The Milk House, Sissinghurst, hotel review

It’s a village pub with a sun-trap of a garden, well stocked bar, excellent dining room and four beautiful bedrooms. It has everything you need… you won’t want to leave.

The Milk House, Sissinghurst, hotel review

Tell us about The Milk House
Where do I start? This pub has it all. You know those adverts ‘If Carlsberg did…’ well if Carlsberg did pubs, for me, this would be it. My boyfriend and I spent one night at The Milk House – and it wasn’t enough.

It’s the kind of pub you could spend a lifetime at. In fact, while we were enjoying a chilled rosé on our arrival, we got chatting with a local family about how often they visit. The young parents, with three children, confessed that they are at The Milk House a lot because it’s on their school run and has something for the whole family; good booze selection for them, a play area for the children, incredible pizzas (more about that later) and a great atmosphere with other parents and children.

As we were talking I was wondering if, when I have children, I can make sure their school is near to such an excellent pub like this one.

Where is The Milk House?
The pub is in pretty little corner of Kent in a quaint little village called Sissinghurst. There’s plenty to see in the area; Sissinghurst Castle, with its beautiful gardens created in the 1930s by the writer Vita Sackville-West, is a 20-minute walk away; the Chapel Down wine estate is a 20-minute drive away and, further afield, you can visit Rye, Hastings and Folkestone which are all reachable by car in under an hour.

How to get there?
We hired a car for the weekend and managed to include an excellent lunch at The Sportsman in Seasalter as well as a trip to Whitstable for a walk along the beach and a pint of Whitstable Bay ale. You don’t need a car though. The nearest train station to the pub is Staplehurst which is a short taxi drive away.

What’s at the pub?
Well, as you may have already gathered, it’s not just a pub. The former 16th-century hall house has an excellent wine list as well as local ales and beers. There’s a huge dining room serving lunch and dinner (see below) every day as well as roasts on Sundays.

There are rooms for guests upstairs and outside there’s a terrace that was a huge hit on the sunny weekend we were there – for many good reasons. There’s a small duck pond with two hungry-for-snacks ducks, a kid’s play area, sprawling garden, patio, outside bar, lots of seating including a  long bench for big parties and, the cherry on the top, a traditional wood-fired pizza oven.

If you visit during the summer months you wont be able to resist the smells coming from the pizza kitchen. The pizzas, all topped with local charcuterie, cheese and seasonal vegetables, are a must-try. Especially with an ice-cold pimms or bottle of beer on a summer’s day.

What about dinner?
The menu in the dining room changes with the seasons and, where possible, is made with produce from suppliers within a 20-mile radius. Chef-owner Dane Allchorne cooks British dishes but with hints of different flavours from around the world.

The classic menu has everything you’d expect a good gastropub to serve; burger, fish and chips, sausage and mash, steak sandwich and various salads. There’s also a grazing menu, with smaller plates such as mini Park Farm sausages with mustard mayo and goat’s cheese-stuffed pimento peppers, that’s served all day.

The dining menu offers more adventurous dishes, such as globe artichoke with preserved lemon mayonnaise to start and osso bucco with a rosemary and saffron risotto. Both of which I ate and thoroughly recommend.

What’s in the room?
There are four beautiful rooms above the pub – we stayed in The Dairy, pictured below. The fab king size four-poster bed was so comfortable and had the softest pillows and fine Egyptian cotton sheets. The bathroom was huge and well-equipped with everything you need for a tea or coffee in the morning and biscuits too.

How was breakfast?
It was a lovely sunny morning-after-the-night-before so we had an alfresco full English on that huge bench I told you about earlier. The quality of the ingredients on the breakfast were outstanding – the poached eggs had a perfect orange yolk, sausages were wholesome and meaty and the bacon was proper thick-cut with so much flavour. It was cooked well too, not greasy at all.

What’s the damage?
Rooms start from £120 and include breakfast. You also have the added bonus that you can get a bit squiffy in the pub, then walk up the staircase and fall into bed.

Anything else to add?
I left thinking that if I could own my own pub The Milk House would be it. I checked the prices of the new homes being built next door – they were way out of my league. So all I can do, for now anyway, is start some serious saving and look forward to my next visit…

Talking of which, on the coming bank holiday weekend (26-29 August) The Milk House will be hosting Milk Fest – a long weekend with live music, theatre, face-painting and, of course, excellent food and drink throughout.

The Milk House, The Street, Sissinghurst, Kent TN17 2JG

01580 720200 email: fresh@themilkhouse.co.uk

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