The Great House, Hawkhurst

You know those places that people always say “oh, you MUST go?” Well, The Great House is one of them. Nowadays, in the age of TripAdvisor and social media, word of mouth recommendations are so important for restaurants, and as I’d only ever heard good things about it, a group of six of us shunned our usual Prezzo catch-up, and descended on The Great House instead.

Part of the Elite Pubs group (who have the likes of The Potting Shed in Langley and The Vineyard in Lamberhurst), the 16th century inn can be found between Hawkhurst and Cranbrook.

Inside, the pub is mach larger than you expect it to be, and the decor is just gorgeous – think a mix of country farmhouse and contemporary chic. I fell in love with it the minute we entered, and once we were shown to our rustic wooden table overlooking the garden outside, and I spotted the fireplace, which has been converted to a wine store, I loved it a little bit more.

There’s nothing pretentious about this place – the staff are friendly, the atmosphere is welcoming, and for a Thursday night it was packed, which I think speaks volumes.

The menu changes daily, and there’s plenty to choose from. To start, I ordered the spiced courgette soup, which came with a huge wedge of homemade bread, and it was delicious, really fresh tasting and warming. For my main I had the burger, with some ‘slap ya mama’ seasoning on the chips – interesting name, but great flavour! The burger was tasty too.


Between us we shared a couple of bottles of red (El Zafiro Extremadura Tinto, which was a great red wine for an almost-autumnal day), but it’s worth noting that they also serve carafes of wine here…I love feeling like I’m on holiday by having my wine from a carafe, so extra brownie points for that.

Also…the toilets are lovely! I know you don’t book a table based on the restaurant’s lavatory offerings, but our whole group commented on how nice they were. I was almost tempted to take a picture, but sometimes, you have to know when to stop…

Sadly I didn’t know when to stop when it came to eating my dinner, which meant that by the time I got home I had to go straight to bed because I was too full to stand. But, it was worth it. The food, atmosphere (and toilets!) at The Great House are, as the name suggests, great. Now it’ll be one of those places I’ll be telling other people they MUST visit…

PS, please excuse the terrible photos. It was pretty dark, and after a few wines it became difficult to get anything that was a) in focus, and b) didn’t have the shadow of cat ears from my phone case…


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