Small pub with big ambitions

BY SEAN DELANEY
james@slpmedia.co.uk

A micropub celebrated its first birthday pulling pints with the local MP as it reflected on a booming first year of trade.

The Kentish Belle in Pickford Lane, Bexleyheath was named one of London’s top 11 micropubs by magazine Londonist.

A micropub is a small independent public house which mainly serves cask ales, real ciders and traditional spirits like Gin.

Entertainment is kept low key and there is an unofficial ban on TVs, mobiles and other electronic devices to promote ‘good chatter’ and create a friendlier environment.

The Kentish Belle’s owner, Nicholas Hair, is a train enthusiast and former driver with little prior experience working with breweries or running pubs other than a love of good beer.

It is this which he says sets apart the Kentish Belle from the competition.

He said: “What makes us different from the others is our local beers. We price all our beers fairly and people are willing to pay to get a different sort of experience than your typical pub. You pay for the quality and the experience.”

The Kentish Belle is named after an old coach train which ran from London to Thanet in Kent, and is next to Bexleyheath railway station for commuters to visit after work.

Nick has recently passed his driving test and plans to make trips personally to pick up beers he enjoys from different distributors around the UK.

He says part of the micropub’s appeal is that the beers it offers are constantly changing.

The Kentish Belle puts on a range of events from cribbage to local quiz nights and has even hosted a wake.

Nick said: “We were told it was for 30 people to attend but 50 turned up.”

David Evennett, the MP for Bexleyheath and Crayford, toasted the pub’s performance with a Sean of the Red Arbor ale.

He said: “It’s fantastic to have local businesses such as these which serve the needs of the community and help raise the profile of the area.”

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