Another exciting post from the A2.

But first, your Christmas quiz;

What are those things on the road ?

Usual quiz rules, or lack thereof.

Onward to the Medway towns, last visited a year ago when Son No.1 was down at the dockyards on a tour of Kent University.


Next stop on the train, Rainham.


If you’re looking for an authentic “micro pub experience“, this is for you.


The folk arrayed around the outside seating were, perhaps, younger than you’d find elsewhere, but the ale and cider list will look familiar to those familiar with micros in South-east London or Thanet.


My notes say… nothing.  It’s very difficult to find fresh things to say about micros.  Very good beer from Hopfuzz (NBSS 3.5), oversized glass, blokes settled in for the afternoon, that’s it.

The main attraction was the exciting range of CAMRA magazines.  I thought about setting fire to the new Ullage for entertainment, but that sort of thing goes down better in Ember Inns than micropubs.

Top shelf entertainment

Another two stops to Chatham, a place you skirt around en-route to somewhere more interesting. Like Gillingham.

Here’s a real ale desert for you, from Chatham town centre down to the M2.

Chatham WhatPub.PNG
You could be in Motherwell

Just as well, then, that two of those three “real” pubs on Railway Street are in the Guide.

And here’s what you get when I remove the real ale filter;

Chatham WhatPub2.PNG
That’s better

Spot the difference.

A quick look up Chatham Hill shows you just how hilly this area is.


I presume they can’t roll the barrels of Burning Sky or Harvey up and down those roads.  It’s scary just looking at it now.

Here’s a classic keg pub.  Or it would be, if it wasn’t closed.

Possible classic

As I approached the town centre from the east, I was struck by a wave of emotion as I realised I’d never been in Chatham High Street (see how excited I am when I get to Montrose).

Here’s the highlights;

Chatham High St
Choca Fellas
Chatham Mighty Pound

Yeah.  It’s fantastic*.  Like Woolwich with less diversity, which may be right up some folks’ street.  Plenty of student jobs in Chicken Cottage if you go to Uni here.

The two pubs are great too.  Confusingly after “Prince of Ales” comes “Prince of Wales“.


I’ve become quite adept at spotting Stonegate pubs now.  They’re like Spoons with TV sports, as here. I counted 26 televisions showing the Cherries v Saints to an audience of about 5.


This one has all the customers who would never go in the Prince of Ales, and vice versa.


While I waited for my bargain pint of Doom Bar, I overhead a conversation about a faulty widget on the Strongbow Dark Fruits tap.  Nothing ever goes wrong with real ale, of course.


I chickened out of the Doom Bar at the last moment and had the excellent (and cheaper) house beer from Wantsum (NBSS 3.5) ,whose beers should always be served this well.

A lively pub, exemplified by one overhead line;

Can I see your giant sausage ?”

Sadly, I’d already passed Rainham Meats, and the Spoons was over the road, so I never got the chance to see the local delicacy.


The Thomas Waghorn lacks a mobility scooter outside (it may have been in the giant smoking area), but in all other respects was a proper local rather than an OAP diner, with the Christmas party trade confined to the upstairs room.

The highpoint was the odd chilled cider dispensers;

Your favourite non-available beers

The beer selection was again majoring on ales from “Available Soon” of Battle.  I had a half of Doom Bar (ugh) and a half of X2 (ugh), plus two free refills of flat white from the new DIY Spoons coffee dispensers.

The craft keg looked much the better bet, not for the first time.  This one is reminiscent of the Spoons in Feltham.


If two pubs in the Beer Guide in Chatham is a miracle; the superiority of the Stonegate over the Spoons is surely a sign of the End of Times.


*It really is.


21 thoughts on “CHATHAM CHATTER

    1. It’s the the ones with a row of high tables down two walls; no space to escape, often cliques keeping themselves to themselves, generally blokes in their 50s and 60s with few women or children or teens, and no pub life like in your adventures.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I’m afraid you haven’t managed to sell Chatham to me, Martin. Mind you, I’ve unpleasant memories of being spat at by a group of punks, whilst walking back along the High Street, after a performance by Tom Paxton (there’s a name from the past), at Central Hall.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Can’t be a proper Micro, it was open. Nice to see they were expecting you. Just heard of Harrogate brewery opening a tap room to be open 1 Friday per month, so expect it to be in GBG 2021.
    Montrose is visually worth a visit, if you get one of the three days of sunshine per annum. A train trip from Aberdeen-Dundee would be recommended for getting a few GBG entries at some point in time.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. By jove,those ciders look absolutely gorgeous.
    I could quite happily sit in front of that and smash a pint of each – magine a gallon of fermented apple juice going to work on body and brain.
    Oh yes,indeed.That would make my Christmas.
    As it is I have to surive with two dozen bottles from a cider farm in Tipperary hidden in various caches around Pie-Tin Towers to avoid discovery by two sons returning home today from Uni for the holidays.
    It’ll be cat and mouse.The bastards know I’ll have a stash and won’t be fobbed off with the slab of Heineken I have baited the trap with.
    Let battle commence.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “hidden in various caches around Pie-Tin Towers to avoid discovery by two sons returning home today from Uni for the holidays.”

      My dear old Dad used to hide his booze in the drop ceiling tiles of the basement. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Christmas or cider ?
    The former I hate almost as much as Syd Differential hates the French.
    The latter I love almost as much as my wife.


  5. I was there on Thursday night, Prince of Wales was far busier than the spoons. Must have been the karaoke. I also had the Wantsum and if I remember right, also submitted a score of 3.5, But the Whitstable Christmas ale I had in the spoons was equally nice to be fair. If I had a blog I would have passed comment on men ordering rounds of fancy (god knows what) gin and tonic just to lengthen the seasonal pub tourist ordering time…

    Liked by 1 person

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