Coldharbour Road, PENSHURST, Tonbridge, TN11 8ET
During 1492, the year Columbus landed in America, the uniquely named Bottle House was being built as an estate farmhouse, which helps to put its great age in context. Down a country lane, it wasn't until 1806 that it was granted a licence to sell ale and cider, later also becoming a shop, a farrier's and a cobbler's. In 1938 a refurbishment exposed hundreds of old bottles -thus the name. Later improvements have included sandblasting ancient oak beams back to their natural colour, exposing brickwork and painting walls in neutral shades. At the copper-topped bar counter there's a contingent of beers from Kentish breweries Larkins, Tonbridge, Westerham and Whitstable, with Sussex-brewed Weltons joining the line-up, as well as 19 wines by the glass. The menus in the stylish dining room capitalise on the abundant supply of local produce, so the chef's recommendations change accordingly. For instance, there might be a starter of panko-breaded tiger prawns, or light dishes such as eggs Benedict; and creamy chorizo, pine nut and spinach linguine. Main courses include venison and bacon cottage pie, mustard mash and winter vegetables; butter-roasted chicken supreme with chorizo; Cajun hake fillet with creamy mash, buttered spinach, crispy bacon, peas and parmesan cream; and roasted cauliflower, spinach and hazelnut carbonara. Among the home-made desserts you're likely to find salted caramel brûlée; and chocolate brownie with toffee sauce and vanilla ice cream. When the weather's favourable, there's a good-sized patio area with umbrellas.
Tel: 01892 870306
Please quote 'The AA'.
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Larkins Traditional, guest ales from Westerham, Tonbridge, Whitstable & Weltons Breweries
All day all week
11-11 (Sun 11-10.30)
Coach parties catered.