Eating Out In Tunbridge Wells | The Bottle House Inn

Kent Dining Pub of the Year 2011

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Originally dating from the reign of Henry VII buildings have stood on the present-day site of The Bottle House Inn since 1492. Over the years a variety of dwellings have been employed for numerous enterprises until 1806, when the property was first used for selling ales and ciders. Subsequently following the discovery of a large number of unusual bottles during a 1938 refurbishment, the present day pub was first named.

The Good Pub Guide has awarded The Bottle House Inn the title of Kent Dining Pub of the Year 2011 and not without good cause. On first entering the traditionally decorated but unfussy main bar it is immediately apparent how clean everything is, from spotless mirrors to polished work surfaces and tables; always an encouraging sign as hopefully the same effort is expended in keeping the kitchen as clean. The yellow-bulbed lamps located around the bar provide muted and cosy lighting, whilst the hop covered fireplace and wood-burning stove in the hearth complete the restful interior.

On our visit the menu can only be described as all-embracing cosmopolitan with a total of 19 starters, 26 main courses, 13 fish dishes, 4 vegetarian dishes as well as a selection of roasts, ploughman's and baguettes. As is the current trend, locally sourced ingredients are used where possible. The range offered by the menu does not, however, over faze the kitchen as plate after plate of beautifully presented meals sped their way to eager diners.

When it came for us to order it was a nice surprise to have waiter service for both taking orders and serving meals. So often these days joining the scrum at the bar for food orders takes the edge off any meal. The waiter thoughtfully kept Oliver, aged five who accompanied us, busy by providing him with the children's menu on the back of which he could use crayons.

We only wanted a light meal and so just kept to starters with me ordering Authentic Vietnamese Spring Rolls with Chilli Jam. These came on a mixed leaf bed attractively presented with a dusting of paprika and trail of balsamic vinegar. My brother went for the pate and received a slice of each of Wild Boar, Chicken Liver and Cranberry and Duck with Fig Terrines served with toast, butter and chutney again. The full extent of the menu is available to see on the website, but includes original dishes such as Pheasant stuffed with Wild Boar, wrapped in Bacon En Croute and Swordfish Supreme with Salsa, Sour Cream and Guacamole with New Potatoes and Salad.

There are a good variety of red and white wines from Europe and the New World from £16 a bottle, Larkins and Harvey's are well kept on hand pump.

With food this good it is fortunate The Bottle House Inn is located in an area excellent for hill walking, for when those guilt pangs start to bite!

In Their Own Words

"The bar area has a warm welcoming atmosphere with low beams and a beautiful copper-topped bar. Behind this, you'll find an excellent range of beers, including local, traditional hand-pumped beers. There's also an exceptional wine list, much of which is available by the glass. "

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