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).
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.
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.