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Ivy House, Tonbridge

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user reviews of the Ivy House, Tonbridge

please note - reviews on this site are purely the opinion of site visitors, so don't take them too seriously.

Staff very nice, decent pint of Harveys.
This is more a restaurant than pub now.
Can't speak for the food (it looks good,) but the rooms used for dining are rather empty and plain and the furniture crude (blocky wood tables, and those leather covered curve-backed chairs whose fashion seems to be passing.) Just too empty, cool and coarse to relax and enjoy a pint in.
AbeC - 13 Oct 2014 22:59
Lovely place, lovely staff, great food. My favourite place to go for good food and drinks in Tonbridge (and we've tried most places!).
Can't work out whether i think of it as a fabulous bar with top notch food... Or just s really really good restaurant with a lovely bar. Works well both ways!
annakazam - 18 Sep 2012 22:55
Well not bad at all, went for dinner tonight with a group of mates and cant understand how this place has been changed and we havent been in yet, some people said it was a stuffy restaurant but its a gastro pub, completely full of people drinking and eating, first off the food is pretty impressive, you can tell its fresh and we could see into the kitchen from where we were and it was obvious they take pride in the presentation of the food! I had a fish curry which was better than at the Indians! Wine list was good for the girls, plenty of choice, not lots of choice on lagers but they do have Sagres which is really good! We booked up for February before we left and had a cracking evening, Thanks for a great night!
marmiteman - 29 Jan 2011 00:59
Booked this restaurant 4 weeks ago on their website for my birthday. Got a phone call less than 24hrs before my meal informing me that they had a private booking and subsequently my booking was cancelled. Wished I'd booked a restaurant where customer loyalty matters!!
shazop - 14 Nov 2010 12:54
Visited for dinner and have to say that the haddock with bubble and squeak was one of the very best meals I've ever had. Yes, the food is pricey, but as with most things these days you get what you pay for. The Harveys I had was also in very good condition and there is a good wine list (indeed there seemed to be a few people who'd just come in to share a bottle of wine and not eat). I'd agree with mrse1 that it's really a restaurant where you can have a drink rather than a pub that does food but all in all I thought this was a great place and the food was clearly better than that of other "gastropubs" in the Tonbridge/Tunbridge Wells area.
kristofferson - 12 Mar 2010 11:05
I love this place, whether it be for a chilled beer or for something fantastic to eat. I must admit that I did have the same feeling as the previous comment (mrse1) but I couldn't have been more wrong, I have had many a Friday/Saturday night in the bar without eating and it is all very relaxed. At first glance the menu can seem expensive but the quality is better than anything else in the area and worth every penny, I often find it my first choice when wanting to eat out as I have never been disappointed.
Well worth a visit.
KettleChip - 27 Sep 2009 10:16
Ventured in last night for the first time post refurb. The two main areas of the pub have been turned into dining rooms, although the bars themselves remain in the same place. It all looked quite nice, no obvious changes have been made to the interior which is a plus.

A few more tables outside than there were before.

Couple of beers on, which seemed to be served quite well. Although I canít actually comment on the condition as we stuck to the vino last night from the relatively decent wine list. Staff were friendly enough.

Menu looked ok, although given it was seasonal and locally produced, most of the dishes looked quite heavy for a summer evening so we didnít try anything. Not cheap either and you have to wonder if the concept is going to work in this area, especially in current economic situation.

Basically itís restaurant now that allows you to have a drink, rather than a pub now in my view. Iím sure Iíll be back for the odd drink, although that has more to do with the outside seating I suspect. Not sure Iíd want to lurk around the bar with just a drink in the winter.

mrse1 - 30 Jun 2009 13:23

This pub is to re-launch very soon. Boasting a traditional English gastro pub menu and a full refurb. It will once again be the number one pub in Tonbridge.

Please come and visit once it re-opens in June.

niche27 - 6 May 2009 13:30
I'm told it's about to close down (may already have done so, in fact) presumably for the refurb that recent reviews (including mine) suggest that it badly needs.
Hope they don't do anything too drastic to it; it's s pub with real history, and major changes should not be undertaken lightly.
earlydrinker - 15 Nov 2008 12:21
Interesting old pub, with various ups and downs over the years. As other reviewers suggest, it looks like they've spent about 50p on maintenance in the last decade (or two). Unlike my last visit, they actually managed to have some real ales on, and the Harveys really wasn't too bad. Was once a very good pub, and could be so again..
rpadam - 13 Sep 2008 16:01
Bit of strange place this, a sort of old style traditional pub,small,cosy with offset floors and some low ceiling beams- Mind your head!
A friendly crowd seems to get in there and there is an ok range of lagers and beers. Service at the bar when I went was very slow or snail like and I would hope there is more than one guy (or girl) serving on busy nights.
The pub overall, in spite of itís charm, is tatty and in need of serious redecoration to bring it up to par with modern pub ideals. In other words itís being run on a shoestring budget and it shows.
The passage way to the menís toilet is a death-trap after dark so watch out for the hidden steps as you descend.
The pub however does make a nice change from the mass corporate venues that line high streets up and down the country. Maybe with a few quid spent on some paint, a bit of fresh lighting and a brisk service with a smile it could be a really nice venue.

