This charming inn dates from the 17th century, and the public areas showcase a wealth of oak…
Below the North Downs on the ancient Pilgrim’s Way from Winchester to Canterbury, this 18th-century pub is a joy. In the bar, hops hang from ceilings, open log fires blaze, nooks and crannies wait to be discovered, and wing-backed chairs provide welcome comfort. A fine selection of Kentish real ales comes from its four hand-pumps, alongside more widely known brews, and Biddenden cider, while Chapel Down in Tenterden supplies not only wines, but Curious Brew, a lager re-fermented with champagne yeast. A meal in the cosy, candlelit restaurant could be a fish or meat sharing plate; roast beef and Yorkshire pudding; pan-fried calves' liver with bubble-and-squeak; tournedos Rossini with Madeira sauce: slow-roasted belly and stuffed loin of pork with black pudding mash and cider and apple sauce; or a vegetarian option. Specials change daily.
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About the area
The White Cliffs of Dover are an English icon – the epitome of our island heritage and sense of nationhood. They also mark the point where the Kent Downs AONB, that great arc of chalk downland stretching from the Surrey Hills and sometimes known as ‘the Garden of England’, finally reaches the sea. This is a well-ordered and settled landscape, where chalk and greensand escarpments look down into the wooded Weald to the south.
Many historic parklands, including Knole Park and Sir Winston Churchill’s red-brick former home at Chartwell, are also worth visiting. Attractive settlements such as Charing, site of Archbishop Cranmer’s Tudor palace, and Chilham, with its magnificent half-timbered buildings and 17th-century castle built on a Norman site, can be found on the Pilgrim’s Way, the traditional route for Canterbury-bound pilgrims in the Middle Ages.
In the nature reserves, such as the traditionally coppiced woodlands of Denge Wood and Earley Wood, and the ancient fine chalk woodland of Yockletts Bank high on the North Downs near Ashford, it is still possible to experience the atmosphere of wilderness that must have been felt by the earliest travellers along this ancient ridgeway.
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