You will be heartened to know, dear reader, that over the past weeks the Revolt has tirelessly (and sometimes been a bit tired and emotional) toured the pubs of the village. Our views of the local hostelries remain broadly the same as set out in the ‘Blogheath Boozer‘ section, but here are a few insights from our recent travels.
The Railway is starting to look a bit tired and it seems to repeatedly have scaffolding up or work being done on the outside. The recent(ish) refurb of the Princess shows what a makeover can do. Can still find a decent pint of ale though, the quiz (now seems to be Sunday) was always a laugh, and there is good use of the limited outdoor space.
The Crown has lost a function room and gained a wine bar upstairs, Todd’s. The Radicals are yet to fully road test it but assume it is something Shepherd Neame think will work. The Revolt feels that, as the Crown has limited seating downstairs just expanding the pub area might have been sufficient. This Radical, and ale drinking deputies, find Shepherd Neame beers increasingly disappointing, although the Whitstable Bay has now become beer of choice in the Crown.
We forgot to go to O’Neill’s.
Mordens is still the same and rather unappealing. This is somewhat of a shame as the terraced garden at the rear is quite pleasant.
The Princess of Wales refurb also refreshed the Revolt view and is becoming a firm favourite again. With the first decent sunshine of the year your Radicals were on the heath with plastic cups (taking care, disappointingly unlike many, to return them to the bar or a bin with space) and some of the sights are a wonder to behold: chavs always amaze. Unfortunately the service behind the bar is still poor and not helped by the uncouth. Plenty of staff yet when it is busy it can be hard to get served and the dreaded call ‘who’s next please?’. That many staff should be able to focus on separate areas of the bar rather than cluster or go all over the place. It would be much more efficient and a better customer experience. Suffice to say the Radical’s have walked out once due to the service.
Zero Degrees, after the disappointment of the rebuild and focus on the restaurant, has been tempting us once again. Still some good beers; seating outside. Although the floor is still a bit disorientating…
A good charcuterie, cheese selection, mix or some more substantial food offerings are still available at Le Bouchon, along with a decent wine list and pleasant atmosphere. A firm favourite if when not in the mood for a pint and now well established in the village (some of the slightly alarmist concerns about it bringing armageddon are yet to be born out).
And after a meander through the village a wander up to the Hare and Billet is appropriate. Slightly out of the bustle but still popular and one of the best selections of ale of our pubs. The recent addition of free cucumber water is not something we wish to understand or try.
In contrast to cucumber water the Dacre Arms, one Radical’s local outside the village, remains pretty much the same. As summer approaches remember it has a decent beer garden out back too.
One final thought is that, despite some pretensions, none of the pubs offer anything beyond a fairly standard fare of food and we’re yet to find a decent Sunday lunch – on this, the last outing took us to The Old Brewery in Greenwich that served a cracking roast. But we have many a good restaurant so this is not a big concern for the Revolt.
In short, still a good selection of hostels that cater to most tastes. And the Revolt will remain vigilant in visiting them on a regular basis…