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Review: The Potting Shed

This pub boasts a bit of everything - stylish interiors, large beer garden, rooms to stay and decent, down-to-earth food. Muddy just had to dig it out for you (boom)...

 

THE LOWDOWN

Situated in Langley, just south east of Maidstone, The Potting Shed is a rather handsome pub with stylish interiors – and down-to-earth, decent pub fare. With a stunning beer garden and high vaulted ceiling, it’s the ideal destination for a party gathering / large family group kind of get together.

Here you’ll find everything from a stylish bar (see above) or slap-up Sunday lunches to a wood-fired pizza oven – oh and brand spanking new rooms to stay the night.

THE VIBE

A fun, striking feature of this pub is the funky grass roof sitting over the entrance (see pic below) and then on the inside the spacious architect-designed, dining room with vaulted wooden-clad ceiling, all decorated with gardening tools.

The high ‘A’ frame interior is inspired by Scandinavian architecture and gives a unique open plan feel and lends itself to a party gathering / large family group kind of get together. Think stylish, cosy and unpretentious.

This opens out to the beautiful beer garden (as well as a herb and vegetable garden) which boasts a large outside space and a great kids play area (let them run free! although there is a road nearby so you are going to have to keep half an eye).

Outside, in the warmer months, between May and August, you can enjoy delicious, relaxed dining from the brilliant Burger Shack (complete with veggie options). Or grab a sourdough pizza from the wood fired oven (pictured below).

SCOFF & QUAFF

With seasonal cooking, locally sourced where possible of course, the menu will suit everyone from Sunday lunchers to vegans and it’s very child-friendly too. I would describe this as ‘no-foam pub grub’ – in other words, non-pretentious, British classics, rather than fine dining.

I ate the Winter Power Bowl (with a name like that, how could you not?) which consisted of grilled Halloumi, Sweet Potato, Hummus, Organic Quinoa & Clementines (see above).

The menu is split into ‘Bigger’ and ‘Smaller’ dishes and my friend (and lunch companion), George, and I both chose ‘Bigger’ options (surprise, surprise). I have to say the portions were substantial so I might opt for the ‘Smaller’ menu next time.

George chose the Indian Fish Platter – tandoori prawn skewer, cardamom and nigella seed cured salmon, squid pakora, pickled mackerel, smoked haddock and cod kedgeree fish cake, raita and naan bread (and before you say it, yes, our eyes are bigger than our stomachs – but doesn’t it look goooood…?)

The menu is pretty extensive – there’s Daily Specials, Sharing Boards, Salads, Sandwiches… The Potting Shed also boasts an artisan wood fired sourdough pizza oven (you can order to take away too). Sandwiches are served until 6pm and all served with chips or sweet potato fries. On Sundays they do a decent roast (I’m yet to try one here, but so I’ve been told) – it gets busy so book ahead.

STAY

No need to rush home, now there’s six uniquely themed bedrooms, set in the grounds of the pub and just opened (in November 2019). The rooms are purpose-built and sit, separate to the pub, in a row of immersive eco-designed huts, with living roofs and solar powered energy.

The names of the rooms all have fishing references – and with a clever flexible touch Big Griggle can be connected to Little Griggle – so a family could stay together in inter-connecting rooms.

OUT AND ABOUT

The nearest train stations of Maidstone or Bearsted are only an hour from London. From here you’ve got a decent springboard into Leeds Castle and the North Downs Way.

THE MUDDY VERDICT:

Good for: Laid-back lunchers; big group diners; sunny day trippers (big beer garden, remember); families hoping to find a pub that won’t be too ‘on ceremony’ to put up with their children. There’s a good outdoor space and play area here so kids can be let off the leash.

Not for: Folks coming down from London that want a chi-chi, fine dining experience (and are happy to pay the price-tag that comes with it) – this is a down-to-earth launch pad for exploring the area.

The damage:

Food: Smaller lunch plates are £6 – £14; Bigger lunch plates are £13 – £18. Sunday Roasts are served from 12-5pm and are around the £16/£17 mark. Sandwiches around £7 and wood fired pizzas between £10 – £15 for the Langley by the sea.

Stay: Prices start at £114 for a Double Room and includes The Potting Shed Breakfast.

The Potting Shed, Langley, Maidstone, Kent  ME17 3LZ, Tel: 01622 862112, elitepubs.com/the-potting-shed

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