Popular Kent family pub closes for major renovation costing 'six figures'

The Wateringbury in Kent
-Credit: (Image: Oast House Archive/Wikimedia Commons)

A large family pub in Kent has closed for a major refurbishment which will cost "six figures". The Wateringbury is about four and a half miles from Maidstone and is not far from the spectacular view of the medieval Teston Bridge over the River Medway.

The pub shut on Monday (July 8) and the work now underway includes being fully revamped inside and an upgrade to the garden terrace. The pub beside the main A26 Tonbridge Road is a Chef & Brewer, a 'destination brand' of pub company Greene King which has almost 900 pubs in England, Scotland and Wales.

There are 150 Chef & Brewer pubs, which the company describes as "countryside pubs". On Tripadvisor, The Wateringbury, which is 12 miles from Tunbridge Wells, has four stars out of a possible five from a whopping 853 reviews.

The latest review was in June, with the person saying: "We have never been here before. The food was hot and delicious our waitress was amazing and a lovely garden out the back if you wish to sit outside. Will definitely come back, top marks."

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There are reviews from people who stayed at the adjoining hotel, Premier Inn. Another person said: "We enjoyed a huge and delicious brunch here today. The drinks, Continental and full English were just what the doctor ordered! Everyone was satisfied. Parking was easy and staff really pleasant and efficient."

The stunning Teston Bridge -Credit:KentLive
The stunning Teston Bridge -Credit:KentLive

The pub is due to reopen in August, but no date has been given. Years ago, the pub used to be called The King's Head, which was built in 1938 by the local Leney Brewery, to replace the demolished former King's Head Pub, according to the fascinating Kent pub website, Dover Kent Archives.

The site has two photographs of the pub's signs. One is a spectacular ornate sign in relief - which means sculpted pieces are raised from a flat base - and typically Kentish, with the River Medway flowing under the picturesque stone bridge, swifts or swallows, a row of oast houses, and a wagon with a farmer laying on top of the hay or straw, with a shire horse pulling it along.

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