Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Micro pubs and funerals....


Anybody know what's happening about the proposed micro pub opening at the north end of Tonbridge High Street? I just took a walk along to the shop where it was rumoured to be opening and there's no sign of any work going on at all. And, while we're about it, what is going on with the shop unit on the corner of Bank Street/High Street (the old Silvermans jewellers?) It has been "Under Offer" for months now. Tonbridgeblog understands that a funeral directors was awaiting planning consent but that was about a year ago. It's a mystery. Not even the ladies in the hairdressers next door have even a Scooby (that's clue btw just in case you're not up with the latest rhyming slang! Oh look, just think about it, Scooby Doo, clue. It's a bit like Your Aris but we won't go into that one shall we. Oh go on then Your Aris is your bum as everyone knows but it's arrived at in a typically Cockney cheeky way. Aristotle rhymes with Bottle, bottle and glass, if you're keeping up, rhymes with... that's right: bottom. So there you have it. Straight up, no word of a lie.) Anyway, when that micro pub finally does open mine's a Vera and Philharmonic!

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

With its middle aged men drinking problem as reported a few weeks ago Tonbridge hardly needs another booze outlet. Now that could also be the reason another undertaker would be kept busy.
There have been a few promised retail start ups that have not yet happen, When is the Castle becomming a wine bar and estate agents? the new old fashioned tea room is now a non starter but at least Doddle is coming, just the place to pick up and send/return your internet parcels. Beats queuing up in the Post office where I got told off last week for not taking a ticket even though I was the only customer!
But the place to trade will soon be Cannon lane, Drive through McDonalds given permission, M&S food application in.
Not sure how the Grumpy Food Co will take it?

Brett said...

The cannon lane plan also seems to have 11,000 sq ft for 'retail purposes'... Was this part of the plans TMBC were alluding to when sainsburys pulled the plug? Also, anyone know where along cannon lane this will be situated - is it the old colas site? cannot think of anywhere else now land next to B&Q is gone....

Paul Bailey said...

Not heard anything further about the micro pub, although I do know vaguely the person behind the application.

These things take time though, so patience please and I'm sure it will all come together.

Just to make you all jealous, a friend has organised a mini-bus tour around the micro pubs of Thanet to mark his 50th birthday. I think there's 6 or 7 of these establishments in total,and I'll be writing about our experiences, or those I can remember, on the blog.

Anonymous said...

Earlier reports said the new Mcdonalds was hext to Homebase (I cant find the planning pplication on the TMBC web site). Pity the residents in the few houses near by or the new development opposite when the cars arrive late at night will their music systems on fall blast.
It look like Tonbridge could have had a lucky escape from a large white elephant Sainsburys. In recent times the development of such large supermarkets has ceased with some of the opperators down sizing their space to other uses and going over to the local store concept as their way forward.
I sometimes wonder if the Sainsburys plan was just a scheme floated to stop Morrisons comming to Tonbridge.

Anonymous said...




Don't mention 'berk'

Anonymous said...

The new McDonalds will occupy 7 and 9 Cannon Lane, the site next to Home base with the two cottages in front right up to the Travis Perkins builders merchants. The YMCA furniture warehouse will be looking for a new home. The two cottages at nos 5 and 6 will only be 21 metres away, pity the residents.

Anonymous said...

Paul you may need a longer crawl in Thanet there seems to be 11 micropubs.
http://www.micropubcrawl.co.uk

Anonymous said...

Bah, Micro Pubs appear to involve nothing more than a tiny soulless room containing 1-2 MAYBE EVEN THREE! casks of tedious brown bitter - more than likely in atrocious condition too. The Muppets at West Kent CAMRA will prob bestow it with pub of the year or something equally bizzare.
Sadly the only option for beer lovers in Tonbridge still remains a trip to London or Fuggles down the road in TW's.
MATT

Paul Bailey said...

Still trolling then, Matt!

Anonymous said...

Just saying how it is Paul. Just saying how it is.

Paul Bailey said...

You mean saying it as you see it, Matt, rather than saying it how it actually is. Not all of us inhabit the London “craft beer bubble” which you seem to live in. Not all of us live our lives in pursuit of oak-aged, ├╝ber-hopped, cherry-infused saissons. Even the craft glitterati are referring to this constant seeking of something new and different as “Ghost Whale Hunting”; if you don’t believe me check out this link to http://allaboutbeer.com/article/ghost-whales/

As for me, give me a decent locally-brewed pint, friendly and convivial surroundings and the chance to meet up and chat with my mates and I’m happy.

Anonymous said...

So tell us Anon 9.59 (and Paul) why has The Humphrey Bean in Tonbridge has been listed in CAMRA's Good Beer Guide 2015? Looks like we don't need a micropub when we have a macro one!

Anonymous said...

Re Anon 18th 12.57
Same fate also faces The Bridge Trust warehouse.
Charity Bergers?????

Paul Bailey said...

Pubs appearing in CAMRA’s annual Good Beer Guide are chosen by local branches. Tonbridge is covered by West Kent CAMRA, along with Tunbridge Wells, Sevenoaks, Edenbridge and the surrounding villages. It is a democratic process, in which all branch members (450 at the last count), can have a say and nominate pubs for selection.

