RAISE THE BAR (L-R) CAMRA’S Craig Beeson, Rhiannon Yardley and Cee- Jay Williams of the Gatehouse, and Carole Dalgleish of West Kent CAMRA

THE Gatehouse in the High Street has received a Highly Commended award by the West Kent branch of the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA).

The pub has been refurbished and rebranded after Stonegate, which owns it, decided to close the Slug & Lettuce and start afresh.

The Gatehouse reopened in November 2016 after a £250,000 refit and was given a new name in honour of the castle over the road.

Dave Moore of West Kent CAMRA commented: “We think it is vastly improved from its former -incarnation as the Slug & Lettuce and the management have made a real effort to improve their beer offering in quality and choice.”

Rhiannon Yardley has been promoted to Deputy Manager since the changes were made, and said: “We’re very pleased. It’s had a complete rebrand. The Slug & Lettuce just wasn’t working here.

“Stonegate changed everything inside, giving it a more rustic feel. It’s a complete makeover.”

She added: “CAMRA came in on quite a few occasions and tried out a range of beers, and they decided we were a great place to hang out.”

Mr Moore said: “The seasonal awards have been introduced by the branch to recognise the -achievements and improvements of pubs that might otherwise be a bit ‘off the radar’ and perhaps deserving of a bit of extra recognition.

“In some cases pubs that are a little out of the way but trying really hard might need a bit of extra support in these days of pub closures.”