WELLS-NEXT-THE-SEA – A DUTCH & DANISH TAKEOVER

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After putting off this piece for a couple of weeks, I can put it off no more.

I keep reading about folk seduced by North Norfolk, but it’s not for me. Full of ghastly gastropubs, warm beer and North Londoners on mini-breaks, it’s my idea of Maidenhead-by-the-Sea.

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But Wells is where I spent some of my podgy childhood eating chips and playing the gaming machines in Pop Inn amusements.  It’s still there !

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Pop Inn -future micro pub name

On a shove-penny machine like the ones below I won an actual cigarette in 1976, which at the age of 11 was a bit of a dilemma. Luckily our neighbour George gave me a Freddo (old size) for it when we got home,  Innocent days.

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Not as good as the Southport gaming aracdes

Slot machines apart, Wells is a quirky little town without the airs and graces of “Sunny Hunny”, with some proper seaside variety stores,

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Nobbies to you

and some questionably named pubs.

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Local history

It’s not posh, but the narrow streets give it a touch of Staithes, though without the cliff-top views.  From the walk along Beach Road you can see the little islands where  I used to annoy my Dad by getting stranded by strong currents while he was reading the Express.

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Shadowplay

Of course, the B&Bs along the quayside are now preceded with “Luxury“, which is entirely North London’s fault. What’s wrong with “Economy” ?

Despite a decent number of day-trippers for late November, it was tranquil and stunning.

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Wells Quayside

The boat in the top photo is the Albatros.

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Albatros – don’t fall in

One of our quirkiest GBG pubs alongside Grimsby’s Barge, it’s run by a Dutchman who ran aground many years ago with an unlimited supply of Woodfordes Wherry and pancake ingredients.  I’m convinced most locals don’t actually realise it’s a pub.

Up the pedestrianised main street past the gastropubs you reach the Edinburgh, which is the sort of place you’d expect to find Glaswegians in, if you know what I mean.  “Bass occasionally” says WhatPub.  More false hope, I’m afraid.

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Which leaves Guide newbie the Lifeboat, reopened recently by great Dane Carsten after closure in 1999.

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Primarily a B&B, the bar is small and cosy and I confess I feared the worst for the beer without a horde of regulars at the bar.

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But the beer range is tight and sensible, and the Moon Gazer Pale cool and tasty (NBSS 3.5).  I told Carsten his beer was good, and he gave me a passionate tale of cellar management, of putting the beer to bed and cleaning the lines, of keeping beer at 11-12 degrees.  Such enthusiasm for cask is rare and wonderful.

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We compared notes on the Copenhagen drinking scene, but I sense Mikkeller may not displacing Carlsberg Export on his bar anytime soon.  Lovely man.

 

 

 

 

 

 

8 thoughts on “WELLS-NEXT-THE-SEA – A DUTCH & DANISH TAKEOVER

  1. The white walls and the sunlight streaming in make it look quite cheery.

    And I notice he has beer mats for one to take as needed. 🙂

    Cheers

    “On a shove-penny machine”

    I remember playing those in Folkstone on day trips from London way back when I was a wee lad. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My parents always liked Wells. It is only a short drive from where they lived, and there was a hotel overlooking the sea, slightly to the east of the town, where they’d take themselves off for a week or so in winter, just for a change of scenery.

    Liked by 1 person

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