Wonderful Woolpack Hotel, Tenterden. Centuries of Serving the Public!
Tenterden is a Medieval town in Kent. It was one of the Cinque Ports and had a busy shipyard, but Mother Nature, who is always active around Britain’s coastlines, pushed the sea away from Tenterden and silted up the land and it is now a couple of miles away from the town.
The Woolpack, affectionately known as the Woolly, has been in the centre of Tenterden’s High Street since the 15th Century. It was a coaching inn, and a stop to Maidstone in the 17th Century.
It’s Grade 2 Listed.
The décor is bare floorboards and simple, unpretentious chairs and tables.
The Woolpack has had its ups and downs through the centuries, and after being closed for two years, it has now been open for six, successfully run by Rob and Caroline Cowan, who also run a nearby farm.
On a recent day out in Tenterden, I met Sue Ferguson of My Tenterden for lunch in the Woolpack.
It was a lovely warm day and apart from a man at the bar, we were the only people in there.
George the Manager kept disappearing and I assumed he was sloping off for a fag or to chat to the Chef while things were quiet, until I realised that there’s a garden at the back which was heaving with customers and poor George was rushed off his feet!
All the food comes either from Rob and Caroline’s farm or from local suppliers, so we were guaranteed a tasty lunch.
For starters, Sue had Welsh Rarebit with a fried egg, £6.50.
She said the egg was lovely and runny and there was a flavoursome dressing on the salad accompaniment.
I had a Traditional Scotch Egg with curry mayo. £6.50.
When I cut the Scotch egg in half, the egg was still runny.
How do they manage to do that?
It was lovely, with farm fresh sausagemeat and egg.
My one quibble is, I felt the sausagemeat was too thick. It overpowered the flavour of the egg. And as it was just a starter, I didn’t eat it all, which was a shame.
For our main course, Sue had ordered Halloumi and Roasted Pepper Burger with Hand-cut Chips. £10.
Oh it did look good! And Sue said it tasted as good as it looked, with soft and squeaky Halloumi.
I had an 8oz Ribeye Steak with Beef Tomato, onion and Hand-cut Chips.
My steak was exactly right! And home-made chips. Anyone who can’t make fresh chips shouldn’t be allowed to serve food. You can’t beat fresh chips!
I had half a lager to drink, which was brewed just along the road in the Old Dairy.
For dessert, Sue had Bakewell Tart. £5.50.
It was home-made, and smelled gorgeous, with lovely jam and almond. And no soggy bottom!
Mine was Lemon and Lime Posset with home-made shortbread and ice cream. £5.50.
I’d definitely recommend it for a dessert. It was lick-out-the-bowl good. ( I didn’t, but I wanted to.)
Upstairs there are 6 ensuite bedrooms if you want to stay and explore the region for a couple of days.
I said goodbye to George before he dashed away again and walked along the High Street with Sue to catch my coach, promising to return soon to spend more time in the town.
26 High Street
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