I’d been bracing myself for Kent‘s fresh onslaught of micro madness in the new GBG, bringing with it high tables, horrific opening hours and pickled eggs. (And those are the fun bits).
But I had been looking forward to re-exploring West Malling, a posh village on the edge of Maidstone noted for the fine statue of “Pashmina Pauline“, a regular reader of this blog.
Small Kentish towns are an underrated species, often overlooked in favour of Sussex with its Rye and Lewes and Crawley.
West Malling has a regal looking Town Hill dominated by Nevills (not Neville Neville, thankfully).
I do like to judge a town by its blue plaques. I struggled here.
Note that they don’t even have an exact date of birth for CK Dain. This lack of precision extends to the census, with the population listed as “about 2,500 to 5,000“, a cheery margin of error. I like to think the population can double or halve each year due to the influx of GBG tickers.
Almost every building on the High Street is a restaurant of some sort, offering either lobster for two or low fat curry.
And almost every car that passes me is a BMW, so I find respite in King Street Motors.
You never know what dispense to expect in micros these days, but this open-air hipster keg font was taking things to extremes.
The Malling Jug had a sign pointing down an alley to match the tiny ones in Stockton.
Down some STEEP steps to a smart cellar bar which impressively matches bench seating with high tables, which I immediately bump into.
In Thanet you get slightly scruffy places with beers (£3) written on a board in chalk. I’m surprised the Jug has beers for £3, but I trade up to the Goachers as I like to flash the cash.
Actually, my notes record a conversation with the uniformed staff along the lines of;
“Sorry there’s only one beer on”
“Oh, one’s plenty. At least you’re open“
Who knows ?
Obviously, I’m the only customer, so I’m able to capture the tat for you.
The staff are busy logging in the beers (craft keg) so I don’t have to have the usual micro pub discussions, but on the other hand I’m a bit bored.
The Goachers is pretty much what you expect, a solid 3 but “shoulda gone to the Rifle Volunteers” as someone will say.
No doubt Simon will arrive on a Saturday at 4pm to find a riot in progress; I stumbled up the steps into the drizzle to find an old boy pressing for directions to the gun shop.