Blog post written by Fleur, co-owner of Geography in Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent. 

How lucky are we to live and work in the so-called ‘Garden of England’? Kent acquired this name originally due to “…its abundance of orchards and hop gardens. In particular…producing tree-grown fruits, strawberries, and hazelnuts.” And while the hop gardens may now be few and far between, an ever-growing number of vineyards call Kent home, producing some world class still and sparkling wines.

So, what better place for a wine bar than at the heart of this, on Royal Tunbridge Wells pretty High Street?  At Geography, whilst our wine list features some global superstars, we put local produce and producers at the heart of what we do. And when local often means exceptional, it’s not hard to champion them.

We were originally going to call Geography ‘Terroir’ but then wondered if that really said enough about us (plus the name was already synonymous with the legendary London wine bar which now sadly no longer exists). So we came up with ‘Geography’ which tells the same story but in a broader sense, better suiting who we are and what we do. It encompasses wines’ ‘Terroir’ – “…the complete natural environment in which a particular wine is produced, including factors such as the soil, topography, and climate.” – but also, encompasses our core pillars of ‘People, Produce & Place’.

Over the last year, we have partnered with ‘The Wine Garden of England’, a collection of some of Kent’s best wineries, showcasing a selection of the wonderful wines being produced on our doorstep via a series of ‘residencies’. From Balfour Winery at Hush Heath Estate in Marden to Gusbourne near Appledore and Simpsons Wine Estate near Canterbury, it’s been a great way to promote local and give our guests a taste of what’s available right here in Kent.

Going forward we’ll be working with other local wineries across Kent & Sussex in a similar way so look out for details of the new residencies on our website or via our socials at @geographytw

But it’s not all about wine. All bar one of our gins are from Kent or Sussex including Tunbridge Wells’ very own Pipehouse Gin and the wonderful Greensand Ridge from Shipbourne. Plus we have Heathfields’ Gun Brewery in cans and on draught, Tenterden Cider in bottle, dessert wine from Biddenden and juices from Balfour.

And when it comes to our grazing boards, 100% of our cheeses and charcuterie are from Kent and Sussex producers – whether from the wonderful Arthur at Allsop & Walker in Mayfield or from the equally lovely Bill from North Charcuterie in East Farleigh, local is where it’s at.

So whether you’re joining us for date night, girls night, a Sunday session of live music, a private party in the Darwin Room or even our book club, you can be absolutely certain that we will always have something wonderfully local to offer you.

Photography credit Hannah Patterson, Key & Quill