I can’t say I’m surprised how basic the Portland pubs are; neighbouring Weymouth is also a haven for lovers of unreconstructed boozers.


Those in Portland seem to rotate their Guide places, so we get a second GBG newbie, and folk saying “Why didn’t you go in the Royal/Britannia/Add Your Choice ?”.

Royal Portland Arms

Everyone must be in those pubs on Sunday, as Fortuneswell High Street is eerily quiet. Even the chippy is shut.


It’s not Shaftesbury, I’ll say that. But it’s not without charm.

Not a micro recognising it’s a fake pub

The folk outside the New Star Inn aren’t bouncers or greeters; they’re victims of the Pub Clearance Legislation of 2007.

New Star Inn

Inside it’s Proper Pub joy. Red banquettes round the outside, blokes slagging off Harry Kane while watching Chelsea v West Ham, domestic arrangements sorted out over pints of Amstel, everyone saying “Wheeeeeeee” when a glass got knocked over (it wasn’t me).

Pub life
“Re-sign John Terry”

I’m not sure what the New Star has done to get in the Guide.  It’s not by an appeal to the hand pump counters.  I see one beer on, presented in the style of “Our real ale this week is Adnams“.  No jam jars or tasters here.

One beer pub

As you’ll know, one beer is more than enough.  Particularly when it’s as good as this Adnams Fat Sprat.  An odd choice for Portland, but a tasty beer well kept (NBS 3.5+).

Top lacings

So, yes, a pub in the Beer Guide because it serves good beer.  It’ll never catch on. Rather like displaying stuffed squirrels in glass cages. Unless that’s a Brew Dog beer.

Note D Day for CAMRA leaflet

Then we rolled down the hill back to the beach, and began the slog back to the campervan, where ravioli and sheep awaited.

We couldn’t sail back







  1. I’ve always found Portland a bit dour, almost clinging on, as if folk think the island will one day disappear and hence avoid investing too much into the niceties. Strangely enough, Portland hasn’t the same feel the adjacent mainland has. I’m not sure what it is, but it’s got it. Some sort of Arthurian oriented ley lines, all crossing and coming together in a Stonehenge influenced old straight track that pulls hippies, new age travellers and random throwbacks along the Ridgeway to this part of the world. Whatever it is it’s much stronger here than it is in Cornwall/Devon and the only other place I’ve really felt it is in Ceredigon, which is where the stones for the henge came from.

    So why if they have all this, and some excellent smaller, dare I say it micro-breweries that many of your followers do not care for, are they serving Adnams? It’s almost as if some of these pubs are just ordering it off a pre-prepared list they have signed up to?


      1. Mmmm. But doesn’t cheap, rough and ready red wine taste delicious in it’s locality of origin? Bring it back to the UK and drink it on your garden and it tastes like Banks’s version of Tetleys.


  2. I liked the New Star but the annual rotation of pubs is irritating and some have been wholly unremarkable over the years. Portland owes its character to quarrying so has always been a working kind of place, but oddly doesn’t seem to have become much of a refuge for people from the ‘mainland’ seeking cheaper housing, with the attendant changes that can bring. Also great for bird watching!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. “as Fortuneswell High Street is eerily quiet”

    Don’t know why they call it the high street. Those hills behind it are certainly higher. 😉

    “Not a micro recognising it’s a fake pub”

    Good luck getting in. That door on the right looks fake as well. (LOL)

    “domestic arrangements sorted out over pints of Amstel,”

    That’s not your way of saying wife swapping is it?

    “Rather like displaying stuffed squirrels in glass cages.”

    He looks an awful lot like that famous chipmunk from years ago:

    “where ravioli and sheep awaited.”

    That’s an odd meal combo. (rolls eyes)



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