High Street, Penshurst, Tonbridge, TN11 8BT
Whether you’re planning a peaceful trip this spring or summer to the historic and quaint little village of Penshurst, situated in a valley on the northern slopes of the Kentish Weald, or you’re simply passing through the area, there’s no reason not to make a pit-stop at one of our favourite restaurants in the Kent region, The Leicester Arms Hotel.
Nestled between the market town of Tonbridge and the spa town of Royal Tunbridge Wells at the confluence of the Medway and the Eden, Penshurst might be famous as being the home of Penshurst Place, a stunning 14th-century manor house built in 1341 and once the property of King Henry VIII, but it should be famous for the exquisite dishes, exceptionally warm welcome, and unrivalled elegance you’ll find at this rare gem of a hotel, restaurant and bar.
As soon as you set your eyes on this handsome building’s old-fashioned yet inviting façade, you’ll know you’re in for a real treat. From the attractive Tudor porch that calls you in to the vines that crawl up the walls past the warming glow streaming out of the hotel’s large windows, few establishments come close to boasting the kind of charm and character of The Leicester Arms Hotel. Step inside and you’ll immediately feel right at home. Squashy leather armchairs, exposed brick, and wooden beams create a cosy and familiar atmosphere that will ensure your hours spent unwinding here are nothing short of a complete and utter joy.
Take a seat in the light and airy restaurant area, enjoy gorgeous garden views, and peruse the enticing and innovative menu just bursting with mouth-watering, must-try modern British dishes. When we visited earlier in the year, we were blown away by the care that goes into each and every dish. Our starter of crispy soft-shell crab with Asian-style slaw and tart blood orange dressing was a treat for all the senses, while our main of pan-seared duck breast with baby beetroot, earthy Romanesco broccoli and burnt cauliflower puree was cooked to perfection. The creamy vanilla panna cotta with mixed berry compote made the perfect finish to a wonderful feast we’ll never forget.
Popular with ramblers, cyclists, tourists, and of course the lucky locals who get to have this one-of-a-kind establishment on their doorsteps, whether you’re searching for an idyllic country retreat to spend a cosy and comfortable night, the perfect place to drink and dine, or a charming venue in which to host a special celebration or wedding, The Leicester Arms is that place. Boasting 12 unique and stylish bedrooms, a private dining room, and a beautiful garden which makes the perfect backdrop for a romantic wedding reception, we’re sure you’ll love The Leicester Arms Hotel just as much as we did.
For more on The Leicester Arms Hotel, visit their website and be sure to look out for our review in our recently released Kent Food & Drink Guide. Get your FREE copy of the guide here or read a digital copy of the guide here.