Published: 06:00, 29 August 2019
| Updated: 08:02, 29 August 2019
Our exclusive pictures give a sneak preview into the county's newest pub, where £1.1 million has been spent.
Businessman Martial Chaussy is behind the lavish refurbishment of the Grade II-listed building in Bethersden, formerly Indian restaurant the Mumbai Gate.
The Pig & Sty opens its doors on the evening of Saturday, September 21 with a party, and is the ninth business in the Elite Pubs chain that also includes The Herbalist, which opened last May in Maidstone town centre, together with a late-night cocktail and music venue, Junipers.
Mr Chaussy will employ 30 people at the location and he is promising that the pub, the name of which is a nod to Bethersden’s 1,000-year history of pig-breeding, will be "a real cracker".
It’s a return to the building’s roots, previous incarnations of which included the Royal Spice Indian restaurant, Chinese restaurant 1 Thirty Six, the Cinnamon Lounge, and the Mumbai Gate.
Originally the Royal Standard pub, it’s more than a decade since the last pint was pulled, and Mr Chaussy says his aim is to restore a traditional British pub to the rural beauty spot on the corner of the A28 and Standard Lane.
“It’s a place where people can meet, chat and enjoy time with their families in a very informal way, which you can’t do in a restaurant,” he said.
“The British pub is where anyone feels welcome from the ordinary working person to the chief executive.”
The 47-year-old Frenchman, who believes there’s nothing quite like the British pub, honed in on Bethersden, saying: “I really like the location and the size of the building is important to what we want to achieve.”
Open fires, exposed beams and brickwork, together with rustic floors are intended to set the tone of the hostelry as a cosy retreat in which to sup a pint.
As well as the traditional bar, the Pig & Sty offers a large open plan "light-filled" dining room providing 120 covers and featuring a wood-burning pizza oven where customers can see their pizzas being made.
There will also be a private dining room seating 35, with a rocking-horse theme that has been created in association with the Stevenson Brothers of Bethersden.
A vast garden and children’s play area will feature, as well as a covered terrace area with a burger shack, seating 50.
Mr Chaussy said: “We are fully committed to delivering a real cracker.”