A 15th Century Free House in the heart of the Kent countryside, nestled in the historic village of Penshurst between the towns of Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells. It’s a wonderful blend of the traditional and modern, the building dates back to 1492 and various owners have had licenses to sell beers and ciders from the premises since 1808 – not much has changed there!
With its restored exterior, large terrace with 21 tables and a much-loved garden, the pub is a handsome sight from outside, while inside it’s an absolute gem. Throughout the pub, ancient beams have been sand-blasted back to their original, natural glory, while exposed brickwork and neutrally painted walls give the whole place a warm, friendly feel.
Behind the copper-covered bar you’ll find a range of beers, including local, traditional hand-pumped beers, an exceptional wine cellar and even a homemade collection of flavoured liquors.
Their menu is seasonal and relies on local produce of the highest quality, served by their knowledgeable staff. In the warmer months, sit outside on the large garden terrace with a covered and heated oak-beamed pergola or when it’s colder, sit at the copper-topped bar by the fire or in one of the cosy nooks inside.
Gorgeous though the pub is, it’s the food that sets the place apart. Under the guidance and meticulous eye of chef Gary Jarvis, the kitchen puts out some of the finest pub food imaginable table, including vegetarian and vegan options. With a deep belief in the importance of sustainability, all dishes are prepared using locally sourced, home-grown and foraged seasonal ingredients.
Favourite dishes include the homemade Shortcrust Steak Pie and truffle-poached chicken. Fish lovers can choose from their famous beer-battered fish and chips or delight in the flavours of the fillet of stone bass served with a mussel beurre blanc, while their vegetarian and vegan dishes will tempt even the most hardened carnivores – the roast cauliflower steak in a coconut broth and beetroot tricolour salad are a must try.
As well as the a la carte menu, on Sundays they also cook three different kinds of roast with all the traditional trimmings.
At a glance
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15th Century Free House, Coldharbour Road, Penshurst, Kent TN11 8ET
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