The Compasses, Tunbridge Wells
When people visit Tunbridge Wells, they inevitably gravitate to the Pantiles area - it's been pretty much that way since the 17th Century, but if you resist the temptation to follow the flow of water and you're prepared to make a short, steep walk up the hill from the station, you'll be amply rewarded. Only a few minutes from the station up Little Mount Sion, you'll find the Compasses. It's a deceptively large old pub (claiming to date from 1640), serving Cask Marque real ales and an extensive food menu - with good deals on food throughout the week. The pub's been refurbished relatively recently and it's a lot smarter now (with olde worlde features). The basic layout hasn't changed - you still have four good-sized rooms arranged around a central bar. The atmosphere's variable: weekend nights will see it crowded with lads and lasses (mainly lads) out on the town, consequently there'll be a lot less room and service will be slower, but during the rest of the week it's a more relaxed affair. And during the day you get the added benefit of the park that the pub backs onto - in their own words "probably the biggest beer garden in the world". The Compasses is a pretty decent spot for a pint in comfortable surroundings, especially if the thought of another visit to the Pantiles causes you to stifle a yawn - there are alternative places in Tunbridge Wells.
Review: 5 out of 7 people found this review helpful
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