We were looking for lunch in the Maidstone area when we stumbled upon this place. I think if we hadn't been caught at the traffic ligfhts, we might have driven straight past, I'm glad we didn't. It looked bg and old and inviting so we shuffled across a couple of lanes and nudged our way in.
Through a fairly narrow entrance, there's a large if tatty car park not made up at all, just loose cinder. We just tagged our car on a line of others and wandered over the patio and in. It was drizzling a little and no-one was seated outside, although there's plenty of room. The bar faces you from the rear entrance and we walked up to be welcomed by - I'm guessing - the manager. The building looks big and grand by he was down to earth, although scrupulously polite. I said we hadn't booked, but it wasn't a problem, they were busy, but had spaces.
He took our drinks order and told us to go find a table where he'd find us, which he duly did. There were 3 or 4 waiters serving and clearing, but he seemed the only one able to take orders which meant we waited, but not for long, and certainly not too long.
The food was fresh and fast. It was well cooked, and like the trend in Britain leaning towards to generous as regards portions. We were both hungry, and both left some food which we couldn't eat, annoying really as it was of excellent quality.
My meal, a sirloin steak was £18. Yet somehow that, my partners Ploughmans, and two drinks came in at under £30, not bad. We ate on the ground floor so didn't see the first floor seating, but were impressed noetheless. Beware of the beams, steps, and other obstacles though, this is an old building, a little on the dark side, and with enough.
The manager is of the old school, and lets you site and enjoy your drink and the ambience before taking your order. If you're in a rush, just let him know and he'll hurry things along for you, if not just take you time and let it all happen.
They're kid and family friendly, and there's enough space for all to get along without being in each others laps. In fact this is one place I'd seek out again if I were in the area.
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