Best of British: the perfect Kent pub for a night of classic food, drink and fun

The Tiger Inn and The Marquis Inn in Kent source much of their food and drink locally for their outstanding menu.

The Marquis Inn and The Tiger Inn in Kent source much of their produce locally for their outstanding menu. - Credit: Fleur Challis Photography

Got an upcoming birthday, family dinner or date night with the other half? 

Bars and restaurants are beginning to thrive again, and as we begin to enter the festive season, there’s nothing like a good old-fashioned evening out at your local pub. Hugh Thompson, general manager of The Marquis of Granby in Alkham and The Tiger Inn near Ashford in Kent, tells us about his post-pandemic pledge to get the community back together and how his Inns offer the classic pub experience with a twist.

Local, high-quality produce 

“We always look close by for our food and drink – our ethos is ‘great quality and locally sourced’, from making our own batter for fish and chips to our locally crafted beer,” Hugh tells us. “Kent is a fantastic homing ground for brilliant produce, so we rarely have to look further afield, but when we do, we keep our standards high.” 

Taking advantage of some of the fantastic local produce, The Marquis and Tiger Inn serve Gusbourne and Simpsons sparkling wine, and game from Turner’s Game and Meats, a local meat supplier just 10 miles away. Craft brewery Hopfuzz is just a seven-mile drive, while Harvey’s Beer is brewed in Lewes, near Brighton. 

As well as supporting British businesses, the pubs also offer a cultured experience across their menus, from Hungarian and Lebanese wines to French classics.  

“Most of our chefs have previously worked in Michelin star or Rosette restaurants, which is reflected through our wide array of thought-out dishes,” Hugh says. 

The pubs have a set lunch menu offering two courses for £17, or three courses for £20, where you can choose from a variety of à la carte and classic meals at an affordable price.

Many of the chefs at The Tiger Inn and The Marquis Inn across Kent are Michelin star or Rosette restaurant-trained.

Many of the chefs at The Tiger Inn and The Marquis Inn have previously worked in Michelin star or Rosette restaurants, so you can rely on them to provide your friends and family with some fantastic dishes all-year round. - Credit: Fleur Challis Photography

A community atmosphere 

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The return to a ‘normal’ life of socialising and mixing with different people has been a long-awaited moment. Hugh explains how the pubs offer a sense of community and belonging amongst local residents and tourists alike. “I think we all felt a loss of closeness and connection to friends and family throughout the lockdowns, and our aim is to bring people back together,” he says. 

“And we really are just like a family,” he continues. “The whole team from the front of house to the back are just fantastic, and many of our staff have been with us for a long time.” 

Hugh tells us how Thursday nights have become a ‘locals’ night, creating a lively and friendly atmosphere. “We want everyone to have an enjoyable space they can come to, without the need for going abroad or on holiday. The pubs are contemporary with a traditional feel, making them perfect for catch-ups and dinners with friends and family in a stylish, yet comfortable environment.” 

The Marquis of Granby holds a quiz night at the end of every month, hosted by the local village postman, and they regularly host live music for customers to enjoy – every Monday at The Tiger and every Thursday at The Marquis of Granby.

“Our main aim with these evenings is to bring people together,” Hugh explains, “it’s about community and enjoying what we all love - to be with friends in an enjoyable environment. Even if someone wants to come in for a glass of Coke and stays the whole night for the quiz, it’s no problem. We do these events so that people can have a great evening out and mix with everyone else.”

The Marquis Inn in Alkham, Dover is the perfect retreat for a peaceful, countryside staycation.

The Marquis Inn in Alkham, Dover is the perfect retreat for a peaceful, countryside staycation. - Credit: Fleur Challis Photography

A staycation to remember 

As staycations become an increasingly popular alternative to holidays abroad, Hugh tells us more about the rural setting of The Marquis of Granby and why it’s so popular for locals and visiting tourists. 

“The location of the Inns is perfect for London residents and anyone looking for a quick weekend away, without travelling too far. We’re close to the Dover coast and a 15-minute drive from Ashford,” he says. 

The Marquis of Granby boasts 10 individually designed rooms available for visitors to pick from, and The Tiger Inn is their newest addition that was developed during lockdown, opening in May. “Since we opened The Tiger, we’ve been so busy. It’s been a huge success,” Hugh explains.

To check out the menu at The Marquis Inn, visit marquisofgranby.co.uk/food-and-drink/ or tigerinn.co.uk/food-and-drink/ for The Tiger Inn. 

Or, if you’d like to book a staycation, visit marquisofgranby.co.uk/rooms/

To speak to the team at the pubs, contact: 

The Marquis Inn - 01304 873410 or info@marquisofgranby.co.uk

The Tiger Inn - 01303 862 130 or info@tigerinn.co.uk.