Almost a Pub Cat for Mudgie from Sittingbourne‘s burgeoning collection of alley (cat) art.
Back to chronology, and the annual slog out along the North Kent coast, though at least the new pubs are all close to the station. Sadly, no new Gillingham ticks.
It seems only ten months since I was here before, being stared at in the Spoons, and not much has changed.
A theme of this blog is the gradual improvement of Britain and its pubs, and I find road repairs a symbol of that gradual improvement here. A new artisan sourdough shop was more what I was hoping for.
Why do folk find you odd for taking photos of building sites ? Or street art ?
A lot more shoppers than I’ve seen before; it’s good to see they don’t go to Sheerness or Gillingham to buy their tat. I popped in to buy a discounted pack of sushi, and the Starbucks lady gave me a free sample of their Christmas egg nog. Winners.
A fourth trip for a new Sittingbourne pub in four years, you might think the potential for new riches had been exhausted, but no. And it’s NOT another micro pub.
And it’s NOT Bunters either.
Which is a shame. Just what is Craft Union, anyway ? I don’t think it’s very crafty.
For GBG 2018, I give you The Red Lion.
In a town with robust looking boozers and a slightly posh new Spoons (with hotel for the tourist flood), the Red Lion manages to be both robust and rustic, which you can have as a name for a pub chain for free.
Once again, I am stared at by folks as I loiter at the entrance at 11.59. It really must be the photography, because at the bar I am generally ignored by staff in favour of younger, more attractive customers (and to be fair, ones who spend more than my £1.70 on a half).
But here, I am met with the usual friendly Swale welcome, and some poetry.
The tight beer range, too, is poetry.
A choice of two is more than enough. I can’t stand Purity, apart from the strong one I had at their craft bar in Brum, so it was actually a Hobson’s choice, as it were.
For the first time since Hendon, asking for a half caused some mild panic at the bar.
“How’d you do a half ?” Er, divide £3.40 by 2 ? The barmaid sought wiser counsel.
By the time she’d returned I’d drunk a quarter of it.
“You’ve been drinking it, haven’t you !” mischievously rather than in admonishment, or perhaps to deny me a top-up I would never have requested.
The Pride was drinking well enough first out of the pumps, a solid NBSS 3. At least one other chap drinking the ale at 12.15, which is one more than in a fair few pubs these days. My notes say “cool, flat, tasty“, which tells you why I won’t ever be a beer sommelier.
The pub itself reminded me of the slightly shabby Dickensian riverside places you get in Rotherhithe (or Gravesend, to be fair).
A large area was set for a Christmas booking I sensed would have given BRAPA good copy.
I preferred the more austere area facing the High Street.
“The times they are a-changing” sang Dylan. Very slowly. They followed Bob with Sandie Shaw, as you must. No Bangles (or Prince) despite my blog title.
Pleasant pub, proper pub people.
Just for you, this was the cask line-up in the Spoons, which was heaving;
Old Dairy, Neptune, Nelson and Whitstable. Where was ErlangerNick ?
And finally, because you have to show a chippy shop when you visit Sittingbourne;
Footnote: This is the source for that comment about “gone all trembly”