In theory, my first three Wight pubs were a doddle, two in Sandown and one just over the hill in bucolic Bembridge.
Four miles between Culver Haven and the Village Inn, says Bing Maps, ignoring my bravery in ploughing headlong down the Down,
and towards those horns at the top.
I escaped their attention by not dressing like BRAPA, and frankly the descent itself was scarier than the wild animals. Nothing like giving your calves a good work out.
Still, it takes forty minutes to reach Bembridge, long enough to start to worry about pub closures, so I don’t dawdle at the village National Trust “attraction”.
The appeal of windmills to the gentlefolk class is one of life’s enduring mysteries.
Not much to tell you about Bembridge; it’s no Sandown.
In fact it could be Waterbeach, if we had water and a beach.
And just like my own village pub, beers you know and love.
Two groups of couples and half a dozen locals, none of whom would quite reach the Old Boy standard of the Castle in Sandown. On the upside, no dogs to lick me.
Just a good, solid, English (is it England ?) pub experience.
Tables, with bar mats, a very decent (NBSS 3) Old Empire, and pulled pork nachos that had obviously been prepared by a human being who could cook.
The staff were charming, and asked if I wanted any condiments.
“Sour cream ?” I asked, in that Australian way where everything is a question.
Out came not sachets, but a little earthenware pot of the stuff. Am I reading like a Trip Advisor review ?
As I was finishing the meal a smartly dressed gent leant across my plate and pointed at the old photo behind my head.
He then gave me a blow-by-blow account of the train turntable in operation in the days before Beeching. Really unfascinating stuff.
A commendable village pub, elivened when Gentlefolk Group 2 walked out without paying for their drinks (by accident). Makes a change from arguing about the bill.
I’m sure they were on the bus to Newport 10 minutes later, still discussing the drama.