The Inspector finally snags a room at the 16th-century Milk House pub in Kent


After years of trying, the Inspector finally snags a room at the 16th-century Milk House pub in Kent – and it was (mostly) worth the wait…

  • The Inspector finds his room at The Milk House, in the village of Sissinghurst, ‘comfortable and comforting’    
  • It has a vaulted bathroom with a freestanding bath at one end and Romney Marsh Wools toiletries
  • He gave the restaurant a mixed review – the scallops were ‘delicious’ but the baked plaice was ‘disappointing’ 

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Breakfast doesn’t start until 9am at The Milk House, in Sissinghurst, Kent. That seems odd, inhospitable even.

‘I have a train to catch at 8.50am and wonder if I could at least get a decent cup of coffee,’ I tell the friendly young woman who shows me to my room, The Byre. It’s been given the full neutral, muted treatment, with creamy, pale-green walls and woodwork, and a slim, antique chest-on-chest in one corner, with three large milk jugs on top.

I can’t quite decide if it’s cosy or fusty. It certainly needs some fresh air to sweep through it. The vaulted bathroom has a freestanding bath at one end; no shower; Romney Marsh Wools toiletries. The whole confection is comfortable and comforting, with a fridge in the corridor stocked with water and milk.

The Inspector checked in to The Milk House, in Sissinghurst, Kent (pictured). 'Booking a room at weekends, when the Sissinghurst Castle Garden is open, is not easy,' he writes

The Inspector checked in to The Milk House, in Sissinghurst, Kent (pictured). ‘Booking a room at weekends, when the Sissinghurst Castle Garden is open, is not easy,’ he writes

Comforting: The Inspector said his room had been given the 'full neutral, muted treatment'. Pictured is one of the rooms

Comforting: The Inspector said his room had been given the ‘full neutral, muted treatment’. Pictured is one of the rooms 

The owners have been here for eight years, the inn itself since the 16th century. Booking a room at weekends, when the Sissinghurst Castle Garden is open, is not easy. I’ve been trying for years.

You can eat in the bar or dining room. I start with three scallops in a light artichoke sauce, with shaved fennel and sorrel cress. It’s utterly delicious. I’d love seconds. 

Instead, I go for the ‘whole baked plaice with Lyonnaise potatoes’, and it’s a big disappointment. The fish is under-cooked and tasteless. I order sweet potato fries as a rescue dish.

Comfortable: The Inspector's room had a vaulted bathroom with a freestanding bath, like the one pictured above

 Comfortable: The Inspector’s room had a vaulted bathroom with a freestanding bath, like the one pictured above

Breakfast doesn’t start until 9am at The Milk House, which 'seems odd, inhospitable even'. Pictured is the dining room

Breakfast doesn’t start until 9am at The Milk House, which ‘seems odd, inhospitable even’. Pictured is the dining room

Really, I should have asked the chef to pop it back in the oven, but I’m keen to return to my room for the Ten O’Clock News to see how Putin is getting on wrecking the lives of people in Ukraine.

‘Don’t worry, we’ll have someone here in the morning at 8.15am for coffee,’ says the owner. Not just coffee, as it turns out. But a full continental set-up.

I feel almost virtuous not having a fry-up. Perhaps the 9am cooked breakfast rule is not such a bad idea after all.  

TRAVEL FACTS 

The Milk House, The Street, Sissinghurst, Kent TN17 2JG. B&B doubles are priced from £145. For more information call 01580 720200 or visit themilkhouse.co.uk. 

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