Kingsnorth is a village just south of evil Ashford. Village might be a bit generous, it feels in danger of being swallowed up by the arsehole of mid Kent.
But more importantly, it contains a GBG pub on the bus route back up from Tenterden, where I'd had mixed fortunes which you might or might not have read about in part 2.
I was fascinated by the Queen's Head, Kingsnorth (2390 / 3954) before I'd even arrived.
On the bus down much earlier in the day, the pub you see above looked well and truly shut at a time when it should be open. Worrying.
But Queen's Head had an active Facebook page (rare for Kent pubs, I'd soon discover) where half the time, they sound like they are trying to force fun and events on the local community. Admirable. The problem with forced fun is that it never works. The locals didn't appear to be reciprocating. And the pub would then post their disappointment, like admonishing naughty school children.
Live bands had been cancelled of late ('there's nothing more disheartening than expecting someone to play to an empty room'). Today, they'd invited the locals to join them on some green outdoor area in Kingsnorth to commemorate the Queen's passing. The plan then was 'all back to the pub' for a complimentary glass of something sparkling. A nice idea in theory. But not ONE villager had showed.
The pub posted their disapproval .... a post which I noticed had been deleted before I arrived.
|And I never did see lickle Mr & Mrs Gnome!|
So it was something of a gamble even getting off the bus. But thankfully, QH was not only open, but heaving. A real community hub feel ran through the place. Had the locals guilt tripped themselves into it? Or is it always like this Sunday afternoon? In any case, the pub must've been buoyed by the turn out. My photos don't reflect how busy it was, but I did wholly accidentally (please believe me) twice photograph this same barmaid who kept following me from room to room, hence why she's in two shots. I told her 'lovely to see such a busy pub ... ooh, and a pool table too!' to take the edge off, and she thanked me. The Chinook by Butcombe drank well, and that was that.
It took an age to get back to Maidstone, I got a bit distracted by Ashford in bloom which surely needs to comprise more than a Harry Potter quote in a bush?
So which two pubs to do before heading back to my new Sittingbourne home? Tactically, I looked at those least likely to open during the working week.
Furthest walk first. #BRAPA rules. Not too far from Maidstone East in truth, hidden in da backstreets like some utter filth you'd find in East Lancs, here it was .....