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Castle Inn to reopen in Chiddingstone

Castle Inn to reopen in Chiddingstone


Nick Naismith is to open his second Kent pub next month. Naismith, who runs the Wheatsheaf in Bough Beech, has acquired a lease for the Castle Inn in nearby Chiddingston from the National Trust. The pub will reopen in March – nearly a year after it shut. The grade II-listed Tudor building, is undergoing renovation. The pub will serve Larkins ale, brewed in Chiddingstone, and a traditional menu with local produce.

“Living locally, I understand the importance of The Castle Inn to Chiddingstone and I’m glad to have the opportunity to bring it back to life,” said Naismith.


Sandwich Salutation

Sandwich Salutation


Kent chef patron Richard Phillips has announced a new fine dining restaurant, The Salutation, at a Grade I listed country retreat, due to reopen in Sandwich this Spring.

Ahead of the launch Phillips, who also owns Thackeray’s in Tunbridge Wells, The Pearson’s Arms in Whitstable and The Windmill in Hollingbourne, is unveiling the first phase an extensive restoration.

Overnight accommodation features a selection of grand bedrooms in the main house, and several adjacent cottages


French Brasserie to Tunbridge Wells

French Brasserie to Tunbridge Wells


Tunbridge Wells-based restaurateurs Maurizio and Ivan Di Santo are to open their second site in the town. The brothers, who opened the Soprano tapas bar and restaurant on the High Street 10 years ago, are launching a French brasserie concept in Vale Road. They have been granted planning permission by to convert the former Kent and Sussex Silver Jewellers.

The two-storey restaurant, which will feature a ground floor and a 26-seater restaurant upstairs, is expected to open in March, with a cellar for wine-related events opening by September. The 30-cover brasserie which will have a bar area for aperitifs. The menu will be seasonal, changing every two to three months, while the wine list will have more than 100 wines.


Faversham Pub Changes Hand

Faversham Pub Changes Hand


Kent-based pub operator Andy Jordan-Smith has acquired his second site. Jordan-Smith, who owns The White Horse Inn in the village of Bridge, has acquired the Phoenix Tavern in Faversham. He bought the site from his friend
David Selves, who also owns the four-star Faversham Creek Hotel in the town.

“David transformed the pub into a hub where people could enjoy fine cask ales, quality wines and smooth malt whiskies.,” said Jordan-Smith who added, “My intention is to pick up the reins and keep the high standards expected by staff and customers.”

Selves said it was with some 'sadness' that he was giving up its reins, though he will continue as director under the new management from February.

The building, dating from 1330, was refurbished seven years ago.

Mr Selves, who also owns the four-star The Faversham Creek Hotel in Conduit Street with his wife Tracy, added: "The pub has no televisions, computer games or alcopops even though I was warned it wouldn't work.

"But I also wanted it as a place where women could feel comfortable going on their own for a glass of wine and I'm proud to say that is still a significant part of our trade."

Mr Selves said he decided to sell the pub as he was nearing 70 and wanted a physically less demanding life.

Mr Selves said he decided to sell the pub as he was nearing 70 and wanted a physically less demanding life.

He added: "I have other things that I want to pursue in the last quarter of my life that require less overseeing so the time is right."
Mr Jordan-Smith, who runs a consultancy business, and owns The White Horse Inn at Bridge, said Mr Selves was the main reason he started visiting and enjoying a drink at the Phoenix before becoming good friends.


Indian Craft Beer at Booker and Makro

Indian Craft Beer at Booker and Makro


Goa, the premium craft beer import, is now being trialled in 650ml bottles and 500ml cans for three months - at selective Booker and Makro whole outlets, including: Brighton, Sidcup, Medway and Charlton – ahead of a decision whether to roll out the product nationwide.

As part of a national recruitment drive, the company's new MD, former Cobra Channel Controller, has hired a van sales team making the gluten-free pilsner style beer available through independent high street retailers.

"We know from feedback from test restaurants, that there is an enormous demand for a premium imported beer, especially one that’s gluten free," said Parmar, adding; "Today’s more discerning diners want authenticity – and that applies to the drink as well as food. Drinkers expressed a preference for a genuine imported beer, rather than one brewed in the UK under licence.”

Although Goa Premium Beer is positioned as a ‘world beer’ rather than one just to be enjoy with a curry, the UK’s 10,000 Indian and Bangladeshi venues are a key market for the product.

The company is backing restaurant promotions such as charity nights, authentic gourmet dining events and the introduction of gluten-free menus and is also looking to support the sector’s hard working front of house teams, with a unique ‘Brand Ambassador’ scheme which will incentivise front line employees at the point of sale, to generate awareness amongst their best customers.

Goa Premium Beer with a 4.8% ABV gluten-free beer, sells on trade for between £4.50 - £4.95 in bottles and off-trade at c£1.40 in 500ml cans.

The beer is brewed in Goa by the family-run boutique Impala Distillery & Brewery, which was acquired in 2015 by Bollywood actor and film producer Sachiin Joshi.



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