When society finally breaks down into chaos or the zombie apocalypse comes – and one or both of those is surely inevitable – there is one place you will find me; locked in at The Blacksmith Arms.
Deep in the countryside, sufficiently tucked away from the first wave of looters and flesh eaters, it is comfortable and well-run.
There is even a gun above the fireplace for the final showdown.
Whether being trapped with Blacksmith regular Nigel Farage would happily see you through the apocalypse or make you pray for the end to come, is a moot point.
I’m sure many of us would wager – regardless of his politics, or perhaps in spite of them – that he’d be good company in a pub.
It would be reassuring, too, to not be the person most uncomfortable with zombies moving in next door.
The Blacksmith Arms is the idyll you imagine when you hear the words ‘country pub’, and is the kind of place a lot of us would picture when we dream of owning one.
A postcard-pretty building is surrounded by a giant car park and a sizeable cared-for (if a little plain) garden that looked attractive even in the rain.
The only downside was a ‘funny’ sign which implied lonely shepherds sodomise their flock. UKIP humour.
A tastefully illuminated bar, gleaming brasses and meticulous upkeep made the inside a cosy and pleasant experience.
There’s quality reading – a stack of News Shoppers – on the bar, too. Or maybe they were there to mop up spillages.
The staff couldn’t have been nicer. The three ladies behind the bar were chatty, friendly and generally lovely – the warmest I’ve encountered in a long, long while.
On the bar, there was a conservative range of drinks, with just a trio of standard ales to complement the usual selection. During the zombie lock-down, you would almost certainly be pleading for more variety.
But you wouldn’t be going hungry. The Blacksmith serves a reassuringly expensive but thoroughly tasty and filling menu. My steak and Guinness pie was the highlight of my week.
Others clearly thought fondly of the food. I have never seen a pub so full on a weekday afternoon.
The Blacksmith Arms, Cudham Lane South, Cudham
How it rated:
Decor***** (So, so pretty and well kept)
Atmosphere **** (Friendly, relaxed and busy)
Drink** (A passable range)
Food***** (Filling, homely, delicious)
Price*** (Reasonably priced beer, pricey food)
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