Thanet is the one of the UK’s great places to visit pubs, unless you really detest micropubs or the seaside. No doubt I’ll be heading back that way despite having visited all the Beer Guide pubs now.
Round the coast, I’ve also enjoyed Folkestone a lot. It’s not quite Hastings, but has a few steep Dickensian streets, decent micro and traditional corner pubs, and great ice cream from La Casa del Gelato.
Nothing new Beer Guide-wise here, but a couple in adjoining Sandgate and Hythe. Unsurprisingly they’re a characterful local and a micro. It will be some years before there’s not a new micro in the Guide round here.
Sandgate’s Earl of Clarendon is a trickily situated pub, a steep walk up a hidden lane from the pebbly beach. They’re a hardy lot round here, plenty of OAPs managed the climb.
It’s the sort of cheery and unpretentious local you’d find in the more pubby parts of South-east London. I would describe the atmosphere as “relaxed”, befitting the Canterbury (T)ales being promoted by the pub. First time I’ve seen those for years.
Just enough beer trade, too, to justify four handpumps, and a very decent Wife of Bath (NBSS 3). Otter and Bombardier might seem odd choices in Kent, decent as they were. I also wonder whether a non-beer geek would be able to make a choice between those four.
A pleasant walk along the coast to Hythe. An attractive town, even with the digging up of much of the High Street, and the Potting Shed is a good complement to the more traditional Three Mariners. That apart, it will look entirely familiar to anyone who’s been to Thanet, and the beer was local, decent (NBSS 3.5) and £3. Absolutely heaving.
A flying visit unfortunately, with not even time to pop in to see Doris in the Red Lion at Snargate.