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A charming riverside pub will be making even more of its delightful setting this Easter thanks to a £100,000 refurbishment and the introduction of a tourist information centre.
The Grove Ferry Inn is in a prime spot, just outside Canterbury, in the Stodmarsh National Nature Reserve, on the banks of the Great River Stour.
The four partners who run the pub have teamed up with brewers Shepherd Neame to extend the riverside terrace and expand the patio, creating more space for customers to enjoy traditional Kentish ale and good quality food by the river. The building also has a new roof and refurbished windows.
Already well-known as a start point for boat trips, the Grove Ferry now hosts a tourist information centre with details of local attractions and services and the area’s extensive network of cycling and walking routes.
New for Easter 2011 is a barbecue of high quality locally-sourced meats, offering chicken kebabs, steak baguettes and sausages in baps, as well as grilled vegetable kebabs.
Owner Anthony Pender said: “We also plan to offer our customers blankets for the first time this summer, either to sit on the grass, picnic-style, in our large garden, or for people to put over their legs on cooler evenings.”
Originally a coaching house dating back to 1831, the inn took its name from a hand-drawn ferry and is an excellent base for walkers, fishermen and cyclists.
The partners, whose slogan is “More than just a pub”, have made other innovations that make the Grove Ferry a charming and unique place to visit. There is a fish and chip serving point in the garden, featuring fish direct from the Kent coast, and the butcher’s block a selection of steaks from local farms, where customers can pick the cut they would like, the size of steak they want, from a 6oz rump up to a 24oz rib eye, and tell the chef exactly how they’d like it cooked. The butcher’s block deli offers a selection of local produce to purchase and take away.