A sense of history

The Leicester Arms is now one of the area’s must-visit pubs – to dine, drink and stay in – courtesy of the period property’s incredible makeover. Its owner, Brakspear has spent over £1.2million collaborating with their new tenants and operators Little & Large Pub Company in order to relaunch The Leicester Arms in Penshurst.

The pub closed its doors at the end of last year, promising a big revamp and its custodians have certainly stayed true to their word as the transformation is nothing short of epic.

“We carried out a complete refurbishment, which has transformed the pub, creating open, informal spaces for drinking and dining while retaining the charm and character of the Grade II listed building,” a spokesperson for the Little & Large Pub Company told SO earlier this week.

They added that the extensive refurbishment carried out also involved a ‘major upgrade’ of the establishment’s 11 en-suite bedrooms, in order to offer top-quality, boutique hotel-style accommodation in addition to drinks and dining.

The result is a magnificent transformation from run-of-the-mill country pub to a gorgeous and hugely desirable destination-style establishment. The décor is considered and chic – and the food and drink elements don’t disappoint either.

“Menus at The Leicester Arms offer delicious, quality seasonal food to suit a range of tastes and occasions, with a focus on seasonality and provenance, showcasing the best of Kentish ingredients sourced from local farms and producers,” adds the pub’s spokesperson.

“The menu features dishes from the Robata grill, alongside pub classics and a selection of seasonal dishes. The Sunday menu focuses on roasts, while a prix fixe weekday lunch offers two courses for £25 or three for £30. The Steak Night every Wednesday has quickly become a popular fixture, offering three courses for £30.”

Little & Large pub company founder Manu Bhatt tells SO: “It’s great to be open again after several months of refurbishment. The pub has been transformed into the warm, inviting space for drinking and dining that we always wanted and, judging by business so far, is also what local customers were looking for.

“We have exciting plans for our outside space and are currently in the process of building an outside kitchen, which will feature a wood-fired oven and some creative al fresco dining areas.”

The Little & Large Pub Company operates award-winning pubs in Surrey and southeast London, with its venue The Running Horses, at the foot of Box Hill being crowned overall winner in the 2023 National Pub & Bar Awards.

“At Little & Large, our ethos is all about giving our customers the best food and drink in a relaxed environment, with the highest standards of service. That’s what we’re now offering to everyone who comes through the doors of The Leicester Arms, whether they’re popping in for a drink, relaxing over a three-course dinner or staying in one of our
beautiful bedrooms,” Manu explained.

The 11 botanically inspired bedrooms, all of which boast a super king bed, luxury linens and toiletries with a few featuring a roll top bath, have been individually designed, giving them a unique character and décor and are so inviting even the most local of The Leicester Arms’ clientele will want to find an excuse to stay overnight…

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