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Regal Mermaid

Wood-panelled bar allowed on to chill

Outside seating in te atmospheric Mermaid in central Rye

The Mermaid Inn, Mermaid Street, Rye TN31 7EY

The Queen, it says, once ate at The Mermaid Inn situated on a much-photographed street in the heart of the atmospheric town of Rye, one of the world-famous Cinque Ports, once famed for smuggling.

Apparently, smugglers boasted about their next assignment in the bar which undoubtedly has a unique atmosphere and serves a range of well-presented, local ales.

The Mermaid is claimed to be one of England’s oldest inns and it was rebuilt in 1420 and it has 31 bedrooms, many with four-poster beds.

There are secret passages and a resident ghost.

Aside from that, the wood-panelled, two AA rosette restaurant, offers a daily table d’hote and house speciality menus. They were tempting but we were wearing shorts and the dining room looked to formal for our attire.

We refreshed ourselves in the outside seating area which has no smoking signs. A real bonus.

Parking, however, seemed to be an issue but staff were helpful and one can have bar meals away from the linen-decked tables of the main restaurant. The menu did not appeal.

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