Tuesday 30th April 2013
There once was a pub called The Tankerton Arms in its namesake town, which your author remembers well. It was a venue for music and very popular indeed. Yet, in the politics of the pub-owning companies it didn't feature as the community asset that it really was, so it closed. Then it was converted to flats, I actually thought it had been knocked down but still, never to come back. Yet now, maybe not necessarily in substance, nevertheless the old watering hole has been commemorated in the title of a new pub that opened in 2013 and recalls the name of the lost hostelry.
The idea of a new pub in Tankerton is the idea of Nigel Ranger, a former Payroll Officer who, with his wife Patsy and son Alastair, have converted a dream into a reality with the opening of the Tankerton Arms. It is located in a retail premises that was a tattoo parlour in its last life. I would not have thought that specific type of business would have had many local residents from the gentile villas of the town knocking down the door for an engraving, but lets not be too harsh, as its demise paved the way for a much more useful facility for people of a certain age, like myself: a micro pub!
On this visit, just over a month after it had opened on 15th March 2013, I was accompanied by wife Linda, Keith and Shirley. Shirley valiantly drove us around a few of the micro pubs of East Kent that afternoon and great thanks are given to her for that.
Back in Tankerton, we noticed some seating out on the pavement and then we crossed the threshold and looked around. There were three custom-made tables either side of the room that were of very solid construction and that was pretty well that. This is a fairly standard layout for micro pubs utilising old shops; born out of necessity rather than desire. However it works.
A slight deviation from the norm was the WC on the left of the room; it's normally at the back. This facility is very small with the need to keep the outside door slightly open before the inside one can pulled towards the waiting user. It is worth mentioning that since this visit a low-tech system of red and green lights has been installed above the door enabling one to know, in theory at least, whether the facilities are occupied but this depends entirely on if the user inside having pressed the appropriate button.
Back inside the room the walls and ceiling are painted in white or cream. There are a few framed illustrations on the walls but the effect is minimal.
At the end of the room there is a door to the cool room, where the casks of beer are stored. On the left there is a sort of Welsh dresser where all the fresh glasses are stored with the addition of a sink and draining board. Opposite there are a pair of shelves, the upper containing a lot of beer books.
On the occasion of our visit the following beers were offered all drawn direct from the cask: Whitstable Brewery (Grafty Green, Kent) Native (3.7%); Mad Cat (Faversham, Kent) Platinum Blonde (4.2%); Ripple Steam (Sutton-by-Dover, Kent) Classic IPA (4.5%) and Gadd's (Broadstairs, Kent) Black Pearl Oyster Stout (6.2%!).
Cider was from Kentish Pip of Bekesbourne and consisted of their standard product, Kentish Pip Cider, (6.2%) and Ginger Cider (5.5%). Red and White wine by the glass is also available.
The only food available is crisps, nuts and cockles. I guess the latter are the sort that comes in metal foil packets. Something more substantial is offered in the form of cheese platters. These are a selection of Ashmore cheese varieties and biscuits. This cheese comes from a dairy at nearby Dargate.
There is a very frequent bus service passing this pub so there is no excuse not to visit if you are in the area.
The Tankerton Arms, 139b Tankerton Road, Tankerton, Kent CT5 2AW. Tel: 07532 125626
The Tankerton Arms is a mile from Whitstable station which has a half-hourly service to and from London Victoria via most towns on the North Kent Coast. These continue to Margate, Broadstairs and Ramsgate.
There are bus stops outside the pub that are used by Buses 4 and 6 that operate a circular route, clockwise and anti-clockwise, from Canterbury to Whitstable, Tankerton, Herne Bay, Herne and then Canterbury.
Apart from the City itself all of the towns listed above have micro pubs with bus stops outside. Through most of the day the frequency is every ten minutes for each route on Monday to Saturday and every fifteen minutes on Sunday. Bus 660 also terminates here after coming from Faversham via Whitstable.