The Kings Head Pub with rooms in Wye, Kent

Prices from:
£70 per night

David Hancock says:

  • Thriving village inn; revamped 2015
  • Contemporary feel; relaxed vibe
  • Passion for Kent artisan producers
  • Scott & Mark are great hosts
  • Simple, minimalist style rooms
  • Stunning downland walks on doorstep
  • Very dog-friendly; treats on the bar

Muddy PawsGood for WalkingOutdoor PursuitsGreen FingersVisit a Stately Pile90 Minutes from LondonNo Car Needed15 Minutes from the Motorway

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Call this inn 01233 210728

Overview

The Kings Head Wye, Kent, TN25 5BN

The personal touch

Looking for a new challenge well away from their hectic lives in the music and fashion industry, Scott Richardson and Mark Lightford took on lease of the Kings Head in pretty Wye village in 2013. With the help of owners Shepherd Neame Brewery they have successfully transformed the former 18th-century coaching inn from a run-down drinker’s pub into a thriving foodie pub with rooms. What’s more, they have refurbished the old pub with style and panache, adding quirky, contemporary touches in the re-worked bar-cum-dining room, with soothing heritage hues, wooden floors, upholstered bench seating, old pine tables topped with fresh flowers, walls adorned with Mark’s excellent photographs of local scenes, and leather chairs and a ‘trunk’ table beside the double-sided open fire in a cosy corner. Scott and Mark are hands-on hosts and have created a relaxed, chilled vibe, opening the doors at 8am for breakfasts, welcoming dogs and children throughout, offering afternoon tea and cake, and creating a food and drinks list that showcases the best artisan suppliers in Kent. Opening the rooms in 2015 was the icing on the cake – Wye is just over an hour from London and the surrounding North Downs landscape is perfect for walking and cycling.

Sticky fingers

Kids are made very welcome throughout the pub; they have their own menu and the family room accommodates two children

Muddy paws

Your canine companion is welcome in the bar and you can treat them with doggie beer and home-baked biscuits. Dogs are also allowed to stay overnight; extra £10

Alfresco

Watch the world go by at one of the pavement tables, which enjoy views to the church, or retreat to a table in the Coach House alleyway or on the secluded rear terrace

What’s on

Vintage & Brocante Fairs in the coach house alleyway; regular food and wine evenings with local suppliers – Hush Heath Wine; Stour Valley Game; live Jazz on Wednesday evenings

What’s the Damage?
6 doubles/twin; 1 family room £70-£110

What Else?

  • All credit cards taken
  • Alfresco dining
  • Private dining
  • Disabled access to bar & dining room
  • Parking – along Church Street; free car park nearby

Gongs

Top 50 Gastropub Awards 2017 (Number 25); National Finalist Great British Pub Awards 2016

Sleep

The Kings Head Wye, Kent, TN25 5BN

Do not disturb

Refurbished rooms are modern and minimalist is style and ramble across three floors, each one simply and tastefully decorated with grey or cream painted panelled walls, reclaimed and vintage furniture, and comfortable hand-made wooden beds, with gold or lime green throws and brightly pattern cushions adding a splash of colour. Bathrooms have either walk-in showers or shower over baths, with the deluxe, top-floor double having a roll-top tub in the bathroom.

Creature comforts

Blackout blinds; Caroline Henry soaps & toiletries

Gadgets

Television & digital radio; free wi-fi

What’s for Breakfast?

Muesli or granola; porridge with maple syrup; breakfast sandwich; scrambled egg & smoked salmon; eggs Benedict; avocado, grilled tomatoes, poached eggs & toast; full English & vegetarian breakfast

What’s the Damage?
6 doubles/twin; 1 family room £70-£110

What Else?

  • All credit cards taken
  • Alfresco dining
  • Private dining
  • Disabled access to bar & dining room
  • Parking – along Church Street; free car park nearby

Gongs

Top 50 Gastropub Awards 2017 (Number 25); National Finalist Great British Pub Awards 2016

Eat & Drink

The Kings Head Wye, Kent, TN25 5BN

Mastering the menu

Chalkboards in the bar championing Kent’s artisan food and drink producers and a dresser laden with Wye-based Wooden Spoon chutneys and conserves underline Scott and Mark’s passion for sourcing the best produce available in the area and supporting small, innovative local businesses. Local really means local at the Kings Head, your free-range eggs at breakfast come from Tom in the neighbouring village of Brook, and Wye farmer Jim rears the delicious lamb, which may translate as rump & slow cooked shoulder Romney Marsh lamb, with roasting juices and greens on the seasonal menu. Local, estate shot game comes from Stour Valley Game, just up the valley in Chilham, vegetables come Perry Court Farm near Faversham, and everything is freshly prepared in the kitchen, including the breads.

