insideKENT Magazine insideKENT Issue 68 Nov 2017 - Page 93

FOOD+DRINK WINTER Warmer PUBS cont. The Poet at Matfield The Poet at Matfield MATFIELD If you like gin, you’ll love visiting The Poet at Matfield. There are 27 different types of gin available here, and although you (probably) won’t want to try them all in one go, that does give you the perfect reason to return to this most delightful of cosy pubs. The Poet at Matfield was recently awarded the Muddy Stilettos award for best destination pub in Kent; it’s fairly hidden away, and you may not come across it if you don’t know it’s there – once you do know, however, you’ll want to return again and again. The building is Grade II listed, so you know it’s going to be stunning before you even step foot inside and you wouldn’t be wrong. This is the picture-perfect country pub for a freezing cold winter’s day, with its dark wooden beams and exposed brickwork. There is, of course, an open fire (no self respecting pub in these parts would be seen without one) to sit by and warm your chilled bones after a bracing countryside walk. The Chaser Inn SHIPBOURNE Whether you come to The Chaser Inn in Shipbourne for a meal, or just to sit and sip something festive, it is always going to offer you a warm welcome, an even warmer atmosphere and a gorgeous setting. This is where you can find epic Sunday roasts and walk on polished wooden floorboards covered in lush rugs. It is luxury in a local setting – you can look out over the village green and church – and the food is hearty and substantial; great for filling up after a long walk in the country. The dining room itself is large enough so that you won’t feel cramped (the ceiling is timber vaulted), but not so large that it loses its cosy appeal. The Cricketers Inn MEOPHAM Since Kentish cricket is said to have originated in Meopham in 1776, it seems only right that this most central of village pubs is named after the sport. The bar’s red ceiling really does bring home the cosiness on a nippy winter’s day, and when the evening rolls around it seems to bring out something rather festive, even if Christmas is too far away to think about, or has been and gone for another year. The log fire is slightly raised, which is a nice touch as it means that no matter