On my 33rd birthday, I spent the evening in Little Haven‘s Swan Inn, the waves lashing against the sea walls while Mrs RM and I ate chicken in a basket and drank pints of Worthington Best. Well, I did, while Mrs RM looked on jealously.

There it is at the top, looking very lovely and pale but sadly devoid of its GBG sticker these days, no doubt a punishment for dropping the Whoosh.

Little Haven.PNG

I arrived in Little Haven on a dry but grisly day that had scared off the Guardian set, ensuring a 4×4 free walk down the hill.

“I can see the seaside”

A short walk before opening, and I had the coast path all to myself.

Doesn’t really need a caption does it

This is the sort of childhood holiday I enjoyed; caves, coves and cheese and biscuits on the beach.

Spot the tourist

Just as CAMRA single-handedly saved real ale in the ’70s by publishing an annual guide on places to drink it, the National Trust has saved our magnificent coastline by opening tea shops in every conceivable crevice around the UK.

What’s the point ?


Saint Brides Inn lacks the dramatic setting of the Swan, but compensates with a collection of water jugs to impress visiting American pubbers,

Mind your head on the jugs

the knitted RNLI mascot,

Better dressed than BRAPA

and four handpumps for that all-important choice that the GBG and visitors demand.ย  Two you’ll probably know, two have silly names as they’re Locales.

The busiest pump clip of the week award

For a dining pub, it’s quite pleasant, and I really should have stayed for food.

Sadly I have to order before the other customer (who has a lager anyway) so I’m the first to drink the Hancocks HB, probably for several days.

Men in shorts should be banned from pubs – discuss.

Yes, it’s rubbish (NBSS 1.5), but at least the toilets are nice.

I’m really sorry about all this negativity, but there’s no point lying, there’s just not enough custom round here to clear a barrel of beer in three days, even in May.

Anyway, you’ve not really come here for the beer, have you ?





28 thoughts on “A LITTLE HAVEN, OF SORTS

  1. It’s why so many pubs are closing – lack of footfall, end of. And why would anyone even try a pint of cask ale in pubs like these, delightful as they and the area might be. I found rural Herefordshire to be very similar a few years back, at least they have real cider to go at – half and half actually. Thing is, when people encounter a poor pint, they enter into a negative loop.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, lot of similarity between Herefordshire and West Wales in that respect.

      At least the former has a county town and a few small market towns with enough dedicated cask drinkers to support real ale e.g. Barrels.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I found the Lichfield Vaults near the cathedral quite a congenial pub, but sadly I see from WhatPub that it no longer serves Draught Bass ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ”บ

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Many of these pubs are probably a lot busier in the evenings towards the end of the week, and at weekends, but that doesn’t do anything for their ability to keep cask in drinkable condition throughout the week.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Crying out for a regime of careful cask management. Aiming to have 3 (depending on usual sales) casks on at Friday afternoon and then dropping back to a single regular favourite during the week. A discount Sunday can a) get punters in and b) get rid of any surplus. I’ve seen it done successfully in many places, even in central Leeds.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Agree.

        In general, the Welsh pubs had fewe casks on (this was Wed-Fri). A couple rather than the four or five in most of England. Holidaymakers even less likely to drink cask nowadays, far more drink fizzy or flavoured ciders.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. For Holidaymakers read ‘average everyday folk’. The pursuit of decent cask ale is a bit of a niche market. Okay, you might be lucky and have a local selling decent ales, but generally your average pub will let you down in the cask ale stakes. That’s why I would never have gone in that last pub in Rugby.


  2. It should be remembered that ‘active’ CAMRA members are only a very small sub-set of the total membership. There are just not enough volunteers to trek round the pubs (especially in rural areas) and properly assess them through multiple visits and sampling different brews – and that assumes that they still have the same ones on when the guide user rolls up a year later. The GBG came into being when most pubs rarely changed what was on the bar and the landlord (ideally) and customer were well aware of what that pint should taste like. My feeling is that a basic premise is no longer valid as far as a lot of pubs are concerned, but I can’t really suggest an alternative.

    Incidentally there are now roughly four CAMRA members per pub – make of that what you will.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ian,
      Yes, and I think that membership across Britain is roughly proportionate to the availability of real ale and that accounts not only for less surveying but also scant and/or inaccurate details on WhatPub for much of Wales.
      GBG surveying was done perfectly well when there were 10.000 members but back then everyone joined for a purpose other than getting 50p vouchers.
      It’s the poor beer quality more than the few members that necessitates an allocation reduction in such areas but I doubt if it will ever happen.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. “while Mrs RM and I ate chicken in a basket ”

    You have to love quaint Welsh customs. Where else would two people sit in a basket to eat chicken? ๐Ÿ˜‰

    “Well, I did, while Mrs RM looked on jealously.”

    Something to do with one of your sons, or was she the designated driver?

    “I arrived in Little Haven on a dry but grisly day”

    With regards to the OS map above that; they have some very keen tourism folk there. Notice how they’ve sectioned off a separate spot for ‘The Rain’ so that the tourists can enjoy endlessly sunny skies all around it.

    “and cheese and biscuits on the beach.”

    What, not in a basket?

    “Whatโ€™s the point ?”

    (slow golf clap)

    “Mind your head on the jugs”

    Here’s me not making breast jokes.

    “Men in shorts should be banned from pubs โ€“ discuss.”

    Nothing to discuss. That’s definitely the long and short of it. ๐Ÿ™‚

    “Anyway, youโ€™ve not really come here for the beer, have you ?”

    Probably not, but it would be a nice bonus all the same.


    Liked by 1 person

      1. “The chicken is descended into the basket by a crane.”

        That’s a bit dangerous. Wouldn’t the crane be tempted to eat the chicken itself? ๐Ÿ˜‰

        Liked by 1 person

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