Ivy Leaf, DA1 1LS
- 01322 220993
- 72 Darenth Road, DA1 1LS
- 11am-11pm Mon-Thu; 11am-midnight Fri; noon-midnight Sat; noon-10:30pm Sun
Pub in Dartford.
It's in two halves, clearly once marking a division into public and saloon bars, though today there's no door between the two. Indeed, on the evidence of our visit, the old saloon side is now used more along the lines of an old public bar — everyone was sitting in there, and plenty of space was left in the middle of the room for vertical drinking. Each side has a large flatscreen mounted in one corner.
The two large bay windows at the front of the pub are taken full advantage of, with banquette seating and small tables in one side, and in the other a large table that seems to have been shaped specifically to fit into the curved space. Decor is traditional, with a patterned carpet, wooden bar and gantry, and pew seating. Old copper pans, jugs, kettles, and hunting horns hang from the exposed ceiling beams, and a wood-burning stove sits in a brick fireplace. Old photos of Dartford hang on the walls. There's also a beer garden at the back.
Kake visited on a Wednesday lunchtime in November 2015. There were four or five other customers in when I arrived a little before 1pm. The flatscreens were switched off, music was playing quietly, and conversations were similarly quiet. Service was friendly. The fire was burning (and replenished during my visit).
Five of the six handpumps were clipped, for Sharp's Doom Bar, Bombardier, Roosters Yankee, Pig & Porter Red Spider Rye, and West Berkshire Brewery Good Old Boy. A pint of lime and soda was £1.20.
Food is served lunchtimes at least, from a fairly standard pub menu including hot and cold sandwiches, salads, jacket potatoes, things with chips, and pub staples such as lasagne and chilli. Kake's fishfinger sandwich (£4) photo was above-average for a cheapish pub sandwich. They'd put a slice of melty cheese in, which worked well, and care had been taken over the side salad; they'd even peeled the cucumber, and the cherry tomatoes had decent flavour despite the time of year. Crisps on the side were tasty enough, and thick but not too thick.
Accessibility: A step to get in. No further steps to the ladies' (gents' not checked). The pub has its own carpark.