Friday 18th October 2013
I was making my initial visit to this little pub. In reality I couldn’t have popped in much earlier as it had only opened on the previous Saturday (12th October).
First impressions were very favourable as, despite its small size, the pub is very light and airy. There is fitted light pine bench seating around most of the four walls and this fronted by four tall tables that are made from recycled scaffolding boards.
Above the wooden bench backs the red-painted walls are home to two very interesting old enamel brewery signs. One is from George Beer and Rigden (Canterbury & Faversham) and the other from Mackeson of Hythe. The daily drinks and snack options are displayed on small blackboards. All the beer and cider has to be fetched from a cool room at the back of the pub as there is no bar counter.
The corner premises were a builder’s merchants in its last incarnation, although it had retailed many different things before that.
The operation is the brainchild of Marianne Melia who is ably assisted by her son Harvey who lives in the flat above the pub.
She had also wanted to have her own pub and when the opportunity to acquire the former shop arose she jumped at the chance.
Until a few years ago the pub was overlooked by a large paper mill, hence the name. It produced its last newsprint in 2007 and was demolished a few years later. The site nowadays is a Morrison’s supermarket with its associated car park. Although this article is written about a visit in October 2013, the photograph at the head of this page was taken in May 2014 as the main sign was not fitted until March that year.
Beers offered on that day in October 2013 were Goacher’s (Maidstone) Mild (3.4%) and also their Fine Light Ale (3.7%). There is always one beer from this brewery on sale as Harvey’s father is the brewer for them. The other beer was Hopdaemon (Newnham, Kent) Skrimshander (4.5%), another very local product. The same can be said for the cider which was Disco Dudda (5.3%) from Dudda’s Tun Cider of Doddington, Kent.
Other beverages to be had are wine, tea, coffee and soft drinks. There are also pickled onions and eggs along with the usual packaged snacks such as crisps and nuts. Four pint carry-out containers are available for beers and cider.
This is an excellent addition to the hostelries of Sittingbourne, a town not noted for its pubs in the past. It should not be missed if you are in the area.
The Paper Mill, 2 Charlotte Street, Sittingbourne, Kent. ME10 2JN. Tel: 07927 073584
Open: Monday-Thursday 17.00-21.00; Friday 12.00-14.00, 17.00-21.00;
Saturday 12.00-21.00; Sunday 12.00-18.00
Please note that the hours provided in CAMRA’s Good Beer Guide 2015 are incorrect
and those given above have been in operation since Monday 27th May 2014.
The pub is around ten minutes walk from Sittingbourne station and that is the best way to get to the pub. There are two bus routes that stop close by: 334 and 347. Both run by the town centre and railway station.