Boak & Bailey ask today how you’d respond to a request from a stranger for local pub recommendations.

The obvious answer is, of course, go in the pub with mobility scooters outside. Unless it has Arsenal livery.

Last year in Ipswich, Mrs RM and I found a pub scene apparently in the throes of craft frenzy.

Much of the Ipswich revitalisation has been down by the river, though sadly that hasn’t saved the Brewery Tap from closure.

The glitzy pizzerias and boutique hotels  by the University are a far cry from the basic stretch of riverside on the left bank, where hides the sole new Ipswich GBG entry.



WhatPub shows that the Steamboat Tavern is a bit of an outlier.

Ipswich WhatPub.PNG

But it still looks a fairly modernised place, and I was expecting something akin to the trendy bars of Deptford (Sunderland, not SE London).


But mobility scooters and smokers outside, Sooty, “unimproved” décor and Hi-Vis jackets at the bar revealed this as a “Workings mans’ pub” of GBG’74 legend.

The sort of pub that CAMRA members are thought to avoid like the plague, to use the other GBG’74 reference.


At 4pm there was a cracking boozy atmosphere, and enough pints of cask being pulled that I felt confident enough to ask the bloke in a blazer what the attractive beer he had was called.

Great handpumps

I was glad it was the Earl Soham Gold, a beer I had a rather disastrous experience with recently.

This was terrific. Cellar cool, rich and full, a clear NBSS 3.5.  Nice foamy head too, and none of your Adnams glass atrocities.


So, what do blokes talk about at 4pm in a riverside Ipswich local over pints of Camden Pale ?

DIY (or Don’t Involve Yourself, to me and Mrs RM), mainly. Especially painter sealant.

There was a tremendous amount of chat, much of it that would have contravened Humphrey Smith’s standards.  But all very good-natured.  It was the grim silence between the husband and wife on the table opposite that scared me.

Musical accompaniment from Survivor and Supergrass (possibly supergroup there)but this was better than “It’s Alright“.

A great find, and confirmation 4pm really is the golden hour in pubs.

Interesting toilets. too.




  1. “I felt confident enough to ask the bloke in a blazer what the attractive beer he had was called.”

    Glad I’m not the only one. I’ll do that if I see a nice looking pint in front of someone. 🙂

    ““unimproved” décor and Hi-Vis jackets at the bar revealed this as a “Workings mans’ pub” of GBG’74 legend”

    Heh. Went to one of those a few years ago in Brooklyn with my brother while on holiday. Construction workers sitting at the bar with Brooklyn accents so thick it was a chore to try and eavesdrop. And, as you mentioned in your Oakley post, we actually did get to just help ourselves behind the bar and then tell the waitress how many we’d had when it was time to settle up.

    A good bar (or pub) can be found in the strangest of places. 🙂


    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have never been to Ipswich,i would like to but Colchester is still higher up the list to do towns,i have also got Newbury in my sights and Bradford on Avon,trains seem to be a bit of nightmare to Colchester and Bradford on Avon,with loads of changes,probably because i want the cheapest fare.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s