I realise I’ve been less than fulsome in my enthusiasm for Chichester* this year. The hills to the north are great though (try Compton), and the undeveloped harbourside villages have equally good walking potential.
I walked from Westbourne to coastal Emsworth, taking in nature reserves, the A27, secluded farms and the harbour, proving that I can do flat when it’s interesting. Some great underpass art gilded the lily.
QUIZ TIME – who is Neko ?
Westbourne feels an unpretentious town, and I enjoyed some unpretentious salt and pepper chicken (Oriental City, North St) down by the harbour in the early evening. Only the ducks saw me eat with my fingers. It was proper gorgeous England.
There may be posh places in Emsworth but I didn’t see them. The town is well pubbed, mainly with the estate Fullers acquired from Gales, and I can vouch that the Pride is drinking well in the Coal Exchange. Mostly Peroni being drunk if I’m honest though.
My new GBG tick was in adjoining Westbourne’s Stags Head, which is a gem. It looks like the sort of unpretentious community boozer you get in South-East London, and only works for the visitor if you feel you’re not including on a private party. This one felt welcoming, in the manner of St. Neot’s award-winning Olde Sun.
On an increasingly muggy day, beer temperature is all, and the Oakleaf Holehearted was served at a perfect balance just short of being chilled (NBSS 3.5).
What made this place was the atmosphere though, a cheery goth barmaid getting gently joshed by a good mix of regulars showing suitable lack of interest in the golf. Children and dogs came and went, but no-one annoyed anyone else or clogged up the bar. Decorations for a regular’s 97th birthday were still hanging up, with their mobility scooter parked neatly in the porch.
Perversely, I chose to sit at the bar myself, which must mean I’m posh as I wasn’t local (see numerous on-line discussions on sitting at the bar). Talking of bar-hogging, I’ll give you the answers to the questions about yesterday’s horror show later.
*Hopefully they’ll let me back into West Sussex again now.