Pub of the Week: The Rose and Crown, Wrotham

Posted: 25 March 2014

Blog category: Pub of the Week

A couple who have just taken on their first pub tenancy are celebrating the completion of a £75,000 refurbishment project.

Zoe Clubb and Drew King moved into the Rose and Crown at Wrotham just over a year ago.

The pair were experienced in the industry, Zoe as front-of-house staff, and Drew as an accomplished chef.

Father-of-one Drew’s impressive CV includes working at award-winning Kent restaurants including Eastwell Manor in Boughton Lees, Read’s in Faversham and the Secret Garden in Mersham-le-Hatch.

Zoe said: “With our combination of skills, we started to wonder why we were working for other people instead of ourselves. Drew particularly wanted to build a name for himself as a chef in his own right.

“We are both originally from Ashford, so we wanted to stay in Kent, and decided to look into becoming tenants of a village pub. After looking around a few, we fell in love with the Rose and Crown.”

And following three weeks of refurbishment work, the charming Shepherd Neame pub, situated at the heart of an historic Medway village, is looking better than ever.

Previously one big open space, a rear dining area has been screened off to create a more intimate environment for customers enjoying Drew’s new menu.

Using only the finest locally sourced, seasonal produce, he offers classic British cuisine with a contemporary twist, such as Spitfire ale battered haddock and hand cut chips, along with á la carte dishes including pan fried gilt head sea bream, and pear poached in honey and star anise with Cashel Blue cheese and walnuts.

The interior has been repainted throughout in contemporary colours, with some areas of brickwork exposed to create a more rustic feel.

All the furniture has been re-upholstered, and vintage pictures of local scenes adorn the walls. Its exterior has also enjoyed a revamp, with a refurbished outside seating area, new pergola and hand-painted signage.

The couple also took care to make special provision for the pub’s regulars when planning the revamp.

Zoe said: “The pub needed to be freshened up, but we didn’t want it to be too modern, we wanted to keep its unique character and heritage.

“The Medway darts league play here every Wednesday, and the Hartley Morris Men describe the pub as their ‘spiritual home’. So we have created a special corner with Morris dancing memorabilia, and another with a permanent darts oche.

“We are really pleased with the result, and the locals love it too.”

Property and tenanted trade director George Barnes said: “The Rose and Crown is at the heart of the village, so our aim was to give it a contemporary look while retaining its character and atmosphere.”

Forthcoming events:
Every Thursday: Quiz night from 8.30pm. Admission priced £1, with all proceeds to charity.