There can be few British traditions more deeply rooted in the nation's psyche than the traditional British Pub.
The inns and ale houses of history have seen poets, playrights, musicians and writers throughout the ages. Without the pub there would have been no Shakespeare, no Dylan Thomas, no Caravan or Hatfield and The North. Meeting place, venue for celebration in the good times and commiseration in the bad, the heart of the town or village, pubs have a special place in the soul of every Englishman.
Pubs, though, have taken a battering in recent years. Drink drive laws initially dampened the revenues of more rural establishmnents until the advent of designated drivers. The smoking ban again mitigated aginst the traditional pub clientele but also opened them up to new visitors. More recently the popularity of 'drinking at home' and the general economic climate has driven pubs to seek new ways to attract custom and favour.
Pubs have had to become more family and child friendly, offering play equipment, gardens, and children's meals. They now offer comprehensive eating facilities, from gourmet, Michelin rated restaurants, to more homely Ploughman's. Entertainment has also burgeoned. Snoooker, Pool Tables and Dart Boards abound, but they have been joined by live sports broadcasts, free wi-fi access, music - from classical string quartets to post-punk and indie bands - , quiz nights, comedy nights and a host of other entertainments.
Perhaps one of the last bastions of the 'traditional' country pub but also catering to a wider audience, Kent has pubs to suit any taste.
The increasing popularity of traditional beers and ales, started by CAMRA, and the favourable tax arrangements have seen an explosion of Micro-Breweries and Micro-Pubs across the country and Kent boasts over 25 Micro-Breweries and more than 10 Micro-Pubs, many centred around the Whitstable and Herne Bay coast.
So, looking for a night out? You can't do much better than a Kentish Pub.
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