Pubs are monitored throughout the year, and surveyed annually. A short list is drawn up prior to the AGM, which takes place in November. A final selection meeting is then held, normally towards the end of January. Any branch member is entitled to turn up and vote at this meeting.

I am unable to tell readers the quota of pubs for the local branch, as I am no longer on the branch committee; having resigned, due to a bout of ill-health, back in 2011. I have not been involved in the selection process since that time, primarily because I believe the Good Beer Guide has long out-lived its usefulness, and is now little more than a “cash cow” for CAMRA.

However, the Humphrey Bean is an obvious choice for the Guide, as it offers a wide range of interesting cask beers, mainly from small independent or micro-breweries. Compare this to the very restricted and predictable choice of beers offered by most other pubs in Tonbridge, and it’s easy to see why the Bean regularly makes it into the GBG.

One last point; the Good Beer Guide is what it says on the cover – a guide to “good beer”! It is not a “Good Pub Guide”, even though many people seem to think it either is, or should be.

Hope that clarifies the situation. Perhaps Anonymous Matt would like to add his four penneth?

Anonymous said...

Vowed never to set foot in the place again earlier in the year, but in the name of research I popped in yesterday. Met with the same old scramble/queue of the terminally bewildered, none of whom know what meal deal, table number, coffee they want. Same motley collection of clueless spotty Herbert's behind the bar all prodding hopelessly at the coffee machine, ignoring the growing phalanx of unruly looking halfwits. Then there's that boiled cabbage smell, that swirly carpet, the nutcase being forcefully marched out the door by a heavily tattooed bouncer (Sunday lunchtime remember). Then there's the beer. Jaipur tasting like some aboration from Wells & Young, 8 pumps dispensing Ruddle's County. Fridges full of Blue WKD etc (Conveniently forgetting the 'craft' options ;))
Yeah pub of the year!
Matt

Paul Bailey said...

Let’s get one thing straight shall we; the West Kent CAMRA Pub of the Year, (and also Kent regional Pub of the Year), is the Windmill, at Sevenoaks Weald, NOT as reported by the last commenter, the Humphrey Bean!

There is a world of difference, but in the end it boils down to horses for courses and getting what you pay for. Anonymous Matt’s rather jaded and cynical view of our local JDW outlet might have more than a grain of truth, (particularly regarding some of the clientele), but if you catch the place at the right time, and Sunday lunchtime is definitely NOT the right time, then the Bean offers the chance to enjoy beers that are rarely, if ever, seen in Tonbridge, and at bargain basement prices. Granted the low cost of a pint has to be weighed against slow service during busy periods, coupled with a rather chaotic queuing system, but you pays your money and takes your choice, as they say.

On the plus side, the Bean is large enough to escape the oddballs and the “professionally unemployed” that congregate at the tables nearest the bar, and who seem a permanent fixture during daylight hours. In the summer months, the well-cared for garden provides a welcome refuge from the hustle and bustle inside. (Just remember to go further into the garden, away from the nicotine addicts congregating under the parasols nearest the rear of the pub). There is also the option of a decent cooked breakfast, with re-fillable filter coffee on tap; something I shall be enjoying later in the week!

My son and I popped in last night, and I am pleased to report the Hog’s Back – Hop Garden Gold and the Marston’s New World were both in fine form. There are “craft” options available, Matt, but perhaps not the obscure barrel-aged, collaboration brews you are used to in London.

Like I said at the beginning, it’s horses for courses. The Bean isn’t Pub of the Year, but it thoroughly deserves its place in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide. Let’s try and look on the positive side, shall we and be grateful we’ve got an establishment like this in Tonbridge.


Anonymous said...

But but I spend half my time in The Market Porter drinking with your kind Paul. Must admit, I am slightly envious of people who can get excited by Hog's Back and Marstons ;)
In other news, I hear the Punch & Judy has been taken over again. Wonder if they'll branch out further than Harvey's Best and a guest featuring a flashing nosed Rudolf pump clip?

Paul Bailey said...

I’m not sure exactly what you mean by “your kind”, in reference to me, Matt, as I do drink other beers apart from cask. I always make a beeline for the Market Porter on those rare occasions when I’m in London. A victim of is own success though, as it’s often difficult to move inside, and you’re not allowed to take your beer outside unless it’s in a plastic “glass”!

I have also heard rumours about the Punch & Judy. No-one ever seems to stay there long. Not sure why, but I’d imagine unrealistic rents and restrictive ties on what can and can’t be sold have played a major part. Pity, as the most recent tenants seemed OK. The pub has potential, and a bold licensee, prepared to stick his or her neck out could make a real go of the place. Tonbridge is definitely crying out for a decent pub, along the lines of Fuggles, as despite my bullish rhetoric about the Bean, it is totally lacking in atmosphere and has no soul.

This leads on to my last point. As I grow older, I find the occasion, company, surroundings are often more important than the beer itself. Sure it’s a bonus if the beer is good and even better if it’s stunning, but sometimes I just want something which is going to whet my whistle, and the Hogsback and Marston’s beers in Spoons the other night did just that. Not overly exciting beers, I grant you, but pleasant enough under the right circumstances and certainly better than many of the other beers on sale in Tonbridge.