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The best pubs in west Kent according to CAMRA

By Ed McConnell

Fancy a guaranteed good pint this Bank Holiday Monday? The Campaign for Real Ale has announced the best pubs in west Kent.

In addition the organisation's Maidstone and Mid Kent branch has also crowned its champion.

The west Kent branch covers Sevenoaks, Tonbridge, Tunbridge Wells, Edenbridge and Westerham.

Take a look at this guide to micro pubs which you can get to by train. Picture: John Humphreys
Take a look at this guide to micro pubs which you can get to by train. Picture: John Humphreys

This year Fuggles Beer Cafe, in Grosvenor Road, Tunbridge Wells, was named best in the region.

It came first in three of five categories and was lauded as setting new standards for customer service and staff knowledge.

It knocked The Windmill into second place. The pub, in Windmill Road, Sevenoaks Weald, had topped the list for the last three years.

The Halfway House, in Horsmonden Road, Brenchley, was third and was praised for its top quality beer and enjoyable summer beer festivals.

CAMRA said it was one of the closest contests in recent years, with the top three chopping and changing up until the last minute.

The rest of the top six was made up of The Dovecote Inn, in Alders Road, Capel, near Tonbridge; the Queen’s Arms, in Hartfield Road, Cowden Pound; and The Crown Inn, in Groombridge Hill, Groombridge.

Toad Rock Retreat, in Upper Street, Rusthall, was crowned most improved; The Pantiles Tap, in The Pantiles, Tunbridge Wells, retained its cider pub of the year title; and The Constitutional Club, in Sandrock Road, Tunbridge Wells, was named club of the year.

In Maidstone and mid Kent — which encompasses West Malling, Cranbrook, Sutton Valence, Staplehurst and Maidstone — The Flower Pot, in Sandling Road, clinched the title four years after last winning it.

It was described as a must-visit by the branch which based its selection on decor, cleanliness, service, community focus and atmosphere.

Serving up to 10 real ales and a number of ciders and perries, the freehouse was taken over by landlords David and Julie Davenport in 2006.

Mr Davenport said: “We aim to offer a variety of real ales to suit all palates and tastes and the award is a sign our approach is popular with our regulars, CAMRA members and drinkers from further afield.”

The Flower Pot will now compete against Fuggles for the chance to progress to the regional and national voting stages.

The mini micropub revolution sweeping Kent.

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