Clare Lush Mansell of My Tunbridge WellsOne of the things I love about living in Kent (aka The Garden of England) is the super selection of country pubs. When the weather is good, dining outdoors is an attractive option and seeking out beautiful beer gardens around Tunbridge Wells is something I really enjoy doing. Here are seven of my favourites…

#1 The Beacon, Rusthall

The Beacon by David HodgkinsonThe Beacon in Rusthall has an awesome outdoor terrace and is a wonderful place to enjoy a meal or drinks on a summer’s day. The grounds of the Beacon stretch across seventeen acres known as the ‘Happy Valley’ and have completely unrivalled views of the countryside and its 3 lovely lakes. It has been recently transformed after being taken over by the I’ll Be Mother group.

There’s plenty of parking, though it is also walkable from central Royal Tunbridge Wells (probably around 20 minutes). The food is sublime – a particular favourite of mine is the dark chocolate tartlet with honeycomb though nearly everything on the menu looks good to me!

#2 George and Dragon, Speldhurst

This is one of the first country pubs I visited after moving to Tunbridge Wells. Located in the lovely village of Speldhurst, the George and Dragon Inn is steeped in history, dating back to the 13th Century. I have always enjoyed dining there and love that the menu is full of local and seasonal food.

There is a really relaxed vibe to the George and Dragon and the beer garden which is located to the side of the pub is a little sun-trap in summer. There is also outdoor seating at the front of the pub which is handy on a busy day.

#3 The Goudhurst Inn, Goudhurst

Following a recent takeover by the Hush Heath Group, The Goudhurst Inn is fast becoming popular for a pub lunch in the picturesque countryside. There’s a good sized garden with plenty of seating looking onto rolling fields and, if you fancy making a day of it, you could also pop in to the Hush Heath Estate, in Staplehurst, to take a tour of the winery.

If you have kids in tow, then they are bound to enjoy the children’s play area too. The Pizza & BBQ shack has been cooking up a storm, making this the perfect place for a relaxed afternoon outdoors.

#4 The Little Brown Jug, Chiddingstone Causeway

I have been to The Little Brown Jug at Chiddingstone Causeway on several occasions, including a family get-together, a few drinks in the garden and a meal with a friend. There’s plenty of outdoor seating there and several outdoor huts which can be pre-booked if you are planning to go there as a group.

Outdoor diners can also choose to eat from the regular menu or purchase something from The Smoke House & BBQ which is located in the garden. The Little Brown Jug is super popular in Summer so get there early if you can!

#5 The Mount Edgcumbe, Royal Tunbridge Wells

Poacher and Partridge by David HodgkinsonIf you are looking for somewhere to have a drink or meal in the heart of Royal Tunbridge Wells then the Mount Edgecombe is a great option. Located in Mount Ephraim, this quirky venue has a secluded garden with beautiful views over Tunbridge Wells Common – a little piece of tranquility in a bustling town.

It’s quite well hidden away from the road and there is something very charming about this place! Because of its central location, it attracts both couples, families and groups. It’s recently extended outdoor terraced area is a super place to be when the sun is shining. People with their pooches are welcome too – The Mount Edgcumbe provides tie rings, water bowls and outdoor taps for them too.

#6 Poacher & Partridge, Tudeley

We first visited The Poacher & Partridge just over a year ago for a family member’s special birthday. Located just outside the village of Tudeley, this place has a real country feel to it.

The Poacher & Partridge has a glorious beer garden outside which has gorgeous views over the countryside, as well as a kiddies play area and outside bar and grill. We really enjoyed the traditional Sunday lunch and plan to go back there for pizzas from the wood fired oven soon!

#7 The Vineyard, Lamberhurst

Under the same ownership as The Poacher & Partridge, we have visited The Vineyard in Lamberhurst several times over the last few years.  The food has been consistently good and the gorgeous garden is both generous in size with plenty of seating but also child friendly too.

They have outdoor play equipment as well as an outdoor bar and grill for guests who are looking for a more casual dinning experience. Check out Happy Hour during the weekday afternoons, with two-for-one cocktails and if you really want to treat yourself, then the grilled whole langoustines are out of this world!

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Look out for the next blog coming soon.