The Kentish Hotel
5 Queen St.
(09) 235 8367
First timer friendly: Yes
But was it a pub? Yes
After not eating much for the last two days, riding roughly 600k on a motorcycle in those two days, camping at a remote beach, riding through rain, riding through scalding heat, and getting stung in the neck by a mystery little bugger at 90 km/h I was REALLY ready for some food. I had been searching for a place for a while so when I saw “Pub” I stopped without question.
I think I finally found it: a real pub. It wasn’t what I expected, it wasn’t how I would have described a pub to someone who asked what my definition was, and I didn’t even REALLY fall in love with it; but it was a pub none-the less. The Kentish Hotel boasts the oldest continuous liquor license in New Zealand and they are very proud of that fact. I stumbled into the pub saddle sore and tired and asked the nice bar tender if I could get some food. She directed me to a small hole in the wall from which to order through. The menu was extremely limited but I would have taken a bite out of a horse’s rump at that point so I ordered the Ploughman’s Platter and then cruised over to the bar to order a beer from their extensive selection.
With beer in hand I saddled up to a table near the window to watch my motorcycle and took in my surroundings. As I looked around and saw some of the notices on the wall, I realized that this was the central meeting place for people in the area it seemed. The Kentish hosted clubs, live music, and even sport betting. It seemed to serve as the social hub for those in the immediate vicinity. As the food came (a BIG platter) I tried to keep myself from devouring it by making small talk with some of the locals and by just listening in on what was going on around me.