Those were good times

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Fantastic place, we had a lovely time here and our dog Bobby loved it too, very friendly people.
On behalf of Bobby, thank you for the sausage at breakfast :)

Sabrina & Bobby

Fittingly located at the bottom of Mermaid street, The Ship Inn dates back to 1592 when it was used as a warehouse for impounding smuggled goods.  This is a place that proves that smart surroundings aren’t a pre-requisite for good food. Modern pop art and boards’ heads are dotted about the rooms, fiary lights are draped everywhere and if you sit on one of the battered sofas, don’t be alarmed if you end up at a quirky angle or even falling through.  The quality of the food then, comes as a surprise.  Ingredients are well-sourced and preparation is careful. The result: flavoursome, rustic dishes that arrive in generous portions – maybe baked cod or soy-braised pork belly. Compact bedrooms display similarly wacky wallpapers and painted floors.

This place was perfect. Lovely pub, rooms quite chi-chi, breakfast excellent – menus, signage, welcome note, smacks of thought and planning.

Jen Ardwyth

Informal and prettily set old inn with a relaxed atmosphere, straightforward furnishings, local ales, and often inventive food. There’s an easy-going atmosphere and a friendly welcome from the pleasant staff in this 16th-c pub. The ground floor is all opened up, from the sunny big-windowed front part to a snugger part at the back, with a log fire in the stripped-brick fireplace below a stuffed boar’s head, and a feeling of separate areas is enhanced by the varied flooring: composition, stripped boards, flagstones, a bit of carpet in the armchair corner. There are beams and timbers, a mixed bag of rather second-hand-feeling furnishings – a cosy group of overstuffed leather armchairs and sofa, random stripped or Formica-topped tables and various café chairs – that suit it nicely, as do the utilitarian bulkhead wall lamps. Harveys Best and a couple of local guest beers such as Old Dairy Blue Top and Whitstable Oyster Stout on handpump, local farm cider and perry, and lots of wines by the glass; piped music and board games. Out by the quiet lane are picnic-sets and one or two cheerful oilcloth-covered tables.

Very nice, friendly and a good breakfast. Thanks.m

Joe Russell

Alistair Sawdays

The 16th-century smuggler’s warehouse stands by the quay at the bottom of cobbled Mermaid Street. Climb the church tower for stunning coast and marsh views, then retreat to the laid-back warmth of the Ship’s rustic bars. Cosy nooks, ancient timbers, blazing fires and a quirky delicious décor characterise this place; there are battered leather sofas, simple café-style chairs, old pine tables and good paintings and prints. Quaff a pint of Harvey’s Sussex or local farm cider, leaf through the daily papers, play one of the board games – there are heaps. Lunch and dinner menus are short and imaginative and make good use of local ingredients, so tuck into confit duck with grilled aubergine and saffron yoghurt, roast sea bream with buttered samphire, warm salad of squid, fennel and chorizo, and fresh Rye Bay fish. The relaxed funky feel extends to bright and beachy bedrooms upstairs: find painted wooden floors, jazzy wall coverings, comfortable beds, splashes of colour. Quirky extras include Roberts radios, sticks of rock, and rubber ducks in simple bathrooms. And they love dogs!

Absolutely fabulous. We’ve had a truly wonderful stay here at The Ship Inn! Wonderful decor, great taste. Breakfast perfect. We’ll come again!

Emily Smalling