So a good start in Southwold at the classic Lord Nelson before we headed off over the dunes towards Walberswick and past the beach huts, led by Sis and Niece. Look at them go ! (they were hungry).
The main talking point was the c.£200,000 that those huts (no overnight stay) are fetching. Up until recently that would have bought you the whole of Glossop.
In the weeks after half-term, but before the main tourist rush, the dunes and marshes were very tranquil and child free (for better or worse).
Unfortunately, a relatively quiet midweek also meant the earlier closure of the legendary seafood places that Richard raved about in the comments earlier.
I get very grumpy and bear-like when I’m hungry, as Mrs RM will attest. So it’s just as well the Harbour Inn is the “old reliable” for all day grub.
First impressions may not be helpful here. Full of diners, heavily promoting the keg, lots of tat (not the fish tank), £13 a main course, etc etc.
A young professional couple who had clearly never been in a pub before (I think they were from Twickenham) began a lengthy negotiation based on the exact provenance and temperature of the Sauvignon Blanc (“Is it oak-aged ?”), and somehow ended up with Bitburger.
Just as I remembered it, the Adnams Bitter was wonderful; the best on my trip (NBSS 4). Oddly, I jotted down “tastes a bit like a great flat Bass“. I doubt Adnams will be using that in their advertising.
Eagle-eyed readers may also note the proper glass. I asked for a straight glass and received one. It really does make a difference, at least 0.425 on the NBSS scale.
To get a “youth” angle I asked my niece what she thought of the pub and received a description of her Mosaic keg beer that included the words “mango coming through” and “hedgerow“. It fooled me. Sis complained at the lack of a strong beer like Tally Ho, which is certainly an omission in the Adnams range.
That food was top-class unfussy fayre too. I could have stayed all afternoon. But Sis was on a mission and we plodded over the bridge to Walberswick, saving about £10 (or 2 pints of Keg) on the Ferry.
“Lower Southwold” has acquired quite a reputation for its ch-chi self-catering cottages and the ultimate gastropub that is the Bell. We went in the Anchor, the only other Beer Guide pub in the area for some time now.
It’s a bit “Times Sunday Edition” for me, but very friendly and with another superb pint of the Bitter (NBSS 3.5). Top quality reading material too.
Not much banter in the pubs late on Wednesday afternoon, but in the local Co-op we were treated to “BRAPA-esque” drama as Arthur and Esther (honestly) “stole” two Magnums from the fridge, forcing their neck scarf wearing mother to explain at unnecessary length that the wrappers would need to be retrieved from the bin to be scanned. It took me ten minutes to pay for my walnut whip which was already melting.
We did pop in the Red Lion and Sole Bay on the way back, but my phone battery had drained I blame Magnum thief), so I’ll just say they were both very decent. Go to North London’s Guide entries (no, don’t), then ask yourself how Southwold has only one pub in the GBG.