After that false start in Yarmouth, the Isle of Wight belatedly yielded up its pubby pleasures.

They don’t come cheap.  £4 minimum a pint, plus £25.10 for the train/ferry and £10 for the buses.  I suppose someone has to pay to sharpen those needles.

£10 !


First up, Freshwater, a solid but plain village to embody retirement England.

Gnomes banned in Freshwater
Grief – I was in and out in nine minutes
Typical Wight

A simple, unfussy dining pub encapsulated in one shot.

Foamy half at the bottom

OK, the cheery Old Boys in cardigans helps the image too.

The spirit of Greenwood Menswear lives on

“We’ve booked a table for four for 12.10”

“Really sorry.  We appear to be a bit early”  Being five minutes early is still a capital offence in Freshwater.

Foaming beer

You wouldn’t imagine that beer line-up had comic potential, would you ?

You want a Long Blonde, don’t you ?  Heh heh heh“. I was shaking with rage.

I had an Old Boy.  Do you mean “Good Old Boy ?“.  I did, my bad. It was OK.

Their wives turned up at 12.12, escaping execution for being late through a plea bargain, and I immediately bumped into them while looking for something interesting to record for you, my readers.

The Old Boys joked they’d had four pints while they were waiting.  They really hadn’t.

Anyway, I hope Russ finds “Bottom Buffers” of interest.

The mind boggles

I thought this old breweriana was interesting, till I saw the same sign in every other pub on Wight.  Like Bass mirrors, they make them by the thousand in a factory in Wrexham.


A slow start to the day, but the barmaid said “Fab, thanks” as I brought the glass back. “Fab” is a word you don’t hear enough these days.

I walked twenty minutes into the heart of the City of Freshwater, notable only for The Ginger Jar, a micro pub in waiting if ever I saw one.  It was advertising line dances.

Great net curtains

The bus hop from Sainsbury’s Local was pointless, taking me a mile in ten minutes but leaving me a mile from Waterfront at Totland Bay outside Totties Fish & Chips (closed)But I need the exercise.

Typical weird Alum Bay hotel

Exciting news; the public loos at the Bay are to be turned into a craft bar (possibly.  Or possibly reopened for summer).

I’m watching

Totland Bay is at the dull end of Alum Bay (top), with a few dog walkers and a bistro-cum-bar in the middle of some early season refurbishment.

Interesting shape, anyway
Note big GBG banner
Paint splattered tradesmen bring some character

An odd place to get the hang of off-season, and any pub that plays “Somewhere Only We Know” can get in the ******* Bay, but I’ll say this;

The beer was lovely.

Island Earl’s Rich Dark Ale

That 5% RDA popped up a few times over the day, and was uniformly gorgeous.

As was the walk though the snowdrops up to The Highdown near the Tennyson monument.

It’s spring

And despite the scary “Eat. Drink. Stay” this was a Proper Pub at last.

Don’t go through THAT door

Outside Gents,

Always a good sign

bargain prices,

Langton again

a piece of Christmas cake left on the bar to ward off evil spirits (or BRAPA),

Lasts forever according to Mrs T May of Maidenhead

and a beer last seen in 1999 before cask heroes Marston’s revived it.

No, after you

I should have had the Mansfield, but always like to go local in foreign countries, so went for the Bosuns.

Pub life

Simon later told me it’s brewed in Wakefield.  Oh well.  It was OK, but the only beer pulled.  Again,

Never mind that.  The barmaid had a cheery smile “That’s lovely !”, the locals at the bar discussed mouse traps that might be adapted for the BRAPA visit.

A mixed bag, but three ticks (and a dead one) in the bag by 1.30.  A great start.

Now I had to track down the bus into Newport, where life begins.





20 thoughts on “THE WIGHT STUFF

  1. Phew,you fairly rattled through that one – so the Isle of Wight really is God’s UK Waiting Room ?

    You’ll notice I’m on here a bit lately.Truth be told I’m on the wagon.Four days now.I’ve never drank so much tea in my life.
    We have a long distance jolly looming and Mrs P P-T insists I lose a bit of weight as she doesn’t want me keeling over in a far flung place.I know how Ron Pattinson feels now when he gets it in the ear from the lovely Dolores.When will women understand we don’t give a monkeys about carrying a bit of extra wood in the winter months ?
    On the upside there’s no bastard quarter to four in the morning to worry about but by Christ live is dull at the moment.This is not natural.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Isle of Wight is very picturesque and has plenty of places of historic interest, so it’s a good holiday destination, but I really wouldn’t recommend it for its pubs.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. The Red Lion looks just the same as on my visit in 2017, even down to the Good Old Boy. Lovely situation next to the church, and a nice walk down to the causeway across the estuary of the Yar.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I haven’t seen any snowdrops out on my lunchtime walks, so far this year. It must be true about the IOW having its own micro-climate.

    Spring can’t be too far away though, if Friday’s jaunt was anything to go by.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Looks like west is best, Paul.

      We have daffs, crocuses and snowdrops out all at the same time – which is a rare treat – all round here in Pontcanna, where we are just now.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. That old price list reminds me of a widespread joke in 60s and 70s TV sitcoms whereby bloke in pub says to his neighbour something like “No hard feelings, I’ll get you a drink”, other bloke says “Thanks very much, I’ll have a Scotch” whereupon Bloke 1 adopts exasperated expression amid gales of canned laughter. This is because whisky is much dearer than beer as we can see from the price list (2/2d as opposed to 1/1d for a pint of mild) Completely the opposite now.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. We have been to the Waterfront -had a really nice meal (lobster ) unfortunately there was some confusion about our taxi &we had to walk back to our accommodaton (Bestival was on at the time & it was all a bit mad )

    Liked by 1 person

  6. “Like Bass mirrors, they make them by the thousand in a factory in Wrexham.” It’s true. Since the demise of traditional industries like coal, steel and brewing, Wrexham’s major source of revenue is the production of fake breweriana such as Bass mirrors, Border Brewery posters and Whitbread/Hall’s of Oxford ceramic thingies. That and petty crime, obviously.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thank goodness the Isle of Wight’s been properly discovered at last… 🙂

    I’m guessing that Christmas cake is 2019s – just getting it out early while Tesco are still distracted by their easter eggs…

    “Paint spattered tradesman…” – if he looks like that I worry what the house he’s been painting looks like… 🙂

    “Bottom Buffers” – I reckon they knew you were coming and tried to disguise their cushions…

    Liked by 1 person

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