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“Corsacouple” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of The Dering Arms

The Dering Arms
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The Dering Arms
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Pluckley
Certificate of Excellence
Woodbridge, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
15 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Corsacouple”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 7, 2011

We had a two night stay and found the hotel very comfortable and quirky in a lovely way. Had dinner in on one night which was excellent with good service. Owner was very pleasant and polite and was not at all intrusive which suited us fine. We fully intend to stay again at some in the future. Although room was not large it was, again, very comfortable and you do not expect to have a large room in a property of such an age.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank RENCLIO
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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77 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    38
    27
    4
    6
    2
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14
44
Solo
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2
Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (9)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • Any
English first
London, England
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 19, 2010

We had a two day stay at the Dering Arms. The food was fabulous in particular for us the sea food was the high light. The pub has great charecter with impecable and friendly service in a warm atmosphere. Our room was clean, with good aminities (except for the ladies take a hair dryer) but basic in decor. We would absolutley return it is all that is delightful about Kent set in fabuous country side.

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank PJR1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
57 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 18, 2010

Our reward for enduring the many duties and responsibilities that pass for Christmas for my wife and I these days was a night away once the so called 'festivities' had passed. So it was we found ourselves battling through the fog on roads barely cleared of the previous week's snow to our destination in deepest Kent. True, the Dering Arms is only a few miles from Ashford but it sits in quiet, contemplative isolation.

Sharper minds than ours would have done their research and worked out that the Dering Arms is at Pluckley Station not Pluckley, a village well over a mile away; they would therefore have been spared the tribulations we had to endure before we the Dering Arms hove into view. The station is just 100 yards away and with a good service into London the pub would make a sound bet for those without a car but wanting a truly rural break.

I was expecting a thatched roof and roses round the door (again, poor research) but in the darkness and swirling mist the pub appeared more than a little austere - dimly lit, with an imposing gabled facade and a slightly forbidding edge to it. But once through the sturdy oak entance door, all concerns were melted by the cheerful welcome and the robust log fire burning in the grate.

We were quicly ushered to our room which was small but very comfortable. It looked like it had been feshly decorated with a new carpet and fittings in the ensuite. A hot shower set us up for the evening and although the toilet made sporadic groaning sounds through the evening and subsequent night (please spare me the obvious jokes!) we swiftly decided that this was part of the quirky charm of the place - as indeed was the absence of locks, although those of a nervous disposition can bolt the door when they are in residence.

So down to eat, and we were soon transported into foodie heaven. We sat in comfortable armchairs next to the aforesaid log fire for pre prandial drinks and the chance to look through the menu. Whilst the Dering Arms is primarily an eating pub, it also caters well for those just wanting a quick drink, and there were a handful of people of such persuasion clustered around the bar. I saw no other beer but what I assume was the pub's own brew (given that it carried the name of the place) and this turned out to be top quality. They have a very extensive and reasonably priced wine list and, as someone else has commented, the range of whites looks particularly good.

The star of the show is however without doubt the food, and particularly the fish and seafood. The pub makes this focus very clear in its publicity so don't come expecting a huge range of meat options, and whilst they would no doubt cook something tasty for any vegetarians who were staying, there was not a single vegetarian dish on the menu.

Jim (both owner and head chef) prides himself on the quality of his fish dishes, and rightly so. He buys all his fish straight off the keyside at Folkestone Harbour and the meal choices tend to be based around what is available, so a relatively short standard menu is supplemented by a healthy range of specials. My wife and I were incredibly boring and chose the same thing - a seafood soup followed by red bream in a meuniere sauce. It turned out to be an inspired choice - beautifully cooked, fresh and succulent - although to be frank, I suspect other selections would have proved equally as good.

After a good night's sleep (our bed was soft but seemed to mould itself around one) we enjoyed a leisurely breakfast before departing into the sunshine. I had a slight concern reading other views that breakfast would be a hurried, peremptory affair but we received the same warm welcome we had the previous evening from Jim and our cooked breakfast was top notch. [An aside to to other reviewers here. One review said 'we were only offered a cooked full english breakfast': did you try asking for anything else, I'm pretty certain that Jim would have obliged. The other review (the first in fact, clearly someone impossible to please) complained that when they went down early on Sunday morning there was nobody to serve them: it stated quite cearly in our room that Sunday breakfast was at 9.00, are you sure it didn't in yours?).

All in all a very enjoyable experience and we are certain to be back, if only to take on one of Jim's Seafood Specials!

