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PubSpy reviews The Cricketers Inn, Meopham
AH, CRICKET. Is there a finer way to spend a Sunday than with the sound of leather on willow, white trousers, village greens and cucumber sandwiches?
Obviously the answer is yes, there is. But if you do find yourself stuck by a boundary, then at least you ought to have access to beer.
For that matter, it ought to be a picture-postcard village green, lined with pretty cottages and manicured lawns.
It ought to be in Kent, and there should be a windmill in sight. And the pub should be a good one.
The Cricketers Inn in Meopham fulfils those criteria.
The smell of a quality – but not cheap at £12.95 – roast is even suitably distracting for the portly old-timers stood for four hours in a field with just a fruit squash for sustenance.
From the outside, it is well-kept – despite its windows being an obvious target for a lusty blow – with colourful plants and a nice paintjob.
Inside is pristine, bordering on too neat (let’s face it, if a pub’s too tidy it is soulless).
It is light and airy with plenty of windows and a comfortable conservatory.
The smell is even more appetising inside too.
As you would expect for this kind of gastropub, it was well-staffed. Or, it would be more fitting to say, there was plenty of staff.
Approaching the bar, service was quick.
My driver ordered a decaf coffee (luckily she hadn’t seen too much of the cricket otherwise caffeine would have been a necessity).
I opted for a pint of Harvey’s Sussex Wild Hop.
With such a long order, the lad behind the bar was always going to struggle, wasn’t he?
He struggled with the beer. I read him every single word off the tap, but was still met with a blank stare.
Initially, pointing did not work either.
The obstacle was eventually overcome, only for the dozy barman to forget the rest of the order, and then neglect to give change.
It was only five pence, so I didn’t send my driver to complain. I’ve just written about it here instead – a much more reasonable approach.
The upshot was a flat, watery brew for the both of us.
As a conscientious PubSpy, I feel obliged to say the beer could have tasted rank regardless of where it was purchased, or it could have been the pub.
After being told where to sit (choosing a seat is so overrated) the coffee came, sans smile, about 10 minutes later.
The wateriness of this brew – like I care – was almost certainly a willingness on my part to sink the plunger in the posh cafetiere too readily.
Oh, and I had to sit near a cushion that read Keep Calm and Smile. Am I the only one who gets an urge to set fire to furnishings which urge you to Keep Calm? Surely not.
The Cricketers Inn, Wrotham Road, Meopham
How it rated:
Decor **** Clean but not characterless
Drink **** They’ve got it all
Price *** Ok. Pricey for food but looked worth it
Atmosphere ***** Convivial
Staff *** I think I just got a duff one
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