The Tickled Trout

Pub with rooms in West Farleigh, Kent

From £90 per night

Curator's notes:

  • Restored 16th-century pub in Medway Valley
  • Seasonal menus; local ingredients
  • Owned by Balfour Winery - great Kentish fizz
  • Six contemporary rooms
Book a room

Speak to us on +44 (0)203 868 4999


Balfour Hospitality have breathed new life into this historic 16th-century pub in sleepy-rural West Farleigh, just a short stroll from the River Medway at Teston Bridge Country Park.

The striking tall brick chimneys hint at the age of this former ale house and the contemporary-smart main bar reveals painted oak beams and exposed brick walls. The long, blue tiled and marble-topped bar dispenses an eclectic and interesting choice of drinks to quaff, from local craft beers and real ales to artisan gin (try the Anno Gin) and excellent wines, notably the full range of Balfour wines offered by the bottle and glass. The adjacent low-ceiling dining room is a cosy space in which to tuck into some freshly-cooked pub food - mussels six ways; South Coast fish; Kentish beef; and Jake's IPA bettered fish and chips.

Upstairs rooms offer a very comfortable base from which to explore this part of Kent - Maidstone is just 2.5 miles away, or why not follow the riverside path beside the Medway into town, and within easy reach are Tunbridge Wells and Leeds Castle, and London (1hr by train) for a grand day out.

Rooms from:

6 doubles: £90

Good to know

Major credit cards accepted (not Amex)

Disabled access (not rooms)

Alfresco dining

Parking available

Dogs welcome overnight

Teston Bridge Country Park

Combining 32 acres of grazed meadow, river walks, the picturesque 14th century Teston Bridge, this country park makes the most of its beautiful natural setting on the banks of the Medway.

Balfour Winery Tours

Set on a 400-acre family-owned estate in Marden, the modern winery offers informative tours and tastings, and is famous for producing Balfour Brut Rosé, one of the most iconic and exclusive English sparkling wines, using traditional Champagne methods and grape varieties.


The six upstairs bedrooms provide an excellent base for exploring the Medway Valley and a visit to the stunning Balfour Winery overlooking the vines near Staplehurst.

Rooms are named after members of the Balfour family and decorated with striking photographs of the Hush Heath Estate, the country estate on which the winery is located. Expect soothing neutral colours, big gilt framed mirrors, a mix of antique and contemporary furnishings, easy chairs and spacious tiled bathrooms with walk-in showers. Luke's Tree is a striking double-height room with the original 16th-century beam while the Balfour Suite and Leslie's Reserve feature period fireplaces.

Creature comforts include decent beds with crisp cotton linen, sumptuous feather bedding and colourful blanket throws, Smart TVs, Nespresso machines, Joe's tea and homemade biscuits, and Isle of Arran soaps and lotions. A few of the rooms are dog-friendly and the Balfour Suite is perfect for a family stopover.

Restaurant & bar

Menus showcase seasonal produce sourced entirely from local farms, butchers and fishermen, with dishes ranging from good pub classics to mussels six ways and imaginative main courses.

From a typical spring menu, kick off with wild garlic soup, Kentish asparagus with lemon and caper mayonnaise, or a bowl of mussels cooked Spanish style - saffron, chorizo and Luke's Pinot Noir broth. Follow with wild black bream fillet with salt-baked beetroot puree, parsnip parmentier and green onions, or a pub classic like a 10oz Kentish beef sirloin with chimichuri sauce and triple-cooked chips. Leave room for apple and cinnamon souffle cake, or a plate of Kentish cheeses. Book for excellent Sunday roasts.

Balfour pioneers both English traditional sparkling wines and world class red, white and rose wines and a good selection are available by the glass and bottle - do try one of the wine tasting flights (3 fizz & 3 still) to get a real flavour of the Balfour Collection. There are over 20 wines by the glass, in addition to Jake's Session IPA and Kentish Cider, also made at the winery 5 miles away in Marden.

Things to do

The stunning moated manor house of Ightham Mote, built in the 14th century, is surely one of the most delightful houses in the country. Its half-timbered façade rises from the waters, and other highlights include the picturesque courtyard, Great Hall, painted Tudor ceiling, and Grade I-listed dog kennel. The house is surrounded by lovely gardens, an orchard, water features, lakes and woodland walks.

Set in the grounds of Aylesford Priory, Aylesford Pottery is one of the few surviving commercial potteries in the South-east of England. They make a range of handmade thrown and handbuilt ceramics, plus architectural commissions. The pottery also runs a school of ceramics.

Set up by PhD research and development chemists Andy Reason and Norman Lewis, Anno Gin is an artisan gin distillery producing Anno Kent Dry Gin in a small batch copper pot still called Patience, using a blend of traditional botanicals with local hops, lavender from Downderry Nursery, samphire from Romney Marsh and wild flowers. Time a visit for a distillery tour and tutored tasting.

Getting here


Nearest train station: East Farleigh & Maidstone

Taxi from station: 4min & 9min

Drive: Tonbridge 22min; Sevenoaks 33min: Ashford 38min; London 1hr 15min


Lower Road, West Farleigh, Maidstone, Kent ME15 0PE

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