Pub of the Week: The Ringlestone Inn, Maidstone

Posted: 21 January 2014

Blog category: Pub of the Week

The impressive English oak sideboard in the bar at Ringlestone Inn proudly proclaims: "A Ryghte Joyouse and welcome greetynge too ye all", and a "Truly traditional family welcome" is exactly what awaits you as you step back in time to the unspoilt, medieval, lamp-lit tavern. Ringlestone Hamlet is nestled off the beaten track in the North Downs, yet only five minutes’ drive from Leeds Castle and Junction 8 of the M20 motorway.

Built in 1533, The Ringlestone Inn was originally used as a hospice for monks, but became one of the early "ale houses" around 1615. The inn has changed very little since then, with its original brick and flint walls and floors, oak beams, inglenooks and centuries-old English furniture. Even in the later addition of the Dining Room, the tables were specially made from the timbers of an 18th Century Thames barge.

The history doesn’t end there! Many colourful characters have both run and enjoyed the hospitality at the inn over the centuries. The most famous of which were two old ladies who ran the pub in the early nineteen-sixties, who, according to local legend, regularly sent unwelcome visitors packing at the wrong end of a double-barrelled shotgun!

The pub proudly serves Shepherd Neame ales tapped from casks, as well as a good range of lagers and keg beers. It also stocks a great range of more than thirty English country fruit wines and liqueurs with special “take-home” prices make them ideal as presents.

The Ringlestone has been previously listed in several Good Food guides and still continues to offer its unique style of good, honest pub food - a selection of freshly cooked dishes to cater for any taste. The pub offers a smaller lunchtime menu, Sunday lunch and extensive evening menus with a selection of daily specials and waitress service. Whenever possible, Kevin, the Landlord, prepares all the dishes from fresh local Kentish produce.

Set in a delightful rural location, The Ringlestone Inn is an ancient and atmospheric building, and as such, it has twice in recent years been taken over by film crews and used as a filming location. In 2005, the Ringlestone Inn appeared as a location in the BBC soap "Eastenders", and in 2011 the pub closed for several days to film horror vampire movie ‘The Thompsons’.

For bookings or to find out more don’t hesitate to get in touch with the pub at their website or via their phone (01622 859900).