Two more to finish off my first successful incursion into the Isle of Wight since 2008, fact fans. I’m claiming ten ticks, as I actually touched the King’s Head, even though it was closed.
With its windy little streets and cosy pubs, it’s easy to see why Queen Victoria warmed to Cowes, turning her back on the craft bars of Southampton 20 minutes across the water.
Sadly, I was already conscious of the need to get back to England before I turned to cheese, so only had half an hour before the 6pm bus back to Newport.
On a more leisurely trip I’d have popped in for a pint of Courage at the Vectis.
Instead I headed straight for the Anchor. Almost as cosy but no Pointless on the TV.
Some folk have called the Wight beer scene “Dull“.
Well. I ask you.
If it had been Bass I might have been swayed from the local beer, but the countdown to an unreadable number of pints of Fuggle Dee Dum sold is a winner.
It wasn’t quite good enough to persuade me to stay to drink the other 16,823 pints, if honest, but certainly good enough for the Beer Guide. At £2.35 a half (premium on half) it should be.
Flat Cap Old Boy (a Bank Top/West Berks collab there) apart, the clientele was distinctly home counties 30 something with crisp shirts outside designer jeans.
“If I could have a receipt that would be magnificent !” Magnificent !
Nice one. As was the Cowes Ale House, sister/brother/both of the Newport entry.
You enter to “Sweet Child of Mine” and the inevitable gaggle of locals at the bar. Where’s Martyn Hillier to enforce sitting on high tables round the walls when you want him ?
But they parted like the Dead Sea to let me see the barrels behind the bar, and the blurry barman was incredibly helpful, a real gem. Makes all the difference.
The local Goddards was very good too (NBSS 3.5). And why not ?
More young people in pubs, too.
“Ah, an ale. We may as well get you started on the ales” said Mr Mansplainer to his girlfriend, who was more excited by her new phone. Perhaps she was logging on to CAMRA Discourse.
So that was Cowes. Though not East Cowes, obvs.
Excitedly, I coloured in my IoW map and waited outside M & S food for the bus.