retiredmartin’s DAY OFF IN TONBRIDGE

My last Kent Guide pub, in lovely Tonbridge.

I would have done this on Christmas Day but apparently it’s not the Done Thing to leave the table before the Christmas pudding to tick a pub. #PoliteSociety.

Five minutes walk from Tonbridge station, the Foresters is a rare tick in what is becoming quite a pubby town all of a sudden. Paul Bailey’s blog is your reference point for that.

The Spoons has been joined by a Fuggles and a few other beery places recently, yet it’s a bog-standard Sheps house in the Guide.

Mrs RM, who spent her teenage years drinking (too much) round here, had never heard of it. Always a good sign.

An intriguing start.

And intriguing toilets.

But a dull as ditchwater beer range by contemporary standards.

You’ll know that’s my favourite sort of beer range.

On a Sunday afternoon it has no big screen, no music, no meat raffle.

Just a pubby vibe to draw in the 25-35 crowd, which certainly aren’t here for the Whitstable Bay, though that’s cool and tasty enough (NBSS 3).

Ooo, a handle

There’s a bit of pizza action, but otherwise it’s just banter. As I mentioned in Cardiff, the death of the pub as a place to talk rubbish has been called too soon.

Of course, cutting-edge pub games may help.

Rare billiards table

It reminds me of the Flying Pig in Cambridge, with faded gig tickets and the lyrics to “Mr Brightside“, which everyone knows by heart anyway, being a millennial.

Tiny Dancer” is followed by “Private Dancer”; I bet “Dancing with tears in my eyes” was next.

Despite the high tables and low culture, and average beer, I liked it a lot. It felt like a pub.

Very strange toilets too. That always helps.

And at least it’s not a micro.

27 thoughts on “retiredmartin’s DAY OFF IN TONBRIDGE

  1. It will probably disappoint you that in spite of all the excellent points you made in this one, on a variety of subjects, I came away from it mainly with “Good lord, it’s supposed to be ‘dull as *ditchwater*’?! I’ve been saying ‘dishwater’ all this time!” 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m used to folk regarding this blog as a test paper and scouring it to find linguistic oddities and typos, Mark ;-0

      I think the terms are interchangeable, although we have better quality ditches here in the Fens, I’m told.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks for the picture of the boat, Martin.

        “Channel Light Vessel Automatic” as they used to say – maybe still do – on the Radio Four small hours weather reports for shipping. I always wondered what one looked like.


  2. A few days ago I had a second pint of Bishops Finger as it was so good – and that’s in a pub that also had Adnams Broadside, Courage Directors and Sharps Doom Bar.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, indeed.
      I first played bar billiards sometime during 1972 in Cambridge’s Salisbury Arms – Whitbread then long before CAMRA Investments – and have never used a pool table.
      Bar billiards are one of the good things to originate from Belgium, a country that also does good beer and quality chocolates and Belgian Hares can be marvellous pets.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I confess I only decided to pop in at last minute, Paul, and I know people don’t like to be phoned up with ten minutes notice expecting a meeting. Fifteen is more polite.

      I was also in and out in ten minutes, rather than the BRAPA approved 27.5 minutes.

      I’ll be starting on Sussex next. E-mail me some dates you might be free and we can catch up in the new pub on your blog I linked to. 👍

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, and to be fair I’m no better. I’m not sure what’s better, calling up at very short notice and making the other person feel obliged to come out, or being close by and not “announcing your presence”. (I was staying a few minutes from you on Friday but I doubt you’d have welcome my call in the state I was in).


      2. No problem Martin, on reflection I thought your visit might have been an impromptu one. Also, I’m definitely with Simon on the half-hour or longer visit, rather than a brief ten minute look around.

        Glad you liked the Forester’s. The Whitstable Bay is normally on form, which is a bonus seeing as it’s one of Shep’s better beers. The pizza offering is also good, but you would definitely need more than ten minutes for that.

        I will be in touch re. some dates.


  3. Nah. I was just looking for a metaphor for whatever might be hush-hush.

    Like, say, eminent Tory visits to childrens homes in the 1980s eh?



    1. PS. I think that Martin is more than capable of policing his own blog, and that he doesn’t need any help from any commenter’s personal troll. I won’t be in the least offended if he removes these last few comments either.


    1. Good link. Some nice person put a link to my post from BRAPA in Ely on that blog, so I’ve signed up to share any pubs I find with billiard tables in. I think billiards (and pool and skittles) add a lot to pub atmospheres.


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