Open daily 11.30am–11pm
Dating back to Georgian times, this large pub has plenty of period features from wood panelling to open fires and the décor is typically conservative, traditional pub fare (dark red ’70s-style carpets). There are nooks with beaten-up sofas and a raised restaurant area – which overlooks the garden towards the rear– has lots of candles. An outside bar and BBQ area make the most of the warmer months.
There are a few screens showing the sports and middle-of-the-road pop is played at just the right volume. We just wish they’d ditch the ugly slot machines.
This is clearly a pub for everyday visits. There were three large groups of (mainly middle-aged) friends dining during our visit; a group of 20-somethings sharing chips and wine and a few small groups of senior citizens, all casually dressed.
This is freshly prepared comfort food on a grand scale. My portobello mushroom with goat’s cheese, caramelised red onion and rocket (£5.50) starter left me wondering how I’d find room for my main, let alone dessert. It was homely, if not particularly note-worthy. My friend, the Swede, had a crisp side salad (with a simple balsamic dressing; £4.25) and a daily special – the venison steak wrapped in pancetta with roasted chestnuts, curly kale and polenta (£13.95) – perfectly cooked and the best presented dish (although on a glass plate). Our waiter – staff are young and friendly – admitted that his dad couldn’t finish the artichoke and wild mushroom tagliatelle with its spinach, garlic and parmesan sauce (£9.95) which I’d chosen. Again, it wasn’t note-worthy, but at least the sauce wasn’t too rich or overpowering and the pasta was perfectly cooked. For dessert, the Swede devoured the chocolate and honeycomb pie while I loved (what I could manage) the perfect homemade apple and winter berry crumble with custard (desserts £5.50 each).
My foodie ex would have a fit at the oversize portions and the presentation, but that’s not the point. This is home-from-home food and it’s clearly popular with the locals.
We enjoyed a glass of Chablis Premier Cru which was on offer (£4.05 for 175ml glass). As part of the Fuller’s group, there’s a good selection of well-priced wines, beers and three monthly-changing ales join the three staples.
For events details, including jazz on the last Thursday of the month, call the Duke of Kent directly.