Friday, December 9, 2016

More from T Blog....

Okay, quite a bit going on in Tonbridge at the moment. You can read all about the opening of the new M&S Food Hall on the front page of the Courier today. Really! Is that really front page news? It's only the same as Lidl but in expensive looking packaging you know! Then there's the new pubs about to open: Mojo's is being rebadged as a tapas bar apparently, Fuggles will open sometime in 2017, I'm told that this will be once Mr. Bonner has sold all his furniture from the existing shop! Meanwhile The Gatehouse has pipped them both to the post by opening up well in time for Christmas as a craft beer pub. Well, sort of anyway. In truth it's more like a rebranded Slug and Lettuce, complete with sports screen, fruit machines etc. with craft beer knobs on. They obviously ran out of money when it came to the signage outside the pub as it's faded and shabby looking after only a couple of weeks! I haven't been in there yet preferring to occasionally frequent Ye Olde Chequers Inn for my post work pint. I'm afraid that the new owners, despite their best efforts I'm sure, don't appear to have lifted the place all that much. The d├ęcor is still pretty drab inside, you still get stared at by the regulars propping up the bar as you walk in and there's still no food, except if you count the very tasty kettle crisps. Cheese n onion being my personal fave. Thankfully though the Tribute Ale is every bit as well kept and beautiful.
My new years resolution will be to blog at least once a week btw. So we'll see how that goes along with the street photos to be taken on my new camera....

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Its now a six months old camera, have you taken it out of the box yet? And don't you know Argos opened in the town today.
You don't have to buy food/drink at the M&S but you can use it as a pickup point for online shopping.

Paul Bailey said...

I haven’t been in to the re-vamped Slug & Lettuce yet, but from what people tell me it’s hardly “cutting edge” craft, and also rather expensive. I will reserve judgement though, until I’ve experienced it for myself.

It’s a while since I last set foot in the Chequers which, in my book, has never realised its true potential. Surely one of the oldest and finest looking buildings in Tonbridge deserves better than this? There were rumours that Sankey’s had their eye on the place, but nothing seems to have come from that so far.

As you point out, Bonners still have all their stock to shift, so it could be some time before the contractors can get working on converting the premises to Fuggles. We’ll have to be patient, I suppose.

My wife and I called in to the new M&S on Wednesday evening. It’s much bigger than we thought it would be, but it utilises the unused space which once housed Halfords’s workshops and car-servicing facilities, before the latter moved out to Vale Road. We were both impressed, and whilst there’s nothing wrong with Lidl, M&S is rather a cut above it.

All change then for Tonbridge, but rather too much for the country as a whole during 2016. I don’t want to spark a political debate, but the business community badly needs some stability at the moment and certainly needs to remain part of the Single Market.

Brett said...

went to the M&S yesterday - as Paul said - it's bigger than I thought it would be - it's a good addition to the town - not somewhere you would do a weekly shop but somewhere you'd pop, along with Waitrose, for something 'special'..

As previous post I made, the re-vamped slug is a craft place in name only. Pics I saw of opening had Fosters, Estrella and Guinness in a line on the bar - obviously trying to cash in of the 'craft pub' movement...

Also, I asked about homebase in previous post - my daughter at Guides went there last week - it is currently a Christmas charity place where they wrap and distribute gifts to the less privileged. Obviously this'll be over soon so hopefully see some movement in the new year for that site..

Brett said...

I would imagine the photos are going to be unbelievably good with the amount of prep time you have had now...

Paul Bailey said...

TB’s using an old-fashioned film camera, and is still waiting for the prints to come back from the processor’s! Either that, or they’ve lost the film.

Anonymous said...

Film camera is a bit to modern, I am sure TB is still using glass plates.

Anonymous said...


It must be a slow news week for the Courier if the M&S opening is a front-page story. Although you have managed to eek blog post about this also, so touche!

Is there still value to be had from local journalism? The Courier has an interesting letters section but the bulk of the paper is padded out with estate agent listings - have these people not heard of Right move?

Anyway enough cynicism from me.I enjoy your blog posts, it's good to read about other peoples views of the town we all live in.

Can't say I've tried the Gatehouse yet but it sounds like we were fobbed off with the craft beer hype. In reality you are probably going to get a much broader selection of beer and similar atmosphere in Spoons at half the price, but I suppose it fills a need in the town.

PB is right about The Chequers. There is so much potential there and with a bit of money and love it could be a destination pub. A sympathetic refurbishment and a decent chef and the pub could be really special.

Anyway, Happy Christmas TB and hope to see some more posts in the New Year.