Don’t worry Paul, it’s not the Foresters in Tonbridge; I’m saving that visit up for a special occasion.

Fleur de lis

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.

Bat & Balls have a bad record in 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 ?


  1. I’m pleased the Fleur was to your liking, Martin. It’s been knocked about a bit over the years, and when I first became acquainted with it, the Fleur was a Courage house.

    When there were two pubs in the village, I always preferred the Bat & Ball. I’ve never really got to the bottom as to why it closed, despite two members of my department having been regulars at the pub, due to their involvement with Leigh Cricket Team.

    It’s possible there was insufficient trade in the village to support two pubs, particularly given the presence of the Royal British Legion Club, where you can get a cheap pint of Larkin’s.

    Thanks for the link back to my post from last year. On that visit the Fleur was charging £4.40 for a pint of Landlord, which is expensive, even by local standards, which may explain the popularity of the Legion – IF drinking in a club is your sort of thing.

    One final point, the “Fleur de Lis in Leigh” would be poetic, were it not for the fact the name of the village is pronounced as “Lye”, rather than “Lee”. Nice try though!

    ps. I’m not sure how the Angels are doing this season.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You might recall our visit to the Prince Albert around the same time, Paul. Landlord was £4.50 then. I think it commands a 50-70p premium over similar strength beers down south, not always deservedly.

      Drinking in a pub is rarely that cosy in my experience !


    2. Less confusingly Lye in the Black Country is pronounced Lye, but when a stranger asked a local where they were the “Yow Min Lye” reply suggested a Chinese restaurant rather than a town.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I think it’s more a comment on southerners, Mark ! Opinions vary, I guess the number of steps in the distribution chain (does beer sit for hours in uncooled warehouses etc) matters more than miles. Landlord needs time in the cellar to be worth £4.50+.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. “(4 days if Northern Rail were running it).”

    I think Si would heartily agree with that.

    ““Everytime you lot come in I have to clean the floor” joked our host. ”

    Was he ta(l)king the p*ss? 🙂

    “busy for a midweek early December,”

    Hang on. It’s only December 2nd and a Monday to boot. So how could be midweek?


    PS – “It wasa rich”

    Don’t go all weird accent like on us. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Ha, I thought you were on about the timetable not the strikes. Since you mention it, the guards should be walking up and down the train not opening and closing the doors, which is a massively antiquated practice in this day and age.
        Anyway, three more posts to catch up on, and not seen a cat photo for a while.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Some of the confusion with the timetables is from using the 24 hour clock.
        On a train from Edinburgh last Friday the guard announced “We will be arriving in Perth a5 approximately 14:10” which would have been nearly two hours early as he meant 4.10 pm or 16:10.


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