The Mary Rose is a strange establishment. It's a 16th century inn stranded in the Cray Valley, largely refurbished and extended nowadays but still bearing a few traces of its history. Situated on the narrow, very Kentish, High Street in St. Mary Cray, this hotel reminded us of that Norman Bates line in Psycho, "they moved away the highway". We were stumped to imagine who might occupy the 42 rooms here, let alone the bridal, executive or Jacuzzi suites. A friendly lady behind the bar couldn't offer draught real ales but we were taken by Mackeson's Stout and Young's Light Ale in bottles. It's important to note that the bar is residents-only after 6.30pm. Timbered beams and the chatter of locals made this a pleasant place for a drink or two. Unless you wish to sample the peculiar 'not London but not Kent' environs of St. Mary Cray, you won't lose sleep if you just read this review, shrug your shoulders and get on with your life.
Reviewed by columbo
05 Apr 2006