Renowned restaurateurs and chefs the Tanner brothers are set to open a new pub in Bidborough next month.
Originally from Tunbridge Wells, Chris and James have been heavily involved with the planning and refurbishment of the village pub, which will be known as The Kentish Hare.
Formerly the Hare and Hounds, the pub was purchased from Enterprise Inns by local residents Sir Keith and Lady Maureen Mills in June 2013.
Lady Mills, who has a passion for interior design, has been working alongside the Tanner brothers to completely redesign and refurbish the pub.
She said: “I am delighted to announce this joint venture with Chris and James – they bring huge experience and will, I am sure, build a strong reputation for high quality food, coupled with great service.”
Born and bred in Tunbridge wells, Chris and James established their now famous restaurant ‘Tanners’ in 1999 in Plymouth, Devon. ‘Tanners’ is listed in all the major food guides and was awarded ‘Restaurant of the year for England’ in the 2007/8 AA Guide. In 2006 they opened the highly successful brasserie ‘The Barbican Kitchen’, housed in the famous Plymouth Gin distillery.
The brothers also have businesses in Looe, Cornwall which include farm shop ‘Quaysidefresh’ and street food counter ‘Str…Eat’. This summer sees the opening of ‘The Catch’, which is their take on the great British fish and chip shop.
The brothers have written several cookery books and James’ media career spans some 13 years, now with regular appearances on ITV’s Lorraine and Saturday Kitchen.
Chris Tanner commented: “This is a natural progression for us as an expanding company and ‘The Kentish Hare’ is the perfect location for us to do just that – it’s like coming home.”
As well as a new restaurant, with an open plan kitchen, there are two new bars, an outdoor terrace and a new landscaped garden with seating.
“Our vision is to provide affordable, locally sourced great food, ales, beers and wines in a relaxed and informal atmosphere, in exactly the same way as we operate our South West operations,” added James Tanner.
The Kentish Hare will open to the public from Saturday 10 May. Visit www.thekentishare.com or call 01892 525709 for more information.