Top 10 Pub Beer Gardens

Okay so the weather so far has been changeable to say the least. But could it be that (*whisper it*) summer is finally here? So you’ll be wanting to find a watering hole with a huge, wonderful garden to boot your kids into, while you chill out with some awesome food and a triple gin and tonic. Oh come on, it can’t just be me again!

I’ve been to a gazillions of pubs in Kent on *cough* Muddy duty and have drawn together this scratch list, admittedly half cut late in the evening, but hopefully with a degree of knowledge and insight. Yeah yeah, I’ve probably left some goodies off, and if you think there has been a libellous omission, genuinely please let me know – I love to hear suggestions and much as I bomb around trying out new places, you are the guys who live and breathe your local areas.  I hope these suggestions help you have a wonderful weekend. Slap on the sunscreen and enjoy the view!

The Duke William, Ickham

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Sitting deep in the chocolate-box depths of the Kentish countryside, this pub boasts a big-name chef, Mark Sargeant who is ex-Ramsay. With one of the most picturesque beer gardens you can imagine – open views across corn fields – and top notch food, you can’t go wrong here.

Tickled Trout, Wye

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For more than 400 years, an Inn or Tavern has stood on the banks of the river Stour and this pub, not far from Ashford, maintains that ‘olde world’ charm. Serves decent pubby food, is popular with locals and the perfect place to enjoy a pint while watching the swans glide past.

The Beacon, Rusthall

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Just a few minutes outside Tunbridge Wells, this pub has undergone something of a Renaissance in the last year, morphing into a quality, destination restaurant (it came a close second in our Muddy Awards 2016 for Best Restaurant). Pearched high on a hill, over-looking 17 acres of land in what’s called Happy Valley, the pretty terrace makes the perfect spot for alfresco dining, washed down with one of their tasty cocktails.

The Duck Inn, Pett Bottom

Duck Inn

I’m hearing nothing but high praise for this foodie country pub at the moment. Added to that, James Bond novelist, Ian Flemming, wrote You Only Live Twice here in 1964 and it was the first pub in Kent to earn a Michelin star. Be sure to Dine Another Day. *Groan*.

The Milk House, Sissinghurst

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This stylish pub, right in the middle of beautiful Sissinghurst, serves excellent food, including wood-fired pizzas and an outside bar in the summer. There’s a great garden space in which to off-load the Mudlets. And it just won our Muddy Award for Best Boutique Stay, should you fancy a mini break away.

The Chaser Inn, Shipbourne

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In this picturesque village, not far outside Tonbridge, this pub enjoys the pretty parish church as a backdrop alongside serene views over the village green. Makes for a great day out – start with a slap up Sunday meal then walk to Ightham Mote (NT) – the Greensand Way walking route passes the front door.

The Little Brown Jug, Chiddingstone Causeway

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The food here is typically pubby, but decent enough, the staff are friendly and will squeeze you in even when the pub is bulging (and it’s a very popular destination with locals). It deserves a special mention for the beer garden huts which are open all year round and cost only £25 to hire, seating up to 8. You can roll the sides down for privacy or warmth and they’re plugged into the mains, providing heating and lighting – you also get table service instead or ordering at the bar. This is also a family-friendly pub with a children’s play area just visible through the trees.

The Vineyard, Lamberhurst

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Another family-friendly pub, this beer garden is also home to a brilliant outside Bar & Grill in the summer months. Mr Muddy Kent is a particular fan of the Grilled Whole Langoustines while the kids always love their Chicken Burger and Chips.

The Three Chimneys, Biddenden

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Nestled in the most scenic surrounds, near Biddenden, this is an exceptional pub. The food is fabulous, there’s loads of pockets of outside space – from sunspot terraces in which to sink an afternoon rosé to the spacious back garden where kids can roam freely (although it’s a more grown up space – personally I’d prefer to enjoy this one Mini Muddy-free). Even better, while it’s constantly under-going improvements, this pub has retained it’s original features, like low beams, inglenook fireplaces and beers sold straight from the cask.

The Windmill, Hollingbourne

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Run by TV chef Richard Phillips this offers a range of good grub, ales and wines for thirsty passers-by and avid foodies alike. In the summer sit out and soak up the rays while enjoying the new BBQ and smokery where the food is cooked right in front of your eyes, every Saturday and Sunday (as well as bank holiday Mondays).

8 comments on “Top 10 Pub Beer Gardens”

  • Kate July 7, 2016

    All look stunning it’s true but would like to suggest some other great ones down in east Kent too. Finglesham has a great pub and garden and also aplenty in Canterbury.

    Reply
    • aliagnew July 14, 2016

      Thanks for the top tip Kate – I’ll check it out! Don’t need too much of an excuse for me to try out a new watering hole – especially in this weather! Watch out for my next round up of pubs with great views – loads of East Kent offerings in there. Want to suggest any in advance? Sounds like you know what you’re talking about! xAli

      Reply
  • Julie July 10, 2016

    I think you need to take a look at The Five Bells at Brabourne. It is in the most picturesque of settings with an artisan outdoor seating area. It’s set in valley and serves delicious food all day every day. It’s part of the Ramblins chain. People drive from all over Kent to dine there. I live five miles from it but I have adopted it as my local.

    Reply
    • aliagnew July 14, 2016

      Hi Julie – I have The Five Bells firmly on my radar. Haven’t been yet but that place does look amazing – and now I have your endorsement I’ll make it my mission to get over there asap! Thanks xA

      Reply
  • Mandy July 14, 2016

    Just found this fabulous post in my Junk?! And how timely it is, too – having a young toddler who loves his food but is equally eager to explore All By Himself we’re always looking out for places with great food, but nice safe (enclosed) gardens! This post was so helpful…we’d previously turned down the Milk House as there’s no mention of their garden (or pic) on their website. Will definitely be paying it a visit now, though 🙂

    Reply
    • aliagnew July 14, 2016

      Hi Mandy! Make sure you dejunk Muddy! They’ll be lots more amazing stuff coming your way soon… Thanks for the great feedback. Enjoy the sunshine xA

      Reply
  • Leanne July 19, 2016

    Have a look at the Who’d a Thought it at Grafty Green, they have a lovely garden and Tikkee Hut also Garden Bars with built in ice buckets to keep your beers cold now the weather has arrived.

    Reply
    • aliagnew July 19, 2016

      Built in ice buckets to keep your drink cold on a sunny day? Leanne, you are clearly a girl after my own heart! Yes, I’ve just heard about this place and it sounds like a lovely boutique hotel – with just the right amount of quirky. I’ll see you there! Thanks for the tip off xAli

      Reply

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The Urban Guide to the Countryside - Kent