ivanski - 8 Sep 2008 15:40
This ought to be (and used to be) one of the nicest pubs in Tonbridge (though, frankly, the competition's not very hot),
Unfortunately, whenever I've looked in recently, the place seems to have a slightly run-down air - the sort of thing a lot of the previous comments draw attention to: scruffy hand-written labels on the pumps, long waits in the top bar, sometimes rather offhand service. Nothing much in themselves, but they add up.
Still, the Harvey's is still under £3.
earlydrinker - 9 Apr 2008 18:40
strange little pub. regular after work clientele, good thai food, frequently cloudy beer. worth dropping into for a swifty but i wouldnt hang around here ...
TheMaverick - 11 Oct 2007 17:09
went in a couple of nights ago for the first time in a while to find that the bar had run out of all but two spirits and the labels on the pumps were written in hand on scraps of paper. Very odd. As ever the locals were plesant enough. But the staff were slow.
mrse1 - 19 Sep 2007 13:21
Was a great little pub...However, standards are rapidly going down hill. The place is always running out of beer. High turnover of inexperienced staff, some of whom can't pull a pint to save their lives,who never notice waiting punters, and you rarely get charged same price for the same round. (The barman in there the other night was gladly handing his mates sat at the bar free pints all night.)You probably havn't seen toilets like these since those of footie stadiums circa 1978, oh and they're used to store the empty beer kegs. The owner would be better off dropping this pub and the Ivy House so he can concentrate on The Doss(Station)House, and leaving them to someone who can run a pub.
reviewguru666 - 5 Jan 2007 08:33
If it's quiet don't use the top bar, as you might have to wait even longer to be served than in The Humphrey Bean.
stuartandmonica - 13 Nov 2006 10:34
A nice small old pub with some great beer. Reasonably priced and the Thai food is good. Some of the locals are a bit odd, but hey it is Tonbridge.
mrse1 - 3 Oct 2006 16:28
Excellent pub Sunday to Thursday but goes steeply downhill at weekends. Maybe too many people just make it feel uncomfortable...

Anyway, beer and service always good and it is a good place to go with mates for a chat. Kitchen franchised to a Thai restaurant and the food is spot on!
TrickyG - 1 Sep 2006 13:44
That Bloody DJ from the wharf worked her too :| hes everywhere nice ale good beer nice staff although foriegn ( not unsual ) but all round nice place

callmedave - 3 May 2006 21:30
got the impression the barman was pissed i think i didn't get charged the same price for my round for the hour i was in for. intresting look though
beergod - 4 Apr 2006 16:50
Fairly small 17th century pub in the high street; so authentically "olde" I banged my head on a low beam, and I'm only 5'9". Rather incongruous 1970's style "crazy paving" stone floor just inside the door. A rifle mounted on the wall could have been a useful antidote to the referee at the football match I'd just been to if only I'd seen it earlier in the day.

Reasonably civilised with friendly and efficient service plus a decent pint of Black Sheep Bitter on an early Saturday evening but copious notices warning against drug use and under age drinking suggest things might be a bit "lively" at certain times - maybe that's just Tonbridge?
Rich66 - 28 Jan 2006 23:51
A very traditional pub - stone floor, good ale. New and helpful manager.
intemperanceleague - 27 Jun 2005 10:00
This used to be a lovely, welcoming, traditional "country" pub, albeit needing a little TLC. Recent months have seen a change.

A pub which could offer so much, yet falls well short.
DaveR - 28 Mar 2005 10:41
nice little place...
bilbobaggins - 11 Mar 2005 12:25
Great building and one bar usually has a log fire in the winter.The beer is pricey and there is a dearth of women but the atmosphere is friendly and as of writing the Sunday Roast is nothing short of excellent.
Stella man - 20 Sep 2004 16:56
it's a hike from the station, but still the pick of tonbridge boozers. i agree with 'j' - the beer could be a whole lot better, but rival pubs are wretched, so this is the one to visit if you're in tonbridge. fabulous, heritage building.
richard - 1 Jun 2004 13:07
Even though the beer is stupidly expensive and not outstandingly well kept, and its restaurant has largely packed up through lack of interest, and the idiot who owns the lease has got fake Oirishisms and scribble all over the walls, it is still my favourite pub.
J - 29 May 2004 22:31

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