The Star & Eagle
“Traditional and European cooking in an old timbered inn” - AA Inspector
From The Star & Eagle’s lofty position in this Wealden hill village, some of the orchards and hop fields that originally earned Kent the sobriquet ‘Garden of England’ stretch out below. The parish church next door is higher than the Star, but only just. The rambling inn dates from the 14th century, when surviving vaulted stonework suggests it may have been a monastery. Four centuries later the infamous Hawkhurst Gang of smugglers and thieves drank and plotted here, until angry villagers finally sent them packing. Always on offer in the bar are Harvey’s Sussex from its brewery in Lewes, guest ales, Biddenden cider and 14 wines by the glass. Suitably armed, as it were, with a full glass, choose between fine traditional and European dishes prepared by head chef Scott Smith and team in the big-beamed, split-level restaurant.
- Children welcome
- Children's portions
- Free Wifi
- Parking available
- Coach parties accepted
- Open all year
Also in the area
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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