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, hence 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. When the weather’s favourable, there’s a good-sized patio area with umbrellas.
Closed: 25 December
Open all week
Open all day
Opening times: 11–11 (Sunday 11–10.30)
Lunch: Monday to Saturday 12–10, Sunday and bank holidays 12–9
Dinner: Monday to Saturday 12–10, Sunday and bank holidays 12–9
Credit cards accepted
Coach parties welcome, notice required
Allowed in bar
Allowed in garden
A264 west from Tunbridge Wells onto B2188 north. After Fordcombe left towards Edenbridge and Hever. Pub 500 yards after staggered crossroads.