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Pub Visit - England

Tuesday 28th October 2014

Wrong Turn 1Bob Thompson

On the day Linda and I decided to visit this newly established micropub we set off from home with the expectation that it would open its doors at 12.00. Not to be unfortunately, as they had gone to “Winter Hours”. Please see below for details. However it wasn’t a crisis as we re-jigged our itinerary to visit after the pub’s new opening time at 15.00.

After a tour of some other pubs we were back at the front door, so to speak, just after opening time. The pub’s title comes from the simple fact that a lot of people arrive here after thinking they’ve taken a wrong turn. Approaching the pub from all directions there are some small roadside signs at strategic junctions. On arrival you can’t miss the wonderful sign hanging in the traditional way from a post.

The sign depicts four creatures enjoying a pint of beer at a round table. At the bottom the fox and the squirrel seem to be having a good time. Above the squirrel the owl looks like it’s had a long night out and, being an owl, probably has! Next to the owl is another bird that is an unidentifiable species, yet looks a bit like a Secretary bird which should it be, is a very long way from home, and should be getting back to the office!

Wrong Turn 2We entered the pub just after opening time and after ordering a beer, settled down and took a look around. As can been seen from the date, our visit was prior to Halloween and the pub was decorated in anticipation.

Casting my eye slowly around the room in a clockwise direction I spotted an old wooden cupboard with an abstract painting above. I wondered if it was the work of the artist whose studio this building once housed.

A little bit further along there is a wood-burning stove with a lovely clock above it. At one side there was an old copper foot warmer. On its mantelpiece there is a clutter of ceramic pots and jugs.

Next along this side of the room is a low sofa with many cushions. I know that if sat on this I wouldn’t get up as long as the beer was flowing. After this we are moving along the back wall and there is a three-level bookshelf, with many books.

Next, somewhat surprisingly considering the size of the room, is a piano. I would like to think it is often used, I’m sure that happens as there are acoustic music evenings on some nights. Right of this is a wooden table with cushioned seats. The bar service area takes up most of the right side of the room, with the cool room located behind. The pub is bedecked throughout with fresh flowers. The wooden furniture all has cushions.

Wrong Turn 3It provides a very colourful appearance. Now, I know that the owner and operator of this pub is a lady and, without being sexist in any way, it shows. I find that that micropubs generally fall in to two categories. For want of better descriptions, they are either ”Public Bar” or “Saloon Bar” pubs, in my mind. Of course, this is definitely a “Saloon Bar” micropub and all credit for it being so; there are several others.

The pub is the inspiration of Ginny Timm and operates with the assistance of her two daughters, Victoria and Emily and her fiancé Jamie Kemp. It opened on Saturday 16th August 2014 and was an artist’s studio previously and I wondered where the trade would come from when I heard of its location.

Wrong Turn 4The Yew Tree, the village’s last pub, closed for the second and final time in February 2010 and there was certainly a vacuum to be filled. I still don’t know where they came from, yet there was a steady trickle of aspiring drinkers throughout that afternoon we called in.

One of these was Sean Ayling of the Pig & Porter Brewery in Tunbridge Wells. We had a long conversation as Sean told us he wishes to move his brewery nearer to his home in Whitstable. We subsequently contacted in him on this matter.

Wrong Turn 5The beers on offer when we visited were all local and comprised of: Wantsum Brewery (Hersden, Kent) Black Prince (3.9%), a mild, and Challenger (4.5%), a single hop ale. These were complimented by Hop Fuzz Northern Star Bitter (4.4%) which I suspect is also a single varietal hop product.

The origins of the ciders were further away with some being local. All the way from Pontypridd, Glamorgan, Wales was Gwynt y ddraig Fiery Fox (6.5%) and from Weston’s of Much Marcle, Herefordshire there was Wyld Wood (6.0%), an organic cider.

From closer to home, Bekesbourne to be specific, there were three flavoured ciders from Kentish Pip: Spiced Ginger (6.0%), Marmalade (4.0%) (made with blood oranges) and Pip the Elder (5.2%) infused with Elderflowers.

Wrong Turn 6There is greater selection of wines than is found in most micropubs with six varieties being available. Also offered are soft drinks and orange juice along with apple and pear juice from nearby Heart’s Delight Farm. Beer and cider is available to take away.

The usual small snacks in packets were available; crisps, cheese biscuits, nuts, etc. There were more substantial cold offerings in the form of: pork pies and pickles, scotch egg with pickles and a cheese board.

This is a great little pub but be mindful that it is a long way from public transport, see below. It comes thoroughly recommended if you can get there.

Important Information:

The Wrong Turn, Pie Factory Road, Barfreston, Kent. CT15 7JG. Tel: 07522 554118

Open: Winter: Monday Closed; Tuesday-Wednesday 15.00-20.00; Thursday 12.00-21.00;
Friday 12.00-22.00; Saturday 12.00-22.30; Sunday 12.00-20.00

The previously advertised hours which were shown when the pub first opened were as follows: Monday Closed; Tuesday-Thursday 12.00-21.00; Friday-Saturday 12.00-21.00; Sunday 12.00-20.00. These are presumed to be Summer hours but, as can be seen, you must contact them if you are in any doubt.

Please note the closing times are a bit flexible, dependant on trade. That said, the Sunday finishing times are when the pub closes its doors.

As alluded to before the pub is in the middle of nowhere; the nearest public transport contact being Shepherds Well station on the Faversham to Dover railway line. This station is served once an hour by train Monday to Sunday. It is pointless giving directions as you will need a good map anyway.