I hope you appreciate the effort that goes into these blog titles*, if not the content. Ten points for the best interpretation. Wiki is your friend, Dave.
Despite a couple of trips into the southern half of the New Forest, mainly for Beaulieu, it remains a bit undiscovered for me. So much so that all six Beer Guide entries around Lymington were new ticks for me. There is no joy greater for a Beer Guide ticker than finding half a dozen pubs to do, all open at lunchtime.
Lymington is some way from the ponylands of Fritham and Lyndhurst, instead home to retired gentlefolk convincing themselves they can see France, rather than the Isle of Wight.
There’s about £3 billion worth of boaty parking space just here;
Actually, away from the country house hotels on the A337 it’s not as posh as you might think, at least in the Buckland suburbs that lead to the classic basic Borough Arms (sadly ex-GBG).
From here on in, Lymington is a succession of Rayban-wearing folk called Rupert, each carrying an empty Waitrose coffee cup. The restrictions on free coffees from Waitrose have hit the town hard.
Luckily for the OAP population, it does still have plenty of public loos, something the relentlessly helpful Tourist Information ought to promote more in the glossy brochure called “Licking Lymington” or whatever.
As you’ll know, a combination of unlimited coffee and cheap beer is fatal for the bladder, and that’s what Spoons are all about.
The Six Bells was the quietest Spoons I’ve seen; perhaps those public loos are the bigger draw.
Disappointingly, the Spanish couple in front of me in the queue weren’t drinking the cask (at 10am) so I wasn’t able to go for the beer just pulled. Luckily, the Vibrant Forest Red Ale (I never learn) started hazy but cleared enough to score a pretty good NBSS 3. Just the thing to go with a gallon of black coffee and crushed avocado bagels.
Surprisingly, the steepish High Street isn’t that exciting, the best of a string of low-key buildings being the inevitable Conservative Club, at that moment holding an emergency debate on The Waitrose Issue.
A bit like a southern Ely (without the big church), plenty of old-fashioned tea-rooms, charity shops after your Toto and Asia LPs, and Britain’s self-proclaimed rudest shop.
The most famous building, of course, is the furniture depository from which Rosencrantz and Guildenstern were shot by Tom Stoppard. There’s an annual play to commemorate it.
The path to the cobbled quay is a sea of red and mustard corduroy, with ever-cheerful Lib Dems campaigning on an anti-micro pub platform. Good luck on that.
An hour’s walk is time enough for the Monkey House to get round to opening. I’ve never seen a place less like a Monkey House, but I’m coloured by memories of Defford’s famous cider place.
All tables have place settings on them ahead of lunch, so it was a case of sit at the bar or sit with the staff’s paperwork. I chose the latter, but not to make a point.
The Flack Manor was actually very good (NBSS 3.5); the old chap at the bar had just had the first pint of the day, but it wasn’t a place for the casual drinker.
*Oh, alright then