On the menu

(Starters: £6-£8.50; Main Courses: £10-£23; Desserts £5.50-£9)

Ham hock & parsley terrine, pease pudding, scotch quail egg; garlic & chilli prawns, guacamole, sour dough

Kings Head burger, green slaw, tomato & chilli relish, mustard mayo; confit duck leg, braised lettuce, peas & bacon; beer battered fish & chips; Rye smoked haddock, creamed spinach, sauté potatoes and poached duck egg

Caramelised vanilla rice pudding; chocolate fondue, madeleines, marshmallow & pear

 

Lighter Bites

(£7-£8)

Ploughman’s; bacon & chicken club sandwich; smoked salmon & herb omelette, fries & salad

Sunday Roasts

(£14-£18)

Beef, lamb, pork, chicken, mixed roast, or roast vegetable & lentil Wellington – served with roasties, cauliflower cheese, honey roast root vegetables, Yorkshire pudding & ale gravy

Time to Eat

Breakfast: 8am – 10am
Lunch: 12 noon – 3pm
Dinner: 6pm – 9.30pm

Local, Local, Local

Game – Stour Valley Game, Chilham (www.stourvalleygame.co.uk)

Fish – PH Fish, Hastings (day boats)

Eggs – Tom the egg man, Brook

Meat – Village Green Meats, Ashford

Lamb – Jim, local farmer

Vegetables – Perry Court Farm, Faversham (www.perrycourtfarm.co.uk)

Gin – Anno, Marden, Kent; Blackdown, Lurgashall, West Sussex; Copper Rivet, Chatham Dockyard, Kent

Wine – Hush Heath Estate, Marden; Gusborne Estate, Appledore, Kent (see Food Trails)

Beer – Shepherd Neame Brewery, Faversham (see Food Trail)

Tea & Coffee – Kent & Sussex Tea & Coffee Company, Pluckley (www.tea-and-coffee.com)

Behind the bar

Scott & Mark are passionate about offering an eclectic and interesting choice of drinks and the bar is chock-full local goodies, from Kentish gins (Anno & Dockyard) and tip-top beer from Shepherd Neame, brewed in nearby Faversham, to excellent local wines from Hush Heath Estate and Gusborne Vineyard near Appledore, with the latter offered by the glass. Even the mineral water in Kentish (Kingsdown), as are some of the juices (Perry Court Farm) and tea and coffee is supplied by the Kent & Sussex Tea & Coffee Company based in Pluckley, near Ashford – commendable indeed.

Bar snacks

(£3-£6)

Sausage rolls; cheese straws; sharing plates – pickled eggs & Kent crisps; Weald Smokery charcuterie; Ashmore Cheese croquettes & tomato chilli relish

Time at the bar

8am – 11pm (10pm Sunday – Tuesday)

What’s the Damage?
6 doubles/twin; 1 family room £70-£110

What Else?

  • All credit cards taken
  • Alfresco dining
  • Private dining
  • Disabled access to bar & dining room
  • Parking – along Church Street; free car park nearby

Gongs

Top 50 Gastropub Awards 2017 (Number 25); National Finalist Great British Pub Awards 2016

Food Trail

Take it back home
Tour the brewery that brewed your favourite pint, visit the shop on the farm that reared your delicious Sunday roast beef, and seek out the roadside stalls selling the local crab and samphire on the inn’s menu, the Food Trail features the local artisan producers and suppliers where you can buy to enjoy at home.

Change of scenery
Looking for a pub for lunch following a country walk, a different venue for dinner, or a good café for coffee, light lunch or afternoon tea, then the best in the area are listed below. If you find a new and exciting eatery in the area that’s worthy of a mention on the Food Trail, then please to do let us know – gabrielle@innplaces.co.uk.

