The Three Chimneys
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The Three Chimneys
If you end up staring at the roof of this pub for long enough, you might just make out the three chimneys. Of course you will also have consumed rather too much of the real ales available as they don't exist. Three chimneys is a corruption of the French “trois chemins” (or three lanes) and a clue to the name is on the inn sign, depicting a traveller at a three-way crossroads.
This country pub is on the lanes of the A262 west of Biddenden.
During the Napoleonic wars the pub marked the boundary beyond which French prisoners imprisoned at Sissinghurst Castle could not roam freely without being deemed to have absconded. not that would have liked the ale on sale of course.
The timbered building, which dates back to the 16th century, is pure Kentish picture postcard. Opposite is an oast house (an oast being a kiln for drying hops) and the bar is decorated with hop bins. It is a maze of unspoilt rooms, all rough panelling, stripped brick, faded paintwork, ancient timber, smouldering fires, candlelight, and no music or arcade games.
Adnams and local Shepherd Neame ales are tapped straight from the cask. There’s also a heady cider from a local farm and English wine from Biddenden Vineyard.
Modern-day demands have lead to the addition of the Garden Room, a heated patio and there’s also a vast garden, all perfect for summer dining. Food is listed on daily-changing chalkboards. Arrive early to bag a table in the bar, especially in winter.
Tuck into a hearty ploughman’s lunch - a slab of Stilton with crusty bread, salad and pickles - or a light meal/starter of red lentil and tomato soup or potted shrimps.
For something more substantial, there’s roast cod on wilted spinach with chive velouté, or local pork sausages with mash and port and red wine gravy. If you can find a space for pudding, try the rhubarb and apple crumble.
None as yet
Shepherd Neame Spitfire
plus a real cider
Tudor Cottage, 25 High Street,
Biddenden, Kent TN27 8AL, UK
Price: D:£40-55, S:£30-40