The best pubs with rooms in Kent, including London-style gin bars and posh Kentish fare

The best pubs with rooms in Kent, including London-style gin bars and posh Kentish fare

These are unusual times, and the state of affairs can change quickly. Please check the latest travel guidance before making your journey. Note that our writer visited pre-pandemic.

Home to over 1,000 pubs and Britain’s oldest brewery, Shepherd Neame, locals will tell you that Kent is the spiritual home of England’s medieval pub. The county’s wonky inns, warmed by vast inglenook fireplaces and bedecked with hops, have served locally brewed ales and provided refuge to pilgrims bound for Canterbury and travellers heading for the Channel for centuries.

As you discover Kent’s cosy, candle-lit pubs and flower-filled gardens today, in rural settings such as the North Downs and Kent Weald and urban spots like Canterbury and Sissinghurst, it seems that little has changed. However, contemporary pilgrims can expect local brews in addition to fine dining, gin bars and plush bedrooms complete with four-poster beds, roll-top baths and organic toiletries. Here’s our pick of the best pubs with rooms in Kent.

Five Bells Inn Brabourne

North Downs, England

8
Telegraph expert rating

A deeply atmospheric 16th-century country inn set amidst the rolling North Downs. It was once frequented by travellers following the Pilgrims Way between London, Canterbury and France. Today’s visitors will find a welcoming drinking hole with excellent cuisine and four eclectic bedrooms. The authentic pub feel is combined with design touches like exposed-brick walls, sheep skins draped over antique chairs, and an old village-style corner shop selling local jams, wines and soaps. Eclectic touches in the room might include a leopard-print throne or a two-person bath.


Read expert review


From


£
120

per night

The Dog at Wingham

Wingham, Kent, England

8
Telegraph expert rating

The pub dates back to the 13th century and retains period features such as thick timber beams, large open fires and vaulted ceilings. The Brigden family have joined forces to renovate, decorate and operate the pub, with mother Marilyn handling interiors and son Mark managing the day-to-day operation. The resulting contemporary interiors, London-style gin bar and excellent cuisine have won over locals and drawn national acclaim. Expect the likes of crisp pork collar with chorizo dumplings or Thai chicken with pistachio terrine.


Read expert review


From


£
140

per night

Rates provided by
Booking.com

The Duke William

Ickham, Canterbury, England

8
Telegraph expert rating

A historic Kentish country pub injected with big-name chef Mark Sargeant’s signature style and upscale dining. With four bedrooms above the bar, you can sample the Duke’s selection of local ales, gins and wines, and stumble upstairs to bed after tackling Sargeant’s generous portions. The restaurant menu is a roll call of posh Kentish pub grub: potted Dungeness shrimps; and whole roasted partridge with creamed parsnip for example. The Duke’s sleeping quarters are snug but artfully decorated; adopting the style of old school rooms, they feature wrought-iron beds, timber tables and retro radios.


Read expert review


From


£
120

per night

Rates provided by
Booking.com

The Milk House

Sissinghurst, Kent, England

8
Telegraph expert rating

A Sissinghurst hotel offering contemporary rooms, good food and a thriving bar. Locals attend in hoards; even on a Monday evening, the place is packed. The decoration suits the new name of the place, with creamy white and pale moss colours and country furniture. Carrying on the dairy theme, bedrooms are painted in milky colours and called Churn, Byre and Buttery, while the manager’s quarters are marked Udderly Private. Go for the Byre, the largest room with a roll-top bath in a vaulted bathroom overlooking pretty orchards. The food is straightforward but enjoyable.


Read expert review


From


£
95

per night

The Corner House Canterbury

Canterbury, Kent, England

8
Telegraph expert rating

This sensitively restored medieval pub set just outside Canterbury’s historic city walls dates to 1574 and is rumoured to have counted Charles Dickens amongst its patrons. Owner and chef Matt Sworder’s food is unpretentious, hearty, inexpensive and very British: signature dishes might include Stour Valley venison and mushroom suet pudding, and Bethersden beef brisket with beef jus and triple cooked chips. There are four bedrooms. Given the age of the building, sloping floors, low beamed ceilings and original fireplaces are standard.


Read expert review


From


£
83

per night

Rates provided by
Booking.com

Woolpack Inn

Warehorne, England

8
Telegraph expert rating

An historical Kentish pub with an idyllic setting above the marshes, amidst fields of grazing sheep and opposite a church. Champagne-bottle candelabras and terracotta dishes full of plump olives add to the rustic feel. The south-facing terrace features wooden tables built around planters overflowing with geraniums, ivy and jasmine. Bedroom features might include a roll-top slipper bath, a fake mounted cow’s head or ornate carved bed. Expect pub classics with a gourmet twist in the restaurant, such as slow-roasted, whiskey-glazed pork ribs served with a Jack Daniels sour.


Read expert review


From


£
80

per night

Rates provided by
Booking.com

The Three Chimneys

Biddenden, England

8
Telegraph expert rating

A popular 15th-century Kentish pub with bags of character in walking distance of Sissinghurst Castle. Rooms are reminiscent of shooting lodges, with printed fabrics, paintings and sculptures relating to the animal after which they are named. Their French doors open onto the secluded, willow-fenced garden. Chambers also feature comfortable super king-sized beds, generous tea trays and plush toiletries. Food, which can be enjoyed in a candle-lit corner of the pub, is uncomplicated and hearty, capitalising on Kentish produce with favourites including pan-roasted rack of lamb and ribeye steak.


Read expert review


From


£
130

per night

The Barrow House

Egerton, Kent, England

8
Telegraph expert rating

Like its sibling, The Milk House, also owned by Sarah and Dane Allchorne (they met when he was chef and she manager at a London catering company), The Barrow House has been given a contemporary look without undermining its countrified atmosphere. It has an airy feel, with paintwork in pretty, chalky blues and creams, a stone floor, a long bar and sofas in front of an open fire in one section. The signatures of American and Canadian airmen, who frequented the George in World War II, can be seen in the bar. There are three attractive bedrooms upstairs with lovely big beds.


Read expert review


From


£
80

per night

Contributions by Fiona Duncan