night.

    Maidstone is ok with some good pubs – just always seems permanently congested. Is this post-Malta making up for lost time?

    Liked by 1 person

      1. “Weirdly, Kelso is next to Milton, my local brewery, and the first bar I look at sells London Pride…”

        LOL, serendipity!

        May have to look at renting a car (or badgering a neighbour) to take a trip there next time I’m nearby visiting my dear old Mum. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I lived in Maidstone for five years, during the early 1980’s, after moving back to Kent. I even bought my first house there; a mere snip at £12,500 and it even had a cellar.

    I would argue that town planners did more damage than the Luftwaffe, although looking back there were quite a few presumably bomb-flattened areas, which doubled up as car-parks, (some still do).

    I haven’t yet visited the Cellars Alehouse, and although you have said you are not fussed about the history of the brewery it was once part of, it is worth noting that these were the premises of Style & Winch, who were one of two major breweries in the county town; the other being Fremlins.

    Btw. Which part of Maidstone is the posh bit, and what is its long name?

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    1. I was thinking of Boughton Monchelsea and the Farleighs when I mentioned “posh Maidstone”, Paul !

      The pleasant barman ((I guess) gave me a concise history of Style & Winch when I asked out of politeness, and I realised I’m not interested in history ;-(

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Boughton Monchelsea and the Farleighs aren’t what I’d consider to be parts of Maidstone. More like villages in their own right. i might be heading over that way next week. If I do, expect a full report.

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      2. I guess I live in Waterbeach (5 miles out) and consider myself from Cambridge; and my Southborough in-laws say they live in Tunbridge Wells.

        Is Maidstone in any way posh ? Or just expensive.

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  3. “Old Brewery – yawn”

    From the top three signs I’m guessing that…

    Maidstone Plumbing Centre puts in the pipes that allows the Bathroom Trading Company to enrich The Garden of England Homecare by shunting certain, ahem, byproducts to their allotments? 😉

    “Winch”

    I’m guessing that the winch brings the beer to the wench, who in turn brings it to you?

    “Poles”

    Since it is the Cellar, that means it’s underground. And everyone knows the Poles were famous in the Underground years ago (no, not the Tube, the WW2 thingy).

    “Very clear”

    Back then, yes. The bloke was the one with the cigarette while the gal was the one with the skirt. These days though… 😉

    Cheers

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Probably too much info but…

        Wifey had surgery just over a week ago which is inhibiting us, um, being together? 😉

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      1. Nah, that won’t be allowed in the GBG, it will be the home-base of CAMRAL – CAMRA Luddites, the paramilitary fundamentalist offshoot of CAMRA, speeding round the country and running over key-kegs in souped up mobility scooters as supplied by Martin.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Sorry all wrong. The Luddites will be in my front room serving Red Triangle. My home brew using an early Bass recipe. (Bass will have disappeared by 2020 as InBev have said there is no market for it, apart from a few weirdos.)The pub will be open for an hour every Shrove Tuesday. It will appear that the beer is hand pumped. The truth..it will be bottles emptied into a bucket in the cellar and then stirrup pumped to the room above. A joy for the easily conned.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Never actually been to Maidstone beyond driving past it on the M20 – I don’t think in my time in the Sarf East I even went through it on the train. Don’t think I’ve really missed much – rather like Bedford in that respect.

    I did get as close as picture-postcard Aylesford last September, though.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. “I simply posted the online link to the .jpg image. No IMG SRC tags or anything like that.”

        Crap, I think I already knew that for Martin’s blog. I confess I can’t keep all of the blogs I read straight though for things like that. (blush)

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  5. The Rifle Volunteers is very good. It’s a real corner local in the centre of town. If you’re feeling topical there’s the ‘Malta Inn’ at Allington Lock but it’s a Beefeater style place. The parish church and Archbishops Palace are very nice.

    Liked by 1 person

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