High Cross Road, IVY HATCH, TN15 0NL
This 17th-century, tile-hung pub in the picturesque village of Ivy Hatch is but a short walk from the National Trust's Ightham Mote, Britain's best-preserved medieval manor house. From spring to autumn, The Plough keeps its own pigs and chickens in a cobnut coppice in the back garden. During the week it's open for breakfast and a wide range of teas and coffees. In the bar, the real ales come from a select roster of Kentish breweries, and food includes sandwiches with chips or soup; and a choice of fish, ploughman's and deli farm charcuterie boards. On the daily-changing restaurant menus are British- and European-style dishes featuring rare-breed steaks (Longhorn T-bones, Dexter sirloin and Shorthorn burgers) seafood, game and, courtesy of those pigs, country pork terrines; home-made bacon, pork and apple burgers; and mouth-watering, slow-cooked legs and shoulders. Looking to other options, a starter of gin cured salmon, pickled cherries and dill cream cheese might be followed by a main course of Chart Farm venison bourguignon with thyme and rosemary dumplings; polenta-coated deep-fried squid with chilli, parsley, aļoli and mixed leaves; or smoked chicken Caesar salad. Desserts include Seville orange curd and cinnamon mille feuille with passionfruit and orange sorbet; and chocolate fondant with vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce. There are many excellent walks through the countryside surrounding The Plough, and the road- and mountain-biking opportunities are excellent too. Muddy boots and cycling gear, if not necessarily de rigueur, are definitely not frowned upon and wearers caught in the rain will be able to dry off either in front of the winter open fire, or, if the sun's out, on the terrace.
Tel: 01732 810100
Please quote 'The AA'.
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Tonbridge Coppernob & Rustic, Old Dairy Red Top, Ringwood Best Bitter
All day all week
9am-11pm (Sat 10am-11pm Sun 10-6)
Coach parties catered.