If in doubt, lead with a cat picture

Next stop, that odd suburban area between Poole and Bournemouth that only GBG tickers ever visit.

Middle of Nowhere

Or people alarmed that the nearest stop-off point calls itself a train station on Google maps. Mudgie and Tom will explode.

No-one else gets off at Branksome, which won’t surprise you if you visit. Rather like Bexley, Upper Parkestone is a dull row of functional shops. Like Chorlton after a hurricane.

Like Bexley and Sidcup, fertile ground for a micropub. In this case, the “award winningSmugglers Run.

Never found that, but I did find the Barking Cat in exactly the same spot. Coincidence ? I think not.

Smuggler ? Cat ? What next ?

I really feel that historic micropub names should be better protected. Perhaps someone will start a petition on Discourse once broccoli issues are resolved.

More than that, it used to be a Chinese restaurant. Once a Chinese takeaway is gone, it’s gone for good. #UseItOrLoseIt.

Lots of beers, lots and lots. It takes ages to realised you need to look for the ones that say “on now”.


You need to look at the board as you’ll never get to the bar.

That’s what the chairs are for, I guess

They’re all friendly Pros and when the Lady goes to the jukebox to put on “Hotel California” I nip in for the killer shot.

Could be a Proper Pub

Ooh, I’ve heard of those, even if they’d have caused palpitations in the King Charles.

Did this use to be the Smugglers ?” I asked the Eagles fan, just in case there’s another micro next door, like in That Colne.

“Yeah, that went T.I.T.S. up”

Apparently that’s an abbreviation for Totally In The ****.

Plenty of cask being put back at 3pm, which is what you want. Very much “pub” rather than “micro”. No doubt someone will want to know about the toilets.

The Anarchy Blonde was good, too (NBSS 3). But I think you can probably see why, tucked away from the bar, I didn’t stay for a second half.


  1. Reminds me of my recent visit to the US, but at least there, many of the bar stools are fixed, and you can still get to the bar. Failing that, it’s table service only, I’m afraid.

    btw, although I have an electronic version of the GBG on my phone, I haven’t looked that closely at it (sacrilege, I know), but from many of your posts I am getting the impression the publication should be re-titled the GMPG (Good Micro-Pub Guide).


    1. You’re in the middle of micro land, Paul, between South-east London and North and East Kent.

      I suspect beer quality in micros is at least as good as in the bulk of Sheps/Harvey’s/dining.pubs, even where they leave me cold.


  2. There are so many pump handles visible in that “That’s what the chairs are for” photo I imagine you stifled a scream when you saw them.

    Loved the #UseItOrLoseIt bit. You’ve got me thinking there’s a “Good Chinese Takeaway Guide” out there somewhere, with enthusiasts trying to tick them all, and arguing about whether or not the newer editions include too many micro-takeaways. 😉


  3. They’re big on sitting at the bar down south, for some reason. There are ways to combat it; a bit of change dropped into someones pint, the wobbly slop onto their shoulders as you reach for your pint.


  4. I very rarely go to the bar (much to the disgust of Mr Tyke -I do however always have to order food ) but if I did I would say excuse me loudly & definitely go for some spillage on exit. I enjoyed reading about this micro though & love the cat pictures

    Liked by 1 person

  5. “Middle of Nowhere”

    Ahem. Where I used to work was the middle of nowhere:

    “Never found that, but I did find the Barking Cat in exactly the same spot. ”

    My Streetview confirmst that (from April last year).

    “Once a Chinese takeaway is gone, it’s gone for good.”

    Nonsense. With the current owner having ‘cat’ in the name I’m sure another Chinese takeaway could pop up. 😉

    “You need to look at the board as you’ll never get to the bar.”


    “Apparently that’s an abbreviation for Totally In The ****.”


    “No doubt someone will want to know about the toilets.”

    That would be Si. 🙂


    Liked by 1 person

      1. I won’t be the only one visiting this site who’s thankful that “PARKESTONE’S CATS IN THE CHINESE” is pictures on the wall and not, as far as you know, the neighbourhood pets served up with rice.

        Liked by 1 person

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