I do love a pub lunch. Not just any old pub lunch, but lunch in an old pub in the middle of nowhere. Yesterday this is exactly what I had. I have lived in Kent for 38 years and didn't even know this place existed, it is very hidden away but oh my goodness, what a gem! Welcome to The Plough Inn at Lewson Street.
After discovering this little beauty of a pub on TripAdvisor and having an excuse to celebrate as my daughter passed her PA diploma with a staggering 94% (yes I am a proud mum!), we decided we had to go and see for ourselves what the reviews on TripAdvisor were raving about. We were not disappointed.
As we entered we saw a plethora of hops covering the beams of this charming old inn. A sunny smile from the Landlady greeted us and she asked us if we had eaten there before. After explaining this was our first time she went through the menu and specials board with us and explained that everything was home made and where possible, locally sourced. Music to my ears!
In the restaurant area of the pub was roaring real fire in a huge brick built fireplace. As it was a chilly day this was certainly a welcoming sight. We sat at the table closest to the fire and started to look through the menu and specials board.
We ordered lasagne and garlic bread and also steak and ale pie with chunky chips and peas. The Landlady was attentive and knowledgeable of the menu and we were hungry!
The lasagne arrived in a terracotta coloured dish, a generous helping, with 2 slices of garlic bread and a side salad of mixed leaved dressed in a honey mustard dressing. The lasagne was meaty and well seasoned although very cheesy. As I love cheese I would have eaten it all and loved it, however, my daughter who ordered the lasagne thought it was a little too cheesy for her, so unfortunately (not!), I just had to finish it off for her ;) This is purely a personal opinion of my daughter and she said that next time she would love to try the scampi. Her wanting to come back is an amazing review in itself as she is probably one of the fussiest people I know ;) From my point of view the lasagne was delicious and who can ever have too much cheese?!
My lunch was the steak and ale pie with chunky chips and peas. Pies are always a great test with me as I don't actually like pastry very much. I have to say the pie was AWESOME! I ate every single thing on my plate. The pie itself was full of huge chunks of steak and it was jammed packed full of meat, a rare sight in pies these days. The gravy inside the pie was sumptuously beefy and the background flavour of the ale gave the pie a well rounded taste. The pastry was both crumbly, soft and well seasoned. Good amount of peas and the chunky chips, well, I could have eaten a whole plate of those! They tasted like they had a coating on them that was almost very slightly sweet, but I couldn't see any coating, just fried wedges of tastiness! I was in pie heaven.
After completely eating everything I possibly could barring licking the plate clean, we decided we just had enough room for dessert...
My daughter chose the apple and berry fruit crumble with custard. As she saw the bowl arrive, her eyes lit up and her words were "this is going to be good". She dived in and you should have seen the smile on her face ;) The crumble wasn't just a plain crumble, it was oaty as well as crumbly. The custard was thick and just sweet enough to balance out the fruit and berry filling. My daughter was a very happy girl eating this.
I ordered the sticky toffee pudding with toffee sauce and custard. As I said what I would like to the Landlady she replied with "the pudding is to die for, good choice", she was not wrong. I have eaten a lot of puddings in my time and this, by far, is the best sticky toffee pudding I have ever eaten. It was so light it could have floated away yet the flavour was at it's maximum and the colour, well, imagine the colour of deep dark chocolate.... The sauce was thick and sweet and the custard added a creaminess to the whole dessert. Simply a divine way to end a meal.
We enjoyed the experience so much that my eldest daughter is getting married and The Plough Inn is now on our list of prospective venues.
Thank you to Kevin, Carol and Michael James for a beautifully presented pub, menu and of course, food. You will certainly be a place I will recommend to everyone wanting good food with a good ambience and very lovely hosts.