Kent's 'best pub' with 'superb food' wins another award for 'spectacular' refurbishment

-Credit: (Image: Fleur Challis Photography)
-Credit: (Image: Fleur Challis Photography)


A Kent pub, already a three-time winner of Kent's best pub title, has added another feather to its cap. The Kings Arms in Elham has now clinched the prestigious CAMRA Refurbishment award, showcasing its successful blend of historic charm and modern appeal.

Nestled in the heart of the village, it has become a favourite spot for pub enthusiasts and walkers alike, thanks to its prime location in the North Downs between Folkestone, Dover, Ashford and Canterbury. Best described as gastrofood with a twist, The King's Arms offers visitors locally-sourced food, beer and wine, in a historic village setting. Contemporary Pub's managing director, Will Sheldon, was born and raised in Elham

The interior remains true to its historic origins: once a grain store, the pub now presents its wines amidst a shelf of hanging grain crops, juxtaposing with the more modern instalments of mirrors, vases, and trendy geometric cushions.

The exposed beams offer a rustic effect, yet the refurbishment succeeds in the difficult feat of clinging to the space’s authentic origins whilst transforming it into a fresh and trendy spot for a pint.

The Kings Arms sits in the heart of the picturesque village of Elham between Folkestone and Canterbury -Credit:Fleur Challis Photography
The Kings Arms sits in the heart of the picturesque village of Elham between Folkestone and Canterbury -Credit:Fleur Challis Photography

The garden is cozy and classic, adorned with zests of colour that anticipate the joy of a Summer evening spent tucking into a tapas dish (their menu promises a tapas night at the beginning of August, an event we can only imagine to be unmissable). It is no surprise that the pub stormed CAMRA’s competitive refurbishment category and proved itself once more as one of the best pubs in Kent.

And the refurb is already going down a storm with customers. One recent review 2024 reads: "We visited for Sunday lunch having heard about the pub's makeover and were not disappointed. The refurb is spectacular and the food, service and wine all excellent. This is probably now my favourite pub in Kent"

Another added: "Superb food, with generous portions, so generous I couldn’t fit in a pudding. The Kings Arms is quite the entrance, beautifully designed, a rustic feel, with modern and contemporary decor. Attention to detail clearly runs throughout the pub, from its design, decor, food and service. Food was very tasty, 10/10 on presentation and the service provided was spot on!"

The Kings Arms in Elham won the Refurbishment category in the Campaign for Real Ale’s Pub Design Awards
The Kings Arms in Elham won the Refurbishment category in the Campaign for Real Ale’s Pub Design Awards -Credit:CAMRA

Chair of the design awards judging panel Andrew Davison notes that “Our Pub Design Awards recognise the high standards of flair and imagination which have gone into these projects, and the ambitious craftsmanship involved in the repair and conservation work. Despite everything thrown at it, we believe that the pub has a key role to play in our communities, and that it will continue to flourish as an institution. The high quality of the entries for these Awards provides evidence to support that belief.”

The pub can be found at St Mary's Rd, Elham CT4 6TJ England. The website can be found here.

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