Our Shed began its life as a Gazebo some 10 years ago to provide some weather protection for our Hot Tub at the end of the garden. The gazebo was built by myself a qualified carpenter with some help from my dad. This was used for several years until my wife Michele expressed her wish for a Summer House. Meeting her wishes, I initially designed & proceeded to build the summer house around the gazebo early in 2010, due to some concern from the local planning authority the project was put temporarily on hold, the concerns were quickly resolved enabling the build to be resumed. The Summer House was completed in August of the same year. Initially the summer house was used a fair amount but started to be used far less frequently than as hoped, unfortunately my dad who had always helped me on DIY projects around the house was diagnosed with Cancer in 2012 dad was always central to our family entertaining and barbecues and family parties sort of took 2nd place to dad illness over the next couple of years. The summer house therefore started to be used more as a rubbish store whilst dad was ill. The arrival of 2015 started on a low note for the family, sadly dad lost his fight with cancer soon after the new year. Being extremely close to dad my wife Michele decided she wanted to do something special to celebrate her 50th birthday in 2015 and help lift us, and therefore decided to host a party in the garden, therefore clearing out the summer house became a priority on her agenda, we set upon the mammoth task of organizing the celebration. It soon became obvious after compiling the invite list, some 150 guests needed to be catered fore, we decided on hiring a marquee, tables and chairs and utilize the summer house as best we could for food and buffet. This is where my inspiration for the Pub came from, after all how could we host a party without a bar. My commitment to Michele was that if I let her have her party, I could build a pub in the Summer House for it. Some of the ideas I had for my pub came from the bar I helped a friend build in France. Built entirely by myself, mainly from offcuts and spare timber the pub finally opened its doors for Micheles 50th Birthday party in May 2015. Taking in to account my trade background we felt we had to call the pub the `Carpenters Arms. Being quite a traditionalist I felt a traditional looking establishment would look good & therefore created a pub that contains all of the traditional features expected of a pub. Centrally on the back wall a purpose built mirrored cabinet containing spirits served through seven measured optics & a shelf below for liqueurs, to its left side a cabinet generously stocked with mixers and soft drinks to accompany the beers and spirits, on the right more shelves hold additional spirits and wines. Cooled draught lager and cider on tap are served from twin taps on the oak bar counter, and supplemented from well stocked fridges containing various bottled beers and ciders. The usual bar snacks hang tantalizingly on the back wall with pickled eggs, onions & gherkins placed on the bar along with an ice bucket and spirit measures on the bar counter. Centrally over the counter a box cupboard houses larger glasses with stemmed glasses hanging beneath on racks. The Carpenters Arms sign hangs centrally on the face of this cabinet. Adjacent to the bar counter an additional counter serves as a cocktail prep area which is stocked with a broad selection of cocktail mixers, decorations and glasses, included are umbrellas, sparklers, straws, drinks napkins, ice buckets and Punch Bowl, even fish bowls etc for the party animals. On the opposite wall another counter supports the wine racks with more shelves over to house the overspill of spirits & more glasses.
The Carpenters Arms can either be a nice quiet venue where the guests can set at the bar on our barstools get a chance to play on the fruit machine, have a game of cards, play darts or dominoes whilst listening to quiet background music but can double as a disco/ nightclub with sound activated disco lights, spinning mirror ball, laser light, dry smoke where our guests can display their best moves on the dancefloor karaoke is also available so our guests get the ultimate party experience. To complete the needs for the pub we installed a toilet to the rear, a kitchenette with hot running water and storage cupboards and a small beer garden externally. Since we first opened the bar has become well established with our friends and family and has become the place to go for our friends and family, many evening have been spent in the Carpenters arms putting the world to rights, having meaningless debates and dancing away till the early hours. More often than not leaving as the sun is rising and getting light outside. Working part time as a member of the local fire station, the Christmas party always met with some form of debate as to where we should go, after hosting a station party last summer it was decided by the team that the `Carpenters Arms would make an ideal venue for our 2015 Christmas party. The pub has become the norm within our lives to the point where I believe that Michele & I are the Landlord & Landlady of the Carpenters Arms and talk of it regularly with friends as being our local. Its quite funny, I would love to have a pound for the amount of people I have spoken to about the Carpenters Arms who have mentioned they didnt know there was a pub of that name in Birchington. We even have our two pub dogs `Marley & Bess.