Thursday, April 16, 2015

A spot of twitching and a pint....

Here's a post which might appeal to a certain regular commenter on this blog. Lovely summer's evening last night so my wife and I went out for a drive out to Bough Beech Reservoir. There's a "hide" there where you can view Herons, Coot's, ducks, geese, Kingfishers. If you've never been I'd recommend a trip and, particularly, at sunset. Very peaceful. Obviously that's not the bit which might appeal to the regular, let's just call him PB. We then drove on to a place which I would never have known was there called The Greyhound, at Charcot, which is a curious little hamlet, set back off the main road, near Chiddingstone Causeway. The pub, and I think the rest of the village, had a power cut and it was starting to get dark so we sat outside on a rickety wooden picnic bench at the front. Fortunately the pumps weren't effected by the cut so I sampled the Tonbridge Brewery Coppernob which was very welcome and perfectly passable to my untrained palate. The landlord seemed quite a friendly host and we noticed that there was a reasonably priced menu so we could well go back. I'd heard that the Fleur de Lis at Leigh had been recently refurbished, and it was on our way back home, so it seemed natural to go there for another half pint (I'm driving remember.) Turns out that it's a Greene King pub so the beer selection was quite limited but decent enough. The Landlady allowed us to sample the beers before committing to our choice of Golden Speckled Hen which to me also seemed perfectly passable. They were serving food and the menu didn't look half bad. The interior d├ęcor was a little too squeaky clean for my tastes but my wife loved it and it was clear that they'd spent a pretty penny on the place. We were told that the exterior has been promised an upgrade also to make it look more appealing. We'll definitely be back there as this looks like the hosts really mean business and want the place to succeed. It's an easy bike ride to Leigh and not that far to walk from Tonbridge which always helps if you fancy more than one drink. We'll be experimenting with other establishments over the summer so watch this space and, landlords I cannot be bribed by free pints and meals into writing good things about your boozers. Not a chance. Homemade cheeseburger, chips and sticky toffee pudding, three pints of Coppernob and a small Glenmorangie chaser? That'll do nicely!...

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Make your mind up time....

Made your mind up on who to vote for in the general election yet? The 2015 election is tipped to be one of the closest fought ever and this particular floating voter is yet to make up his mind. Even five years ago Sir John Stanley's replacement, Tom Tugenhat, would have been a shoe-in as the Tory candidate. But are things so certain any more? Only today it's been reported that a UKIP supporter has donated £30,000 to help the local candidate in a rather bizarre revenge swipe (something to do with Tom T's father, who is a High Court judge, passing judgement on the businessman over some middle east deal.) The details aren't that important as much as the way the election, even for Tonbridge and Malling constituency, cannot be taken for granted. Five years ago the Conservative vote was way out in front of Liberal Democrats in second place and, in third Labour. That order at least is likely to be dramatically changed this time around. Will UKIP maybe even split the Tory vote and allow a more even contest? Does any of it matter? Did you know that Joey Essex, of TOWIE fame, thought that Nick Clegg's party was called the Liberal DemoCATS not crats! I wish I was joking but it does at least demonstrate how disengaged from politics particularly younger people are. It's less than a month away so let's hear some comments unless of course you think politics as a subject should be avoided along with religion....

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Developments, new MP and birthdays....

Yes I know nothing new is going on this blog very often these days. Is it inertia? Lack of interest, fewer comments indicating that readers are more interested in twitter, facebook, snapchat and, for all I know tinder and grinder (not that I have a clue what they all are) I have to feel motivated enough by a topic to get the urge to write about it and at the moment that's for sure. The big story of the moment is still, without doubt, the success of the new Tonbridge Through Ten Centuries History book. It's about to be reprinted because of its huge success; the first print run of 1,000 having sold out within the first month since publication. Mr. Books alone has sold around 250 in that time. There are of course many developments being built or at the planning stage such as the one next to Waitrose and the Cannon Lane waterside one. I heard a rumour only yesterday that the River Centre is to be pulled down and another development is to be put up there. There's also the huge housing development on the old Siemens site near the Porsche dealership. Oh, and apparently there's a general election coming up so Tonbridge is to have a new MP after the retirement of Sir John after 41 years of serving the town.


PS. As some of you may have read in the Courier, Mr. Books shop was 10 last week and here's a picture to prove it!
Cake to celebrate Mr. Books 10th Birthday now part of window display
supplied by An Enchanted Cake of Two, Barden Rd.