Restaurant of the month: The Little Brown Jug
The Little Brown Jug
Kent TN11 8JJ
Tel: 0892 870318
Love British Food caught up with General Manager Laura Colvin.
For their third venture, Whiting & Hammond decided to go smaller but continued to think big with the Little Brown Jug in Chiddingstone Causeway. Following
the previous owner’s decision to cease trading, W&H were again approached by Greene King with an offer they couldn’t refuse, jumping at the chance
to take on this exciting new project in April 2006.
Opening with a small team from existing establishments, this latest operation boomed and saw an abundance of new faces passing through its doors. Ever the perfectionists, however, the group decided to close the pub for six weeks in February of the following year for a major refurbishment, including moving the pub’s kitchen once more.
As a result, turnover doubled and continues to grow to this day, with punters being drawn to the pub’s sleepy, idyllic location in the small Kentish village, not to mention the open plan layout, filled with rustic bookshelves, cosy corners and a roaring wood burner, which is inviting as it is charming. Additionally, three distinctive and immensely popular huts have also been set up in the beer garden, creating a fantastic, one-of-a-kind dining experience that makes the Little Brown Jug stand out in its own right.
As the head office of the Whiting & Hammond family and the first to host the now legendary beer festivals, this rural country retreat is where the magic really happens. Formerly known as The Station on account of its close proximity to Penshurst railway station, the ‘LBJ’, as it is affectionately known, also lies in between Chiddingstone and Leigh, where community and farming have a very strong influence indeed.
Initially employing the expertise of six sensational chefs, they immediately got to work, implementing new and exciting additions to the company’s increasingly popular menu, while friendly staff cultivated an air of neighbourly familiarity with every customer who came in, a quality that still defines it to this day.
In a village where everyone knows everyone, it wasn’t long before the local punters made it a regular haunt, creating a communal, familial atmosphere with every pint pulled. That’s not to say that newcomers aren’t welcome, of course; it has also built a reputation as a hospitable and inviting watering hole for drinkers and diners from far and wide.
Why do you do what you do?
I love being up and about, I couldn't do an office job!
What do you enjoy most about your job?
Meeting the customers and giving people an unforgettable experience.
What do you enjoy the least about your job?
Sometimes missing out on events with friends and family due to working weekends and evenings.
What achievement for the restaurant are you most proud of?
I'm brand new to The Little Brown Jug so I'm excited to see what we can achieve over the next 12 months and onwards.
Do you use British produce?
As a group Whiting and Hammond source as many ingredients locally as possible, with our butcher just up the road!
What do you think is best about using British produce?
You know where your food is coming from which is something to be proud of.
Why should people buy British?
To reduce the carbon footprint.
What is your most popular dish?
Our Larkins beer batter fish & chips (come in small and whale!)