“Between Southend and Burnham on Crouch” is probably the best description of where Paglesham sits, but it’s more accurate to describe it as at the end of a road to nowhere from Rochford. I like pubs at the end of a dead-end.
Like many unexplored parts of the Essex coast, it’s at its best on a crisp winters day.
And like all the best parts of the UK, there’s virtually no-one to disturb our pre-lunch walk, bar the odd twitcher.
Poor Mrs RM wonders what we’re doing in sub-zero degrees temperatures looking at mud flats and views across to Foulness Island. I tell her we’re following the (free) map, and promise her a packet of crisps with her beer. She presses on.
This is an old fishing village that would have been turned into a “Pirate’s Heritage Centre” and overrun by pashmina wearers in Cornwall, but here it’s just us and decay.
And the odd grounded boat.
So we thought we’d earnt our pie and chips back at the Plough & Sail, looking like the ideal winter pub in its weather-boarded glory.
It was fully booked. And absolutely packed. And very Christmassy.
We stood in front of the fire and shared* a pint of Maldon Gold, an easy NBSS 4. Mrs RM didn’t share her crisps.
Most of the diners were of the “retired gentlefolk” variety, and they all seemed to know how to behave in a pub. That’s Essex for you. No ordering drama.
There’s hundreds of old pubs like this in rural Essex, always consistent but rarely quite as charming as this one.
We passed another couple of attractive Beer Guide pubs on the way back to Rochford, and they were packed too. After a week of empty Norfolk dining pubs this was heartwarming, as were the chips (£1.50) we picked up in Rochford.
On to the end in Southend.
*By shared I mean I had a taster.