Published: 06:00, 09 October 2020
| Updated: 08:34, 09 October 2020
Approaching The Sun, near Sittingbourne , from the lanes to the south west on a dark, windswept evening you could be forgiven for remembering the famous scene from American Werewolf in London.
But, with the glow of light from the pub welcoming you like a beacon through the darkness - it’s a completely different story when you step through the door.
For a start, it’s a cavernous place - it's bright and airy and there was a warm welcome from behind the bar.
The place was pretty packed on a Saturday evening and the only seating available was just outside the kitchen door. As I say, everyone was friendly from behind their masks but where we were placed did remind me just a little of a hospital waiting room.
Before we could sit down the waitress insisted on getting a mop from the kitchen and cleaning right round our table and table – I thought the Covid rules had been ramped up until she explained the previous customers had knocked over a few drinks.
Elsewhere, there were several staff going around wiping down every surface in sight and the attention to detail was impressive. The result was more of a clinical feel, rather than a cosy atmosphere, but this is, sadly, a sign of the times.
The staff were all dressed from head to toe in black and with masks on as well they looked a bit like ninjas.
It’s very obvious that whoever carried out the last major makeover of The Sun took a decision this needed to be a pub set out for diners and dining.
Prior to this there used to be a pool table out front but it has long since gone to make way for more tables, this is definitely a pub which is all about the food.
Many, many moons ago Mrs SD reckons she remembers being brought here by me (though I have zero recollection of this) and swears blind it used to be painted terracotta and red – any such garish decoration is long gone now in favour of a more beige and trendy palette.
Then, just as I was beginning to convince Mrs SD she must have dreamt it, we met a staff member who’d worked at the place for nine years. Not only could she testify to the previous colour scheme, but she also confirmed the place has been done up quite a few times across the years.
She went on to tell us it used to be a great venue for bands but sadly if they now try to put music on people don’t seem to want to hang around.
By taking a circumnavigatory route to the facilities I was able to take a brief walk through the bar and it’s clear the older punters prefer the front of the bar and leave the back section to the youngsters. It was also clear the younger folk were nowhere near as good at remembering to wear their masks as the biddies.
I took a quick snap of the front bar to show you, my loyal SD readers, and two hard-working bar staff kindly took a moment to pose for the shot.
They joked that I should make them famous – sadly this isn’t within my power, but I appreciate the confidence they had in me.
Drinks wise Mrs SD went for her usual tipple before switching across to the red with what she described as a ‘very good’ Malbec.
I road tested the most local beer on offer and started with a pint of 3.6% Trigger pale ale (fresh and clear with a pleasant fruitiness), followed up with the 4% Ball Puller bitter (smoother with a good aftertaste). Both beers are produced by the Musket Brewery just outside Linton, near Maidstone, and both were extremely good.
As the lady who’s worked here for nearly a decade says, the pub is ‘in the middle of nowhere’ but if you’re prepared to make the effort to find then I’m sure you will enjoy The Sun.
The next time I head for the moors I’ll make sure I haven’t eaten first and can also report back on the quality of the food.
The Sun Inn – The Street, Bredgar, Sittingbourne ME9 8EY
Decor: There are signs of the pub’s history, particularly in the front bar, but the majority of the pub is modern and has undergone several recent refurbishments ***
Drink: Good to see local beers being stocked and there’s plenty of choice on offer whatever you drink ***
Price: Both the Trigger and the Ball Puller were £4.50 a pint. The Hop House 13 or Birra Moretti will set you back £5.20. Mrs SD’s Sav Blanc was £6.70 and the Malbec 50p more. **
Atmosphere: Most folk were in to dine and you can tell the pub has been adapted to include as many covers as possible ***
Staff: Fully masked and armed with disinfectant, the ninjas were attentive and pleasant. They were even happy to pose for an occasional photo. ****
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