Reaching the end of the night now, via a scenic walk from Portswood to Woolston.

You can follow my exciting journey below (the Pompey blue line).

Still never been to Shirley

I’m sure you’ll know the point in a crawl when you consider going in a pub just because it looks interesting.  So it was with the Hobbit.

Now you’re Tolkien’

I resisted, just, but noted it was open until 3am all week, so I’ll be back at 2.44am on a Monday to claim my discounted pint of Bowman’s Quiver soon.

The route took me past St Mary’s, where a taxi was disgorging large groups of 50 somethings (says I) with “Basingstoke Beer Fest ’89” T-shirts and coke bottles.

IMG_20180608_185618 1.jpg
Actually seen City smashed here

A quick search revealed the excellent Southampton Beer Festival was about to start, and again I thought about joining the queue to sample a pint of Ringwood Best at its, er best.

But it was a tenner to get in (even for me). Which was basically my Chinese takeaway budget.

Now I know I’m a miserabilist, but who would choose to visit a beer festival in a plastic football ground with “up to a 100 beers” over the five great Southampton pubs I visited, which must have had 50 cask and keg beers amongst them.  And who can drink 100 beers in a night, anyway ?  #VisitPubs

Anyway, I was itchin’ to get over the Itchen.

Woolston here I come

Olaf’s Tun has the apostrophe in the right place.

IMG_20180608_192213_1 1.jpg

And gets pretty much everything else right too, attracting a broad cross-section of east Southampton life, some of whom refuse to take their “Saints are staying up” shirt off.

Saints life

The only thing I can say about it is that it’s too small on a Friday night, and I hate standing in pubs.  But after a week of solitude in empty pubs at 3 pm on a weekday* I can forgive it that.

I guess I could have sat on the Malaga FC cushion.

Classic pub seating
Wot no Pipers

Folk were bringing in pizzas from the Italian place across the road, and if I hadn’t earmarked my tenner I’d have succumbed too.

Spitfire Pizza

I suppose I have to mention beer.  Very nice list, if a little hard to read when you’re my age.

Gotta be Moor,hasn’t it ?

The Moor stout was cool and chewy, an easy NBSS 4, perhaps the best of a very good bunch in Southampton.

I had 22 minutes to get to the Obelisk for the only Draught Bass in Southampton and back to Woolston station.


Would I make it ?



*Well, Simon was there as well but he doesn’t count, does he ?



12 thoughts on “ITCHIN’ OVER THE ITCHEN

    1. Exactly. Why pay £10 (OK, there’s a tombola) to sit in a football ground and have a choice of microbrews when you cold have an even better choice of cask (and keg) by just walking round the city ? Or is the walking the problem ? Genuine question. Anyway, the bars I went to that Friday were full of young drinkers, say no more.


  1. We did the lunchtime session at the beer festival on the Friday. Very enjoyable, if just to catch up with a few old faces. Managed four pubs in the evening. Three in the GBG and one pre emptive as you say.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is interesting. Vedett seems to pop up quite a lot on my travels, but the stronger Belgians are much rarer (presume because they’re made for bottle). Wetherspoons did a Belgian beer on draught a decade ago which I presumed was imported.


  2. The last time I did the GBBF we managed about two hours in the greenhouse-like heat of Olympia drinking flat,lukewarm samey beer and then buggered off to Jeff Bell’s Gunmakers pub where there was a great selection of excellent beers in cool tip top condition.
    I agree,what’s the bleedin’ point when there so much variety on offer in pubs these days.
    Mind you,a charabanc up from the sticks in the company of mates is a different matter altogether.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Never been to GBBF, looks like the worst pub ever. I agree on a day out with mates, and I’ve had good beer at Manchester and Indy Man), but I think CAMRA puts far too much emphasis on fests; fests won’t keep cask alive, and they’re no longer the best place to taste cask at its best either.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. “Still never been to Shirley”

    You’re missing out, according to Pub Hermit. 🙂

    “Now you’re Tolkien’”

    Argh! Right up there with ‘Fryday’. 😉

    “Olaf’s Tun has the apostrophe in the right place.”

    After much deliberation… we concur. 🙂

    “I guess I could have sat on the Malaga FC cushion.”

    It probably would have made a humorous noise. 🙂

    “Folk were bringing in pizzas from the Italian place across the road,”

    There’s a few brewpubs about 35 miles from me that do that same thing.

    “Gotta be Moor,hasn’t it ?”

    I’m guessing the stone baked pizza sign is for the pizzeria across the way?


    Ugh. 😦



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