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.
First up, Freshwater, a solid but plain village to embody retirement England.
A simple, unfussy dining pub encapsulated in one shot.
OK, the cheery Old Boys in cardigans helps the image too.
“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.
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.
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.
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.
Exciting news; the public loos at the Bay are to be turned into a craft bar (possibly. Or possibly reopened for summer).
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.
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.
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.
And despite the scary “Eat. Drink. Stay” this was a Proper Pub at last.
a piece of Christmas cake left on the bar to ward off evil spirits (or BRAPA),
and a beer last seen in 1999 before cask heroes Marston’s revived it.
I should have had the Mansfield, but always like to go local in foreign countries, so went for the Bosuns.
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.