Manchester Beer Fest day. If you’re there, buy me a low alcohol German beer. That’s me in the corner, whining about the lack of seating.
Duncan will be there, showing off his knees and his GBG. I bet he’s done Kent, even though it’s 300 miles away from him and virtually next door to me.
That’s the statue of him (above), next to his private cruise ship at Gravesend.
This year the Guide gives me one new opportunity to visit the Queen of the Kent Coast, which on a bitter Sunday lunchtime looks more gorgeous than ever.
The terraced houses leading up to Windmill Hill always delight, and include this piece of performance art.
Inevitably the new GBG entry is a micro, inevitably hard to find, hence some energetic signposting by the side of the Masonic Hall.
There’s many types of micro these days; beer bores round the walls, craft keg emporia, and the odd community local like this one.
Forget the beer barrels for seats. This is a Proper Pub, and a throwback to a time when Sunday lunch was the big session of the week.
By 12.07 twenty locals have descended down the stairs and ordered cups of tea and G & Ts, or are trying to remember the nice beer they had last night.
“She’s early, well, only 5 minutes late“.
It’s all heartwarmingly cheery at the bar, and the Landlady says “Hello my love !” rather than “Yes ?”. Welcome of the year.
For a micro, it’s a little warren of drinking spaces, including this unexpected fruit beer tasting room in the immaculate Gents.
I stick to the Wantsum Hurricane (NBSS 3), which is being discussed at length as I leave for the uphill walk to Subway and beyond.
Perhaps Gravesend suffers from its 60s legacies,
but the heritage quarter is just wonderful,
even if the Terrace has lost its pub gems, including a former National Pub of the Year.
The Crown & Thistle (RIP) was one of my favourite POTY winners, but Gravesend remains a great pubby treat. Pocahontas arrived 400 years too soon.