The Southworth family from the States seem to be having a great time touring the south coast.  I asked them whether they were doing any beer festivals.

After 8 nights here we saw a great beer fest everyday! And we got to enjoy Deal and Hastings. That is what i call a beer fest😀”

Yes, pubs are the best places to drink beer at its very best, particularly in the CAMRA Pub of the Year, claimed back by Yorkshire this year by the George & Dragon at Hudswell.


Beaten to it (as usual) by the Pubmeister (here) I gave it the acid retiredmartin test.  How good is a pint of mild at 11am on Monday morning ?

First things first. The walk from Richmond was as invigorating as it was in January, when I arrived to find the place closed as they were celebrating their award.

I don’t hold grudges.


Though disfiguring pump clips with clothes pegs may be a crime against humanity !

They’re there to display prices at point-of-sale, always a sign of a good pub.  This big board helps too.  You’ll see the range isn’t daft in breadth, focusing on quality local brewers.


More important than clothes pegs and £3 pints, the welcome was spot-on.

How ya doing ?  Good day for a beer !”  etc etc.

The day after Yorkshire Day, the good will from our most accommodating county was still overflowing.

When I’d phoned earlier to check opening times (which you should always do before every pub visit these days) I was given food serving times rather than the more generous licenced hours.  Despite their famed cheap lunches, there were no reserved signs, just beer mats dotted around the gorgeous rooms.




A symphony in red.  And the Rudgate Mild looked the part.


Like the recent POTY in Pendle, the G&D benefits from underrated views from the back garden.  Despite overcast skies, there will be few places I enjoy a pint more this year, unless the new Beer Guide gives me a backstreet boozer in Wythenshawe.

Rich, smooth and velvety (NBSS 4).  You could tell that by the lacing, I’m sure.


Two cyclists in the garden, whispering their routes for the day.  Hope they avoided the downpour (they clearly didn’t).

The 11 a.m. pint of mild test passed, but it’s the welcome you’ll remember.

And if you don’t like the cask in our Pub of the Year, there’s a house down the road with a keg from our top craft brewery (says someone).





  1. Nice post from an excellent pub. I had forgotten my own write up but not the subsequent failure at Cafe 1618, since repeated when the bar shut at 4pm (for the night) on another occasion. At least it proved it was open and trading at that point. Looking forward to your end of month position statement as you have been working hard lately!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. We, one Southworth writing, very much enjoyed our time in the pubs in Deal, Hastings and Winchester. Good atmosphere, good beers and interesting people. I know there is a lot of gloom and doom on the pub front, but I can’t help but feel there is still a lot of life in the pub. Alfies in Winchester is a good example. Good beer and filled with young people. I personally prefer the Ship in Deal, Jenny Lind in Hastings or the Hyde in Winchester. However it is no bad thing to see the beer range and pub environment expand. I still thought my best beers were milds, stouts and old ales though. I can’t say the pale ales excited me. They all seem pretty much the same to me. Just a different hop… Far too much of that over here.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You know you can always rely on me to see the glass as half empty, but it has to be said that sticking to the centres of touristy towns doesn’t give a representative view of the broader pub scene.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I don’t think that’s unfair; Hastings and Winchester seemed busy early this year, thankfully with young drinkers (rarely real ale). But I’m often in very quiet pubs.

        I’m glad Dick & Dave are coming back to our country to prop up beer sales !

        Liked by 1 person

      2. We do look forward to returning in October. Our trips are definitely our version of beer fests.

        Is the Hyde considered a city center pub? I would guess not. My first beer there was a excellent Magg’s Mild, after 1.5 pints had been pulled for other customers. Yes, I waited to see what they ordered. It was not overly busy for a Saturday at 1 P.M., 2 couples and 2 foursomes while we were there, which was more than the Eclipse the night before. As Dave mentioned, Alfies was very busy on Friday night. For some it was a stop before heading to the Boomtown Fair.

        I would add that on this trip I had quite a few bitters that I liked.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Chicago, ugh.

        I’ll take Stockport or Cambridge. I hear Waterbeach is a destination location. In England, it is really nice to have multiple pubs one can walk to and have a beer. I have to drive long distances to get to any worth visiting and they do not compare to England.

        I should mention that at the Eclipse the two men standing in front of the pumps made room for me to order. One even made a recommendation (Doom Bar). He laughed when I politely said we had had 3 of the 4 offered (no Doom Bar on this trip, though) and the 4th was not one we wanted. This was followed by a short conversation. One of the men had visited Chicago for business. He visited Goose Island and enjoyed it. I have not been there and do not drink much of their beer. I will probably never visit it. They even came to our table to say goodbye when they left. Another good pub experience.

        Oh, we had Landlord.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Glad to hear you got the same warm welcome we did back in December. Felt like a great pub, though I feel 3 out of the 4 candidates last year were pretty much from the same pot and the Stanford Arms was a welcome contrast.

    Liked by 1 person

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