“Hell, hell is for children” sang Pat Benatar, who’d clearly not seen what the residents of Boscombe have to live with.
From the Firkin I walked down past the station to the coast (exciting evidence below).
You pass one of every chain pub on the walk down Bath Road; passing, oh, zero Beer Guide pubs but lots of German tour coaches. Why would Germans come here for holiday ? Presumably Spoons beer prices.
I would have gone in the Moon in the Square for old times sake, but I had a long walk ahead through the suburbs of Boscombe and Southbourne, and it’s rude to nip in too many mid-range hotels for the loo when you’re not going to buy a £3 half of Peroni.
I DID pop in the Cottonwood, upgraded to boutique status since they kicked us out in 1998, a year it made the Beer Guide with (from memory) a solitary Ringwood beer, a pianist is smoking playing “Moonlight Sonata” and women dressed in chiffon.
The next hour took me past tennis courts, gated housing and 275 identical hotels. The only relief came with the occasional wildlife quiz;
I confess I thought the answer was “bunny“.
After an hour I made it to
sultry sulky Southboourne and the Wight Bear, presumably named after the mythical Isle of Wight which doesn’t actually exist.
It’s another micro, my sixth (6th) of the day, so expect high tables, middle-aged escapees from South London and unreadable beer boards.
Oh grief !
It’s only a posh one, all 30-somethings, with pashminas and Prosecco and a bloke about to do Coldplay covers (allegedly).
No bar and no indication at all of how you got served.
And this was the “menu“.
It was a BBC version* of the Herne model, with beers from the back, signs telling you your mobile phone will be crushed, beer paddles and the like, but a sinister corporatism behind it.
“Speak to your Bear handler” it said on the wall.
My Bear handler appeared, an enthusiastic young man who clearly wanted to advise me on beer styles. Now, call me cynical, but aren’t those cask options cheap ones ?
The Peerless Pale was past it (NBSS 1.5), left unfinished on the speaker, and I made a dash for Christchurch, about which I remember nothing. But the B&B was great, and I’ll be back.
*That’s not a recommendation.