1 Inn Location - The Kings Head

2

Anno Gin, Marden TN12 9QJ

Set up by PhD research and development chemists Andy Reason and Norman Lewis, this artisan gin distillery produces Anno Kent Dry Gin in a small batch copper pot still called Patience, using a blend of traditional botanicals with local hops, lavender from Downderry Nursery, samphire from Romney Marsh and wild flowers. Time a visit for a distillery tour and tutored tasting.

3

Silcocks Farm Shop & Cafe, St Michaels, Tenterden TN30 6TL

In a converted barn just outside St Michael’s, this exceptional farm shop sells a range of top quality organic meat and dairy produce from land farmed by the Fenton family for the past 25 years. Rare breed beef, pork and lamb is on offer alongside organic vegetables, and you can refuel at the Silcocks Cafe, which uses the same produce from the farm.

4

Globe Inn Marsh, 10 Military Road, Rye TN31 7NX

In the heart of Rye and close to the coast, this lovely pub specialises in local seafood including Hastings smoked prawns, smoked mackerel and pickled cucumber and fish cakes made from the day's catch. Wash it down with Kentish ciders or Hastings-brewed First In Last Out Gold ale.

5

Chapel Down Vineyard, Smallhythe, Tenterden TN30 7NG

With celebrity supporters, including Gordon Ramsay and Jamie Oliver, Chapel Down is widely regarded as England’s leading wine producer, with award-winning still wines, sparkling wines and craft beers produced amongst the 22 acres of vineyards at Tenterden. The winery and restaurant is open all year round, with guided tours offered between April and November.

6

The Compasses, Crundale CT4 7ES

The Compasses is an attractive 15th-century country inn lost down lanes deep in the North Downs. Worth finding for chef Rob Taylor’s impeccable cooking – his short daily menus work with the seasons and champion local suppliers. Sandwiches and pub classics (with a twist) at lunchtime; great Shepherd Neame ales too.

7

The Goods Shed, Canterbury CT2 8AN

Next to Canterbury West station, this converted engine shed houses a daily farmers market, with an eatery serving the pick of the day’s produce on a raised level. Come for lunch and peruse the vegetable stall (all local produce), the butcher’s, cheese counter and wine merchant, among others, and take some great ingredients home.

8

Macknade Fine Foods, Faversham ME13 8XF

One of the South East’s leading food halls that offers an alternative to shopping in a supermarket. There’s an in store butcher, an impressive deli counter, freshly baked bread, craft beers, local wines, and an excellent café which showcases the fabulous ingredients to be found in the farm shop.

9

Shepherd Neame Brewery, Faversham ME13 7AX

Enjoy an 80-minute tour of Shepherd Neame’s Faversham brewery, which has been entwined in the fabric of the town since 1698. The tour culminates in the Visitor Centre and a tutored tasting of Shepherd Neame’s Kentish ales, and you can visit the Brewery Shop to buy beer to take home.

10

Wye Bakery, 22 Church Street TN25 5BJ

Artisan bakery producing a range of continental and English breads, including spelt and sourdough loaves, as well as rolls and pastries, all freshly made on the premises.

11

Hush Heath Estate, Marden TN12 0HT

Hidden away deep in the Kent countryside, the Estate comprises apple orchards, ancient oak woodlands and beautifully manicured vineyards, the latter producing the award-winning English sparkling wine, Balfour Brut Rose. Wine lovers can visit the winery, stroll through the estate and taste the wine and cider produced on the estate. Guided and tutored tasting tours available.

12

The Sportsman, Seasalter CT5 4BP

A culinary, Michelin starred haven remotely set beside the sea wall amid marshland and caravan sites. Book ahead to sample Steve Harris’s sublime cooking and his short daily menu that brims with local goodies – meat from the saltmarsh, Whitstable oysters, fish from the estuary, and local allotment produce.

13

The Three Mariners, Oare ME13 0QA

Bare boards, open fires, rustic-chic furnishings, hearty menus featuring local seafood and farm reared meats, and a laid-back vibe draw a discerning crowed to this cosy pub in sleepy Oare. Best enjoyed after an invigorating ramble across Oare Marshes.

Out & About

1 Inn Location - The Kings Head

Activities

9

Chart Hills Golf Club Biddenden TN12 8JX

Chart Hills is challenging, beautifully laid out course, designed by Nick Faldo, set in a stunning spot in the Weald, with peaceful views across its 200 acres of parkland, complete with oak woodlands and lakes. It is one of finest courses in the South of England.

