Where can you get the best gin in Canterbury?


I like beer. I like beer a lot. In fact, it’s no coincidence that I’ve ended up in a part of the world famous for producing hops. I’ve yet to embark on a full scientific study of local beers, although I am enthusiastically gathering data.

Our move to a county that produces some of the world’s finest ales, has coincided with the arrival of my baby daughter, and there’s nothing that reduces the amount of time available for a really forensic exploration of local hostelries as much as a baby.

That being said, she did start to pay her way on father’s day when I was rewarded with a free pint at the Coach & Horses in Harbledown. Just  one though, and I don’t really count that as her buying a round. Freeloader.

Before you start to feel too sorry for me, I have managed to get out from time to time and I’m slowly building a bit of local knowledge. The Thomas Becket in town is already a family favourite on shopping trips, and I’ve even been allowed to sneak out and watch the football in the Bishop’s Finger. The last time was a World Cup game…but small victories, eh?

I would genuinely like some recommendations, I’m sure everyone has their favourite, and it is my cast iron guarantee that I will try to have a pint in every pub mentioned in the comments before the end of 2019. Or given the potential popularity of this column, I may be able to knock them off on a quiet Saturday afternoon.

 One place we have “discovered” is the relatively new Pegasus gin palace in St. Dunstan’s. Now I can imagine the eyes rolling at the DFL liking this, but it really is a lovely little place.

I’d walked past it many times and it always seemed very inviting, with its eclectic, homely décor and intriguingly large list of gins. On a recent all to rare date night, we ventured in, hoping to stave off sleep deprivation with some hard liquor. I was delighted to find that they also have a long list of craft beers, so I was able to tick two boxes in one visit.

The staff are genuinely friendly and knowledgeable, recommending gins and even the tonic to pair them with.  Mostly, though, it achieves that rare ambience of being in a cosy living room that so many places strive for but never quite achieve.

It seems gin is the thing at the moment, replacing whisky as the spirit of the fashionable drunkard. I’m fairly unimpressed by most of the flavoured offerings, but there’s also some good, solid, no nonsense offerings here.

Sometimes of course, I miss London, and when that happens I know I can go to The Falstaff. Once those glass doors close I could be anywhere in central London, especially when the bill arrives.


  1. You can’t beat the Foundary as they make their own gin, vodka and many more like spiced rum they also brew a good pint so I’m told I don’t drink beer ????

  2. If its beer you’re after you’re in Shepherd Neame country, for a good pint, (not necessarily Sheps) and food ….. not nouvelle cuisine though … try the Olde Beverlie at St Stephen’s, The Tylers Kiln at Tyler Hill, mostly we head out of town, The Black Robin at Kingston, The Duke of Cumberland at Barham, The Jackdaw at Denton, The Haywain at Bramling, The Anchor at Wingham, The Rose Inn Wickhambreaux and a “must” The Yew Tree at Westbere …… I’ve lunched in all of these but they are distinctly NOT London pubs.

  3. In the City the best pub is definitely The Dolphin, good food; nearby The Parrot is worth a visit and The Millers Arms, one up the street from The Dolphin, the other down …….The White Hart used to be ok but I’ve not been there in years so can’t speak for it now ……. all the rest I’m afraid I couldn’t recommend.


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