The Crown Inn, Groombridge Kent

This is a great old pub with some interesting history going back to 1585. The pub has many good features, but my favourite has to be the superb cosy inglenook fire.
There was a friendly atmosphere in the bar that was full of locals, the pleasant burble of conversation that seemed to come from more people than where in evidence in the pub. We were sat in the restaurant side of the pub, which was almost empty but considering that it was the day after boxing day it is not exactly surprising.
The pub had some good beers I had the Larkins Traditional Ale which was a very drinkable session ale. I had the steak and ale pie with chips and slightly watery winter vegetables, the pie was generously laden with steak and a rich, delicious gravy. The steak would have benefitted from cooking for an extra 30 minutes stewing and I always feel short changed when a pie only has a lid and no sides or base even when it is delicious. The wife had the lasagne which was alright without being spectacular.
Overall a good pub with excellent beer and tasty food, friendly atmosphere and a perfect place to finish the 2009 Good Beer Guide before starting to look at the 2010 Guide.

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