Restaurant of the month: The Cricketers Inn
The Cricketers Inn
Tel: 01474 812163
Whiting & Hammonds sixth foray into food and fine ales, was the Cricketers Inn. Steeped in history and tradition, this magnificent pub dates back to the 18th century, its name staying intact for almost 300 years. Set in the picture postcard village of Meopham in Kent, it is flanked by a stunning windmill on one side and a cricket green on the other, cultivating a nostalgic feel that will take you back to a quaint, bygone era.
The pub was acquired in the summer of 2010 and Whiting & Hammond made it their goal to give the people of Meopham their local pub back, returning it to its former glory and restoring the locals’ faith in a place of which they can be truly proud. To that end, the pub team are heavily involved in local community projects, including taking up sponsorship of the Meopham Cricket Team and supporting various events that the local parish council have undertaken.
Now completely refurbished, the bar and lounge has a wonderfully warm and welcoming feel, complete with wood and stone flagged floors, four open log fires, bookcases and curious pictures. This new look, while in keeping with the village’s rustic aesthetic, has ensured there is no stereotypical customer type.
A cross section of patrons from throughout the community and beyond frequent the pub. Everyone is welcome, from young to old or business professionals to families. A favourite with foodies, as well as with those who just want to pop in and have a drink in the vibrant and relaxing atmosphere. The pub was been shortlisted for Best New Pub at the Morning Advertiser 250 Awards in 2011.
Word of mouth has again proved a sure-fire way of enabling Whiting & Hammonds latest venture grow in popularity. Celebrating the Whiting & Hammond events list in style, adding a ‘wow’ factor to each one hosted, which captivates customers’ imaginations every time. In addition to the usual celebrations, the pub also makes an occasion of St. George’s Day, National Butchers’ Week and Shrove Tuesday, ensuring all customers’ favourite calendar dates are covered.
The Cricketers’ large beer battered North Atlantic cod is a widespread favourite for punters, having become known by staff and customers alike as the ‘Jurassic Cod’ on account of its enormity.
Ultimately, the Cricketers Inn is a pub that holds onto its historic links. Since the 1700s, there has been a unique connection between the pub and the local cricket team and community, this will be retained and strengthened in the future.
The local area is viewed by many as one of the birthplaces of cricket. Indeed, a number of the sport’s founding fathers were known to have frequented the pub before, during and after the game, which gives you some idea of how dearly the pub hold their heritage and how proud they are to be at the heart of the local community.
Love British Food talked to General Manager Joel Dos Santos to learn more about The Cricketers Inn.
Why do you do what you do?
I enjoy providing excellent service, meeting the customers as well as the joy you get from guests having an enjoyable time.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
Being creative with menus and drink offerings.
What do you enjoy least about your job?
The unsociable hours.
What achievement for the restaurant are you most proud of?
The Cricketers is one of the groups top performers, that makes me proud.
Do you use British produce?
We buy British and use as locally as possible.
What do you think is best about using British produce?
As well as supporting local businesses, you can guarantee the freshness and quality of a product that has only travelled a short distance.
Why should people buy British?
We produce some amazing food in this country.
What is your most popular dish?
Fish & Chips