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Two new faces are behind the bar at the Dover Castle Inn in Teynham.
Phil Hope and Rebecca Anderson have just moved into the historic 17th century coaching inn, situated in the quaint Swale village.
Faversham-born Phil had been running his own maintenance and gardening business locally, while Rebecca was managing a London pub, but the couple wanted to live and work together.
Rebecca said: “I grew up in Hertfordshire, and really wanted to move out of London back to the countryside, so when the Dover Castle came up, it seemed like the perfect opportunity for us. Phil has years of experience working in pubs as well, so we were confident we could make the business a success.”
The Shepherd Neame-owned pub, dating back to around 1640, has retained a traditional look, and boasts many original features, including oak-beamed ceilings and open fireplaces.
It has three separate dining areas, two on the ground floor, one with its own private bar, and a third on the first floor. All can be hired out for private functions, with a variety of set menus available.
The pub currently offers food every lunchtime and evening. Diners can choose from a menu of delicious pub classics, or sample one of head chef Richard Stagg’s signature dishes on the daily specials menu.
If the weather’s fine, customers can enjoy dining alfresco in the pub’s large garden, which backs on to a beautiful cherry orchard.
Lots of local groups regularly use the pub, including the Women’s Institute, Cherry Orchard Association and Beechwood FC, and it is also home to two darts teams, which play every Tuesday night.
The couple are keen to make sure that the pub plays a key role in village life, and intend to organise more regular events to draw locals in.
Phil said: “A pub should be at the heart of the community, and we really want to play our part in making that happen. We are both really excited about our new venture. The best bit about our job is seeing people leave here with a smile on their face.”
Friday, April 18: Good Friday celebration, including a barbecue in the garden from noon and live music from 9pm. Free admission.
Saturday, April 19: Easter Saturday celebration, including a barbecue in the garden from noon. Free admission.
Sunday, April 20: Easter Sunday celebration, including a barbecue in the garden from noon. Free admission.
Monday, April 21: Easter Monday celebration, including an Easter Egg Hunt from 1pm. Free admission.
Monday, April 28: Quiz Night from 8.30pm. Admission is £1.50 per person. The event takes place every other Monday.
Wednesday, May 7: Derek and His Jazz Friends from 8.30pm. Admission is free but booking is advised. The band play at the pub on the first Monday of every month.
Every Sunday: Curry Night from 6pm to 9pm. Enjoy a drink and a curry with rice, naan bread, chutney and poppadoms for £10.
Food is available from noon to 3pm and 6.30pm to 9pm, Monday to Thursday; noon to 3pm and 6.30pm to 9.30pm on Friday; noon to 9.30pm on Saturday; and from noon to 4pm and 6pm to 9pm on Sunday.