Skip to main content
24th November 2023

Trio of friends take on picturesque Shepherd Neame pub, The Carpenters Arms, and revive it for their village

Three friends loved their Shepherd Neame local so much they came together to take it on for their village.

Sarah Neaves and Madeleine Bioletti, who have been best friends for 15 years, teamed up with friend and award-winning publican Mark Perkins to reopen The Carpenters Arms, Eastling.

The trio decided to get behind the bar after the previous licensees left and spent five weeks redecorating and renovating the historic building in the tiny village on the outskirts of Faversham.

While Sarah and Madeleine have no previous experience in hospitality, they can count on Mark’s knowledge as he has run several pubs in his career including The Carpenters Arms some years ago, along with other Shepherd Neame pubs The Plough at Lewson Street and The George at Newnham.

Their arrival proved popular – 760 people turned up for their opening night!

Sarah, 54, a local fruit farmer, said: “The Carpenters Arms is the hub of the village, and it’s one of the prettiest pubs in Kent. I have loved it forever.

“I’ve lived in the village for more than 20 years. So when it became available, I thought, this is it!”

The five-week project to get the pub the way they wanted was a team effort, with their families also rolling up their sleeves and getting involved, including Sarah and Madeleine’s sons, who are also best friends.

By the end, they had completely redecorated inside, including installing new toilets – complete with beer keg urinals.

Outside the large beer garden and barn have had a thorough makeover, with new tables and chairs installed, while the barn is now home to the Chef’s Table, offering a private dining experience for up to 16 guests.

“It was really hard work but I loved doing it,” said Sarah. “It looks very pretty – we’re very pleased with everything.”

“We want it to be a nice, family environment. We want to make it really special for when people come out. It’s important to make sure everyone in the village loves it as they have been so supportive.”

Mark said: “It is brilliant, what we did in such a short time. And we got the clientele back straight away – the feedback has been great.”

Madeleine added: “Everyone in the village has been so incredibly supportive of what we’ve done and we’re delighted to get the locals back in the pub.”

Nestled amid the countryside of the Kent Downs in the quiet village of Eastling, the picturesque pub dates back to the 14th century, and is packed with original features including authentic oak beams and inglenook fireplaces.

A new menu of quality, traditional home cooked food has been introduced by Chef Dave Elliott, with dishes such as traditional fish and chips, suet pudding and gypsy tart as well as charcuterie boards.

The team have also introduced themed nights such as Pie and a Pint nights on Tuesdays with homemade pies, and curry nights, which have proved popular.

You can find The Carpenters Arms at The Street, Eastling, Faversham, ME13 0AZ. To book, call 01795 890234 or visit


About Shepherd Neame

Shepherd Neame has been based in the market town of Faversham, Kent for over 300 years. Perhaps best known for great British classic ales such as Spitfire Amber, which carries the Royal Warrant, its diverse portfolio includes Five Grain Lager, Bear Island East Coast Pale Ale and Bear Island Triple Hopped Lager, and the Whitstable Bay Collection. It also brews international lagers under licence including premium Thai lager Singha. The independent family business boasts an award-winning visitor centre and more than 300 pubs and hotels throughout London and the South East, from the historic heart of the City to the Kent coastline.

Shepherd Neame is not responsible for the content on third party websites.

For further information please contact Senior Communications Officer Angela Cole on 01795 542142 or email or visit

Third-party news items that are posted on the Guild website’s news section come from press releases received by the Guild. These press releases are posted as they have been received and their publication on the Guild website is intended as an informational service provided to our members and website visitors. As such, the publication of a story from a third-party source is neither an endorsement of the content, nor its sender, by the Guild. For enquiries on any news item, please use the contact details that can be found at the bottom of each post.