Today’s blogging advice (courtesy Life After Football); if in doubt about your featured image, go with Bass.
My last Kent tick meant another long journey to the heart of Thanet (and beyond).
Cliftonville, you may remember, is the place that sparked a frenzied public inquiry recently when it was revealed there was no micropub in town.
Walking from Margate station up Northdown Road feels like walking from Hastings to St Leonards, a vibrant mixed suburb.
There’s some gorgeous rundown shops,
some seafront culture,
and a Proper Café.
Batchelors looks the sort of retro café that charges you a fiver for a filter coffee in Bethnal Green, but not in Kent.
You can walk the cakes off along looking for this house with 7,000 cartoon figures in it.
Anyway, pub. Sleuths among you will have worked out this was the place that caused my meltdown on Royal Wedding day.
Below left are today’s hours, stuck on Facebook the week after I visited and found it shut; on the right are the hours on Facebook (and the door_ that day. Let Simon be warned.
As I always say, it’s not the hours themselves, it’s an inability to be clear what they are and then stick to them that frustrates.
So it would be fair to say the Tap wasn’t off to a flier when I finally got through the bamboo dangly things (Grrrr).
But from there on, it was magical. And I’m not just saying that as my last Kent tick.
A French-sounding barman gave me a run-through of the cask and keg, seemed genuinely interested in both, and answered my increasingly weird questions for the next half an hour.
“Is there CAMRA discount ?” (the vital one, clearly)
“Is that Squeeze playing ?”
“Which Squeeze album is it ?”
“Is there a loo ?” (yes, the tiniest unisex loo yet)
OK, I may have been swayed a bit by the Bass tat, and the Beavertown-style taps (below), and the 10% CAMRA discount on cask and KeyKeg.
But the beer, from Pig & Porter Skylarking (NBSS 4) and Pressure Drop (Key Keg, so no NBSS) was sensational.
I know some folk who will hate it, with a big communal table, pulsing indie soundtrack giving way to Opera, and a general lack of mobility scooter.
For those folk, there is always the Northern Belle.
The Margate juggernaut shows no sign of slowing down any time soon.