10

Kent & East Sussex Railway Tenterden TN30 6HE

The picturesque line weaves between Tenterden and Bodiam for 10.5 miles. Experience travel and service from a bygone age aboard beautifully restored coaches and steam locomotives dating from Victorian times.

11

Headcorn Airfield, Headcorn TN27 9HX

Headcorn Airfield is the place to head for pleasure flights across the Weald, Downs and coast. Alternatively, you can take a trial lesson with an experienced instructor, either flying a light aircraft or even a small helicopter. The Lashenden Air Warfare Museum is also based here, with much WW2 ephemera and a V1 flying bomb.

Shopping

5

Glass Etc, Rye TN31 7NA

Based in a former Salvation Army chapel in Rope Walk in picturesque Rye, Glass Etc is one of Britain's largest shops selling antique and 20th-century glass. A vast stock, not all of it on show, consists of around 30,000 pieces spanning the period c1750-1980.

7

West End House Gallery, Smarden TN27 8QB

West End House is located in the heart of beautiful, historic Smarden. Original artworks on show include paintings, prints, photography, ceramics, glass and jewellery by a wide range of renowned artists and makers.

8

Smallhythe Gallery, Smallhythe, Tenterden TN30 7NB

An exciting gallery exhibiting work by local contemporary artists, with an emphasis on landscape and abstract work. There are also classes in art and creative writing, plus workshops in painting, drawing, poetry and writing for adults and children.

Places to visit

2

Sissinghurst Castle Gardens, Sissinghurst TN17 2AB

Not far from Cranbrook, Sissinghurst's wonderful garden is the enduring legacy of Vita Sackville-West and her husband Harold Nicolson who laboured long and hard to complete this horticultural work of art. There's a lot to see at Sissinghurst, including Vita's tower writing room and nearby lakes and woodland.

3

Smallhythe Place, TN30 7NG

Located in the glorious Weald of Kent, this small 16th-century cottage was the home of the greatly admired Victorian actress, Ellen Terry. Explore this pretty, half-timbered building and discover her fascinating theatrical collection. In the garden stands the thatched Barn Theatre.

4

Rye TN31 7AY

Ten miles north of Hastings, the charming East Sussex town of Rye is filled with picturesque cobbled streets and clay-tiled roofs. Exploring the town really does convey the impression of visiting the set of a period costume drama or film. The National Trust-owned Lamb House, the former home of the American writer Henry James, is located in Rye and open to the public.

6

Bedgebury Pinetum Goudhurst TN17 2SJ

The National Pinetum is home to a world leading collection of conifers and is a centre for International conservation. It also provides a beautiful setting for peaceful walks and picnics. Bedgebury Forest features an adventure play trail, Go Ape, and miles of trails for family cycling, mountain-biking, walking, and running. The café at the Visitor Centre café enjoys panoramic views across the Pinetum.

Walking

www.kent.gov.uk
www.visitkent.co.uk
Kent has more than 4,200 miles (6,700km) of countryside and coastal paths. Chalk cliffs, downland, marshes, beaches – there’s something for everyone. Miles of footpaths and a variety of waymarked long distance routes make the area ideal for walkers. Ashdown Forest provides 2,500 acres of open heathland criss-crossed with pathways and bridleways. The Weald Way runs across Kent and Sussex crossing the chalk ridges of the North and South Downs and through the Weald, stretching almost 80 miles (126.8km). The Greensand Way (108 miles), which links Haslemere in Surrey to Ham Street in Kent, follows the Greensand Ridge. Footpaths from the doorstep of the Kings Head lead to the top of the North Downs and a wealth of walking opportunities, with some fabulous circular walks taking in the North Downs Way and peaceful paths across the rolling and very unspoilt downland landscape.

Cycling

www.kent.gov.uk
www.visitkent.co.uk
The two-wheeled action available ranges from fast-paced mountain biking to family friendly routes. You can hire bikes at Bedgebury National Pinetum, where there are tracks for all levels of ability. The Royal Military Canal, near Rye, is a favourite destination for many families, with long traffic-free sections making it safe and user-friendly. The network of lanes on the North Downs are perfect for cycling.

Getting there

LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION

By Road: Wye is signposted off A28 between Ashford and Chilham, 4 miles north of Ashford

By Rail: Wye station (short walk away) – trains to London Victoria or Charing Cross via Ashford

 

Address:

Church Street, Wye, Kent, TN25 5BN

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