Alan’s reflections on his honeymoon yesterday made me laugh (sorry Alan), until I realised my own wedding night was spent in a pub on the edge of Dunstable, and followed by a tour of Southsea’s finest hostelries.  It all went downhill when we got to Brittany…

The other excursion from Folkestone is, of course, to Dover.  I arrived just after a famous visitor left.

The  Forces  Sweetheart  projected onto the iconic White Cliffs of Dover

Trips to Dover are becoming an annual event, since the town discovered micropubs were a bigger draw than the stunning, and much underrated, White Cliffs.

Oddly, the trip takes the same time as the one to Ashford, but “only” costs £5.10.  I could have saved that fiver if I’d popped in the Lanes when I was here last year, but visiting pubs before they get in the Guide is like eating your Eton Mess before your Beef Wellington, just not English.


So an overdue visit, and a flying one, but the Lanes is worthy of its own post, as it’s quite wonderful.

Rarely have I had such a genuine welcome in a pub, or felt such a sense of contentment from the regulars.  I asked the landlord to recommend a beer, and was grateful to get a clear steer, rather than that “Depends what sort of beer you like” flannel.

So Tonbridge Blonde Ambition it was (NBSS 4), a beer named especially for Mrs RM she would tell me.

All sorts of non-beery banter, from a review of the relative merits of Fred Olsen and Royal Caribbean cruise lines (the posh table) to the joys of San Miguel on the other.

They weren’t drinking San Miguel, but it wasn’t a banned word.


Pints all round it seemed (“A half’s not even a taster” quoth one), and all but me on the Boring Brown Bitter.  Local Pub of the Year, and in a town of many gems that’s quite something.

They even shook my hand on the way out; possibly in recognition of my rate of consumption, but more likely because they’re just lovely folks.

Oh, and They Never Shut.

Add it to your Thanet trip, Nick.


  1. I have never been to Dunstable,but i have took my good wife to Southsea and done its finest also,we had a week there staying in B&B on victoria road,so very handy for loads of pubs,the middle of Portsmouth was a bit dissapointing and was a tip at the time of our visit in February 1999,we did some good pubs with great backdrops of really high rise flats on an estate not far from the middle of Portsmouth.


  2. Was the first stop on my first visit to Dover a year or two ago, in fact. Whenever it was before the rail line shut for repairs anyway, before it was listed, I think.

    Agreed, a lovely place, looking forward to a return, probably in May.

    Liked by 1 person

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