You left me in Southsea at the Auckland, having just visited a non-GBG pub in error.
As Costello sang, “It was a brilliant mistake“.
So I walked the ten yards round the corner to the Apsley, a different but equally cosy looking local.
I suspect some of you are ahead of me here.
Yes, it was the back door to the Auckland that I’d just left, full of the younger drinkers escaping the strains of “Country Roads, Take Me Home” in the Public.
That’s the sort of thing BRAPA does after five pints, not one.
But in my defence, look at the
three two pubs in this picture and you’ll see why I was confused again.
Finally, The Apsley. A rhubarb and custard of a pub.
It’s 15:33 and, in contrast to the Auckland, I’m the only customer.
But the words “Meat Raffle“, “Cash Only“, “Food Rating 4“, and that “unexciting” (Source: CAMRA Discourse) beer range tell me I’m going to be OK.
The young barman is a gem. He tells me “Happy Hour” is at 4pm, which is when it gets busy.
Mind, it was only £3.50 a pint now, which is a quid cheaper than in Ely.
But would it be any good ? Landlord is a real test of a landlord. Or landlady.
I settled down in a proper seat and “Caroline” by Quo came on. I do hate it when young staff get to choose their own hipster music.
The Landlord was superb; cool and tasty and clearly allowed to condition before serving. If you can serve a decent Tim Taylor’s in the south you deserve your GBG place.
“Come on Eileen” came on; a trio of Old Boys came in, none of them called Eileen.
Did they know they were ten minutes early for Happy Hour ? Did they care ?
So there you go. You CAN get in the Guide with Doom Bar, Summer Lightning and Landlord. Hurrah for Pompey CAMRA.