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Shippers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
High Wycombe, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
236 reviews
60 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 328 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 16, 2009

We stayed at the Dering Arms for one night and thought it really excellent and a great place to spend an evening and night. It is situated in H.E.Bates country and apparently the actual filming of 'The Darling Buds of May' was done close by. The Dering Arms is an old Lodge House and it's architecture is very striking and it is right next to Pluckley railway station but about 2 miles further on from Pluckley village and church, so you have to search for it a little. We found the host and hostess most friendly and welcoming and most keen to make ones stay positive and it was the same with the barman, who was also excellent. The rooms were basic but very clean and comfortable and there were nice little touches like orange juice and good quality biscuits to have with one's tea. However the star of the show has to be the wonderful food cooked by Jim Buss and served in the very atmospheric bar which was that of a quintessential English pub. The focus is on sea food - I had both fresh and cooked oysters as my starter whilst my wife had smoked herring and potato salad and both were delicious. For main I had sea bass in a wonderful home made sorrel sauce and my wife the local Kent lamb cutlets. Both dishes were tremendous ... on one level simple but cooked to perfection and oozing with real flavour. My wife said it was the most flavoursome lamb she had had for years. All the deserts were home made and my wife had a lovely lemon posset, whilst I had cheese. The menu is quite broad but with four or five specials and what can be guarenteed is genuinely freshly cooked fare. Equally the wine list is outstanding and such a pleasant contrast to those chain hotels where there are only about eight standard wines and most come from the New World. Here the list was wonderful and particularly for French whites and at reasonable prices for what one was getting. In fact in a nutshell that was what was so wonderful about the Derring Arms, it was so unlike a manufactured chain hotel with their mass catering and mass organisation. The Dering Arms was the pride of it's one owner and he clearly wanted to provide outstanding food in a unique atmosphere which was of his own making. For breakfast the next morning I asked for eggs and bacon and they were delicious and this was followed by toast and home made marmalade. B&B for two was £75 which for the quality and individuality I thought a real bargain and the food and atmosphere will long remain in our memories, as will the genuine pleasantness of the host and hostess. Will we be back for another one-nighter, absolutely as it is a real little find if you want to get away to an English pub in the middle of the Kent countryside and have a good meal and a good glass of wine. If those things don't appeal then don't bother because in essense that is what the Dering Arms is all about..

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank StAlbansWilbo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Co Durham
Level Contributor
28 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 10, 2009

This place might be best described as a restaurant with rooms. The Restaurant is definitely good - fish a specilaity. On the night were were there there was a big party on but the service was good and really warm and friendly. Very good fish and a good wine list and a thorough enjoyable evening of really good quality. Pity then about the room. We had the one non en-suite. Very nice and comfy bed but the furniture seemed to have come from various local jumble sales - a real copntrast to the eating expereince. Breakfast not in the same league as dinner. Home made marmalade but on what appeared to be toasted sliced bread. This is a busy and enterprising establishment so do not imagine that it is going to be a leisurely relaxed breakfast reading the papers. They need to get onto the next event and we felt rather in the way. A request for more coffee was not met the broadest of smiles!

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank 2jarrow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pudsey, West Yorkshire
Level Contributor
22 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 8, 2008

This was the first night of a 4 week trip around Europe and I must say after spending the following weeks in approx 12 different places the bed was the most comfortable we have slept in. After reading a couple of previous reviews I was rather apprehensive, but the room, although small was clean and adequately furnished. I even peeped into the other rooms as we were the only ones stopping and they all seemed clean and nicely decorated. The food for the evening meal was really good, and my husband can certainly recomend the beer, although we had to sit in the bar area as the restaurant was not open that night. I would highly recommend this hotel the only quarm was that there were no locks on the room doors which could have proved embarrasing!! Also there was no choice at breakfast time, it was full english and toast, but the homemade marmalade was tasty, but no jams.

  • Liked — The comfy bed & evening meal
  • Disliked — No choice for breakfast
  • Stayed August 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank ambermist
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 17, 2008

First impressions of the Dering are fantastic, lovely bar with wooden beams, furniture & a grand piano. Jim however, your host, is rather serious and unsmiling. The ensuite room we stayed in was very clean and comfortable and good value. The breakfast however was limited as we were offered and given a full breakfast and nothing else. You have to ask for more toast and there's no cereals or other choices it seems.
I would stay there again and the food in the restaurant was excellent though expensive. I just wouldn't expect a smiling, welcoming host.

  • Liked — Clean room, fluffy towels, atmosphere of the whole place
  • Disliked — Very limited breakfast choice & unsmiling host
  • Stayed August 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank pricklychick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Dering Arms

Property: The Dering Arms
Address: Station Road, Pluckley, Ashford TN27 0RR, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > Kent > Ashford > Pluckley
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Pluckley
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 3
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Also Known As:
The Dering Arms Hotel Pluckley
Dering Arms Pluckley
The Dering Arms Pluckley, Kent

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