The latest news and social media channels from the Three Chimneys, Biddenden, Kent.
Food at this appealing old cottage is excellent but this is not a straightforward dining pub ? the public bar is quite down to earth, with darts, dominoes and cribbage and real ales tapped from the cask. Served by well trained staff, these include Adnams Southwold, Harveys Best and a guest such as Westerham Spirit of Kent, and they also stock 15 wines plus sparkling wine and champagne by the glass, local Biddenden cider and 13 malt whiskies. The small, low-beamed bar and dining rooms are civilised but informal with plenty of character. They're simply done out with plain wooden furniture and old settles on flagstones and coir matting, some harness and sporting prints on the stripped-brick walls and good log fires. A candlelit bare-boards restaurant has rustic décor and french windows that open into a conservatory looking over seats in the pretty garden, where raised beds contain herbs and other produce for the kitchen. At the front of the building is an extended and enclosed dining courtyard. Five lovely new bedrooms each have their own terrace, and breakfasts are very good. Sissinghurst gardens (National Trust) are nearby.
Delicious seasonal food uses the best local produce and includes seared pigeon breast on parsnip purée with crispy pancetta and wild rocket, cheddar rarebit on toast with parma ham and sunblush tomato salad, pork and sage sausages with mash and port and red onion gravy, rack of lamb with butternut squash, dauphinoise potatoes and jus, smoked haddock fillet with creamed leeks, mixed mushrooms and chive velouté, duck breast with roasted carrot and swede, parmentier potatoes and jus, and puddings such as dark chocolate délice with pistachio ice-cream and apple and plum crumble.
Observant visitors may be puzzled by The Three Chimneys pub outside the village of Biddenden in the Weald of Kent. Only two chimney stacks top this ancient free house (circa 1420). A coded explanation is provided by the pub sign showing a French soldier looking at a three-armed signpost.
It refers to the Seven Years’ War (1754-1763), when the 3,000 French prisoners incarcerated in Sissinghurst Castle were allowed as far as the pub where three roads, or trois chemins, meet. Sceptics have doubted the likelihood of an enemy’s phrase taking root but no better explanation has been found. However, as you duck under the low beams, you will find three fires – two logburners and, in the pleasingly plain public bar, a mighty inglenook.
"It’s not what you do to a pub, it’s what you don’t do,” is the admirable view of the guv’nor Craig Smith, who packed in his City job to take over the pub in 1999. “Adnams has been sold here for 40 years. There would be a riot if I took it out. We get through 10 barrels a week so it’s always fresh.” His conservatism extends to afternoon closing. “I liked the old licensing hours. They gave a focal point."
September 27th 2017
We are delighted to announce we won the prestigious "County Dining Award" in The Good Pub Guide. This is testament to the efforts of the staff and support of our suppliers and customers. We continue to develop our menu by working closely with staff and customers feedback and are thrilled to have this recognised again this year.
Every year the editors of The Good Pub Guide select the very best pubs to receive awards in a range of categories. These are the very best pubs across the UK selected because of their consistent excellence.The Good Pub Guide
"We are truly delighted to be awarded this most prestigious award again for 2018 and would like to thank everyone for their continued support"
Craig Smith, Proprietor.
January 7th 2017
We are pleased to announce that we have completed the Stag, Pheasant and Partridge rooms.
"Lovely country retreat. Food is amazing. Home cooked using local produce. Set in beautiful surroundings. A little gem. Always busy. Staff polite and helpful. Plenty of seating outside for a perfect summer evening."
"Amazing accommodation at this gorgeous pub! Rooms are all beautifully decorated to high standard - huge rooms, very comfy beds, fabulous large showers & biggest bonus was the outside area too! Had a fantastic dinner in the pub too. Loved everything about The Three Chimneys!"
The Good Pub Guide Awards