Don’t worry Paul, it’s not the Foresters in Tonbridge; I’m saving that visit up for a special occasion.
But he’ll know the derivation of the Angels in the title, and he’ll know the Fleur de Lis in Leigh (almost poetic), having beat me to the blog last year. Shamefully, I’d never heard of it, despite being 5 miles flight from my in-laws in Southborough.
More attractively, it’s only 4 minutes on the train from Tonbridge (4 days if Northern Rail were running it).
I’ve only just seen Paul’s post, which tells you all you need to know about a village somehow justifying a train stop where Newcastle-under-Lyme doesn’t, and rendering my photos surplus to requirements.
The cricket green is wonderful, the village picturesque without hitting the heights of Penshurst (I’m not local, I can be judgemental).
I thought I’d found a place unmarked on WhatPub, but of course the Bat & Ball is a house whose owners flaunt the fact they’ve killed a much-loved (possibly) boozer, rather than running as a micro like in the rest of Kent.
It’s a good job Paul took a photo of the exterior of the Fleur de Lis, as I failed in the drizzle.
Instead, here’s a handpump. The Landlord was round the corner, but I don’t trust Tim Taylors this far south, and that Tonbridge Copperknob has been remarkably consistent in the Fuggles chain round here. It was a rich, full-bodied 3.5.
It’s a good open-plan all-rounder where ladies who lunch were rubbing shoulders (not aggressively) with retired gentlefolk like me and a group of young tradesmen i.e. people who do proper jobs restoring Kent houses.
“Everytime you lot come in I have to clean the floor” joked our host. It was good to see a pub appreciating their Carling trade. Most folk were drinking coffee.
The Landlady was patiently explaining to an elderly group the arrangements for their Christmas party and how the
canopies canapes would be laid out. I hate Christmas, you know. Roll on 2 January.
Well-run pub, busy for a midweek early December, and yet again a Greene King house. Can those folk do any wrong ?