The major drawback of our campervan is finding a parking space. Luckily Faversham has a giant Food Hall with unlimited opportunity for old folk to prove they can’t park, and none of those irritating white lines you have to park between.
Macknade Fine Foods is one of those barns full of Hungarian olives, Welsh octopus and French horse meat that you normally see in the Cotswolds and the Downs. I stuck to the octopus, which was escaping out of the plastic tub as I coughed up £5.66 for 3 tentacles worth. The assistant’s impression of someone being strangled by an octopus was free. Mrs RM had the baby octopus. Wimp.
The walk into Faversham central is via a number of variations on Preston; Street, Avenue, Park. The tunnel over the train line is a bit scary, and lacks any abusive street art.
In contrast, the centre is a feast of art.
This really is a great small town, perhaps below neighbours like Hastings and Ramsgate but well above Tunbridge Wells.
The pedestrianised streets around the market are a joy, and actually sell real tat, rather than tourist tat. Cheery OAPs flooded the town, chaps with earrings and sideburns called Tink sold jewellery recovered from pirates at Hollowshore Creek.
And the Sheps pubs are uniformly gorgeous, whatever you think of the beer (less than me, I suspect).
Mrs C’s target was a coffee, mine was the new Guide entry at Furlongs. You need hardly be told it’s a micropub, or that the GBG opening hours were already wrong.
The unexpected extra hour gave us time for a bargain filter at MBs Food Hall, which was THE place for duck salami, and a walk past Sheps brewery to the creek. Never mind those, here’s a picture of Antique Shop Cat.
Furlongs was already open when we turned up at 2.55, and I can’t really criticize it for opening early (“I’d finished my jobs so I opened“) the lady told us.
She had Mrs RM sussed as CAMRA from the moment we walked in; never has a 10p discount felt so good. The Gadds Dogbolter was the only choice, though frankly everyone else was on the Dark Star, the national beer of micros.
It’s an immaculate pub, seemingly run by an old school landlady with a penchant for encouraging CAMRA membership. Oddly, Wetherspoons vouchers didn’t seem to be sufficient incentivisation for one chap to sign up.
Chapel style seating and fresh flowers, replaced by fresher ones by a smart lady under our noses. She came in, took the vases, put new ones down, and walked out. Most quaint.
A great range of pubby conversation covered varifocals, finding Epsom, and queueing in Spoons. I’m glad Simon wasn’t there for that last one.