Contemporary inn The Milk House opened its doors in 2013. Set within a traditional 16thC hall, the open-plan pub interior has been given quite a contemporary redecoration, with a creamy green-and-white colour scheme, faux book-case wallpaper and a wicker bar at its centre. It's sophisticated and inviting, if perhaps a touch modish and lacking in character. The place draws in hordes of locals at all times of day, who congregate around the bar or come in to sample the menu of chef (and owner) Dane Allchorne. Both the Dining and Classic menu offer fresh British fare (from pan-fried John Dory to beer battered cod), uncomplicated but well done. Service from the young (mainly local) staff is swift and cheerful.
The dairy theme is carried through to the bedrooms (named Dairy, Byre, Buttery and Churn), helped along by milky colour palettes and country furniture. Our series editor Fiona Duncan much enjoyed her stay here reclining in an expansive four-poster bed, opposite of an original brick fireplace. Some noise carries through from the high-street, but it is not insistent.
This is a useful address for exploring Bodium Castle and Kent Weald, and considering what's on offer it's good value, with rooms running from £140-£180.