I’ve an affection for Great Yarmouth that I don’t have for many other East Anglian resorts. I have particularly fond memories of an early career training event in the Imperial Hotel that culminated in a session on snakebite*. If anyone around then is still alive, I can only apologise. And for the string vest incident in Ritzy’s.
Yarmouth and Gorleston were two of my regular trips over 30 years in the NHS, and I didn’t see a lot of change in either. That’s not a problem when a town is as attractive as Yarmouth, but within Norfolk it had a fairly down-beat reputation compared to the North Norfolk coast or the Broads. Typical snobbery.
A town of contradictions, it has some areas of extreme deprivation, unprepossessing housing estates rubbing shoulders with Dickensian beauty. You occasionally feel you’re in a cheap Blackpool, then walk past an expensive Greek lobster restaurant next to a Pound shop.
I walked from the campsite near Northgate Hospital into town and back along the coast, dotting in and out of lanes to gawp at one of the best pub stocks in the country. Really. No, I didn’t go in them all. But I know someone who might have.
The visual feast doesn’t start auspiciously at the Cask & Craft . If the beer range is as good as WhatPub suggests I’ll no doubt be back and venturing into what looks a fairly unpromising place from the outside.
I shall also need to return to the Coach & Horses, whose What Pub entry I only now read extends to Draught Bass. They could have put a clue on the wall or something…
It was at this point I was getting a few stares from the locals for taking photos of dumpy old boozers (their view, not mine) and zigzagging across the road. To put them off the trail I took a photo of a house.
Most of the great pubs are near the South Quay, which remains a bustling place. It’s good to see that Barclays are investing the savings from branch closures in floating pubs.
Tucked away just to the north is the new Beer Guide entry, the first for a while. It’s hard to sum up Yarmouth’s pub scene, let alone it’s Beer Guide entries, a real mix of Dickensian locals, fun pubs and chain eateries. I like that mix.
The Tombstone Saloon is typical of this variety.
Western theme bar, brewery tap, micropub full of retirees. It could be terrible, but it was great, and the Texas Jack (from a terrifyingly large range of ales and ciders) was immaculately served, though clearly homebrew (NBSS 3).
For worse or worserer, I’m clearly turning into BRAPA (hopefully without the red trousers). I’ve never taken as many photos or wrote as many notes as I did here. Simon will feel he’s in eavesdropping heaven. I’ll save the juicy bits for my book, but this will be going in my next Toilet Art post.
Some great varied seating, which I had to test out. You attract a few stares if you change tables for no reason in a pub. I just pretended I did it for a better view of John Wayne on the TV, rather than this classic view of locals at the bar.
Simon would also have been impressed with the musical offer;
Despite numerous requests, Songs of Anarchy wasn’t put back on the jukebox, and we were treated to “Daydream Believer” and “House of the Rising Sun“.
“And God, I know I’m one”
That was the only line the lady sang along to. It was quite enough. And I’m up to 600 words. That’s quite enough for one night, too.
*Snakebite is a treble IPA produced with Maris Piper hops in Gorleston