DOVER KENT ARCHIVES

Sort file:- Dartford, March, 2021.

Page Updated:- Sunday, 07 March, 2021.

PUB LIST PUBLIC HOUSES Paul Skelton

2001-

Litten Tree

Latest 2009

(Name to)

36-42 Spital Street

Dartford

Litten Tree 2001

Above photo, 9 October 2001.

Litten Tree 2005

Above photo, August 2005, kindly sent by Shaun Gardiner.

Litten Tree 2009

Above photo, 15 February 2009, kindly sent by Shaun Gardiner.

 

I have seen no reference to this one myself but the What Pub website suggests that the building was called this before changing to the "Flying Boat" on 9 June 2009.

Shaun Gardiner informs me that it was definitely known as the "Litten Tree" in 2001 as the photo shows. But at present I don't know how far it goes back. Local knowledge required please.

 

From The News Shopper, 12th October 2001.

BETWIXT AND BETWEEN.

IS it a pub? Or is it a club? That was the question on my mind when I walked out of the Litten Tree after a few hastily drunk pints. Regular readers will know I am particularly keen on making the distinction between the disco bar and the boozer. In the past it's always been pretty obvious. Clubs were caked in neon lights, mirrors and chrome and sold overpriced cocktails while pubs sold murky pints of locally-brewed ale at a pound a pint with attractions including dartboards, pool tables and, on occasions, strippers. Clubs attracted the hip young cats with all the smart togs, while pubs drew a crowd of belligerent old men smoking roll-ups, most of whom could knock you out with a whiff of their 20-pints-a-night breath. Sadly, of course, those days have gone and only a few romantic examples remain. Nowadays, many of the trendiest nightclubs look like Middle East war zones, while numerous pubs boast absurdly restrictive dress codes and seem to sell more Bollinger than Budweiser on an average Saturday night. While The Litten Tree in Spital Street, Dartford, is not perhaps an example of the height of London chic, it most certainly isn't an example of a Ye Olde Kentish Tavern either. Walk in to the Litten Tree, and you are immediately struck by the vastness of the place. More akin to a small sports arena than a pub, this place really is designed to pack 'em in. The sports theme is carried on with a pair of miniature inflatable goals above the bar and a pair of imposing St George Flags suggesting packed crowds here when “our boys” take to the turf. Take a glance up to the roof and you'll see the most elaborate skylight-effect lighting system I've seen in a venue. There's a DJ booth and even what appears to be some sort of stage with a ladder in the middle of the pub There's no denying it is an impressive looking and smart venue. But is it any good? Service was good, although I have to say I wasn't too keen to try the Litten Tree own-brand Best Bitter which seems to be the only handpump ale available, so instead opted for Guinness again. I took a seat at one of the tables on the far side of the pub near another packed table of young ladies out “on the razzle”. That kept me interested for a few minutes, before I started to slowly realise there was actually very little in the way of an atmosphere. Maybe the vastness of the place mixed with the fact it was a Wednesday night might have been the reason but it never once seemed healthily populated, despite the fact there must have been the best part of 30 people drinking in there. Nature called, and I found myself clambering up the grand sweeping stairs to the toilets. As I walked up, I couldn't help but feel “on display” and exposed to everyone else in the pub. It's a bit like announcing the fact you are going for a wee by holding up a big sign or wearing a special shirt. When I had finished, I came down as quickly as I could, to avoid being noticed, but promptly tripped near the bottom just managing to keep my balance (and my dignity) in front of the table of women. After settling in again, I was shocked when all of a sudden at around 10pm, the lights went down and the place seemed to turn into a nightclub without the punters. The skylight came to life with multicoloured flashing disco lights and the Litten Tree showed me exactly what it metamorphasises into at the weekends. All rather unnerving for a traditional soul like me, so I finished up and left. The Litten Tree is a smart pre-club pub definitely aimed at the younger end of the market.

 

LICENSEE LIST

 

If anyone should have any further information, or indeed any pictures or photographs of the above licensed premises, please email:-

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