16th century Elham pub reopens after £100k revamp

Historic village inn, The Rose and Crown in Elham near Canterbury has officially reopened following a £100k refurbishment.

The month-long project at the Grade II-listed building, which dates back to the 16th century, included decorating throughout, refurbishing the main bar and transforming a former games room into a private dining area for up to eight people.

Outside, the inn has been repainted with new signage and lighting, and the car park has been resurfaced. The large garden has an attractive selection of new flowers and shrubs, and the outdoor furniture has been fully reconditioned.

Licensees Alan Egan and Vicky Neaves took on the Rose and Crown just over a year ago. Vicky was working as assistant manager for the previous licensee, and when the inn became available, the couple decided to make the most of the opportunity.

Egan said, “We have both worked extensively in the hospitality industry, and could see that the Rose and Crown had a lot of potential. It has a lot of history and character, and is the biggest pub in Elham, with six en-suite guest rooms. We are delighted with the inn’s new look, as it is already helping us to attract more passing trade.”

Egan’s last role was as head chef at a Kent restaurant with two AA Rosettes, and he has also provided bespoke private dining for a number of high-profile clients in recent years.

His passion for food is evident in the delicious new menu of traditional and contemporary dishes on offer at the Rose and Crown. Locally sourced ingredients are used wherever possible, with bread from The Ark Bakery in Etchinghill, meat from Marchants of Bethersden, fish from Griggs of Hythe and fruit and vegetables from David Catt & Sons in Maidstone.

Egan added, “The pub has its own kitchen garden, so I also source herbs and vegetables from there, and some of the locals who have allotments in the village give me their surplus produce. We have purposely limited the number of dishes on the regular menu in order to have the freedom to introduce specials depending on the seasonal ingredients available.”

Food is served from 12 noon to 3pm and 6pm to 9pm Tuesday to Saturday, and noon to 5pm on Sunday.

Local dignitaries and residents were invited to the launch celebration on Thursday, June 14, with the first pint pulled by Leanne Marco, who has worked at the Rose and Crown for over 20 years since she was a teenager.

Shepherd Neame chief executive Jonathan Neame attended the event, and to mark the occasion presented a £1,000 cheque to Pilgrims Hospices. Neame said, “The Rose and Crown is a special building with a fascinating history. Our aim with this refurbishment was to update the inn with a stylish new look while also taking care to retain its original features.

'We are confident that with its new look and delicious new food offer, the inn will prove a huge success with locals and visitors alike.”