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Beer of the Week (w/e 9th August 2020) with Wittenden on the Pub Forum

Picture of The Castle Inn
Image posted by Just a quick pint, then I'm off
Submitted on Sunday, 2nd August 2020
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The Castle Inn, Edenbridge

Pub added by elizabeth mcgraw
Chiddingstone Road
Postal town: Edenbridge
Correct details

Served areas

Reviews of The Castle Inn (Average Rating: 7 of 10) Add Review see review guidelines

Just a quick pint, then I'm off left this review about The Castle Inn

Attractive pub in the picturesque Tudor village of Chiddingstone, purchased by the National Trust with a legacy in 1939. The business is run by tenants but benefits (in normal times) from having the eponymous tourist attraction next door. However, following the lockdown, everything operates from a temporary servery in the pleasant beer garden which fortunately has a good number of tables. Just one real ale available at the moment, but as this is the excellent Larkins Traditional (£3.60) from the farm just up the road then that's no great hardship.

On 3rd August 2020 - rating: 7
[User has posted 6086 recommendations about 6086 pubs]

. Wittenden left this review about The Castle Inn

A rambling,timber framed and tile hung late medieval building in the picture postcard National Trust owned village of Chiddingstone in West Kent. I’d driven past this pub earlier in the year, and had book marked it for a family outing. I was vaguely worried that it would be gastro and “up itself” having looked at the website, and discovered that it belongs, as does the rest of the village, to the Trust. However, on arrival on a perfect early September Saturday lunchtime, with the family, I was reassured to find a remarkable black and red tiled floor in the public bar, and no signs of fuss.
We sat in the empty saloon bar : a noisy wedding party drifted in and out of the public, and a good number of walkers were in the garden behind the pub.Our meals were reasonably priced for West Kent-not far from Surrey!, and charmingly served. I’d known that this was the de facto brewery tap for Larkins’ Brewery just up the lane, and was pleased to find their Traditional and Best Bitters on the bar, alongside the deservedly ubiquitous Harvey’s Sussex Best Bitter. The Trad was as delightful as ever,but the Best, a beer that I’d not tried before was perfect, a classic ,subtle drink that could only come from England, and probably Kent.
This is one of a select number of pubs that really seem to connect with their community.Others include The Blacksmiths at Lastingham and the Strathmore Arms, both in Yorkshire,and the Red Lion at Snargate.
After doing touristy things in Westerham, we came back in the dusk like bats, and enjoyed more beer and banter sitting at the benches in front, by the closed gates to the Castle.
8th.September 2019:Update.This pub closed in 2015 or '16 for major structural repairs.It reopened in 2017,under the management of a local pub,and the current managers took it on in April 2019,though I understand that the building belongs to the National Trust, along with much of the village.The lay out is much the same as before,with upgraded kitchen and loos.On our visit in September 2019,Larkins Traditional(in good nick),was joined by Titsey Brewing's Gresham Hopper(dull).Larkins Pale was unavailable. A somewhat corporate atmosphere,I'm afraid to say.

On 9th September 2019 - no rating submitted
[User has posted 243 recommendations about 242 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Pub SignMan left this review about The Castle Inn

Located next to an entrance to Chiddingstone Castle in a pleasant village with plenty of good walking around, the Castle Inn is a fine traditional rural pub which has apparently existed in this location since 1420. There are two main bars, with the entrance taking you into a particularly attractive tile floored public bar with the servery on the rear wall and the most welcome sight of a lit wood burning stove on the left hand wall. The walls are all painted white, contrasting the numerous dark wood beams and pillars that feature throughout. Some barrels have been converted into tables with standard chairs around them and there was a good row of bar stools along the counter. A cheery collection of locals were gathered in here on a bitterly cold December afternoon and they gave us a friendly welcome as we shuffled through a small space with a seat built into the front window, and on into a second bar. This room is bare boarded and sees the servery lined with a collection of pewter tankards. Benches and casks with padded tops comprise the majority of seating options here and there is a huge fireplace on the right hand side with a relatively modern stove inside. Old pictures of village life line the walls here and in the slightly lower seating area beyond and are worth a quick browse through. I also noticed an interesting old village magazine displayed on one wall and, in true Kent fashion, the walls were lined with bountiful amounts of hops. We stopped off here for a bite to eat and the friendly landlord rustled up some decent, if rather pricey, sandwiches for us.
There were three ales available on our visit - Harvey's Best and two from the local Larkins Brewery - Traditional and Porter. I gave the Porter a try and was really impressed with their classic interpretation of the style, whist the Traditional was a hit with my companion. The young barman who served our food was a comedy of errors (clearly new to the role, but beyond clueless nonetheless), but the landlord made us feel very welcome and clearly had a good rapport with his regulars.
This is a great little pub that, as the previous reviewer remarks, is an integral part of this rural community. We found the place very welcoming to newcomers and enjoyed some good food and beer in a warm, comfortable environment. This was a good find and one that is worth seeking out.

On 29th January 2015 - rating: 8
[User has posted 2472 recommendations about 2472 pubs]

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Pub location see interactive map of local area
Map location corrected by Pub SignMan
Penshurst, 1.69 miles, 32 min walk (show)
Hever, 2.81 miles, 54 min walk (show)
Cowden, 3.09 miles, 59 min walk (show)
Latest updates View all updates for The Castle Inn, Chiddingstone
3rd Aug 2020, 17:41
Review submitted by Just a quick pint, then I'm off
3rd Aug 2020, 09:15
Picture submitted by Just a quick pint, then I'm off approved

Pub Details

Pub details supplied by members of this site to the best of their knowledge. Please check with pub directly before making a special trip.

  • Accommodation : No last updated 29 January 2015 by Pub SignMan
  • Bar Billiards : No last updated 29 January 2015 by Pub SignMan
  • Beer Garden : Yes last updated 25 April 2011 by hondo .
  • Car Park : No last updated 29 January 2015 by Pub SignMan
  • Child Friendly : Yes last updated 29 January 2015 by Pub SignMan
  • Dog Friendly : Yes last updated 29 January 2015 by Pub SignMan
  • Hot Food : Yes last updated 29 July 2013 by Dave McNally
  • Jukebox : No last updated 29 January 2015 by Pub SignMan
  • Micropub : No last updated 21 June 2015 by Pub SignMan
  • Pinball : No last updated 29 January 2015 by Pub SignMan
  • Pool Table : No last updated 29 January 2015 by Pub SignMan
  • Real Ale : Yes last updated 09 May 2014 by Dave McNally
  • Real Cider : No last updated 29 January 2015 by Pub SignMan
  • WiFi : Yes last updated 29 January 2015 by Pub SignMan
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