12th January 2020

If Whitstable was in Suffolk I’d hate it and make rude pashmina jokes about the wrong sort of Joules.

There’s a sign to a pub, at least

Last time here I did a couple of micropubs whose owners convinced of their sides chances in the last cup match. West Ham beat Man United but the Black Dog and Handsome Sam fight on in the GBG, the only competition that counts.


I even popped in today’s Guide newbie four years ago, but they only serve coffee till 4pm so I was scuppered.

As so often, my second visit last Wednesday was scuppered by the micro equivalent of the January flu that besets weaker PubMen.

Unfriendly hours for tickers

I sometimes think they don’t want your business. Or they want a holiday.

Still, Sundays are still fairly reliable, but never save a micro till your last pub of the evening is my advice.

Just time to tick the Mona Lisa.

Not a B****y

The Twelve Taps was my penultimate tick, leaving just one pub left in Kent that shouldn’t be difficult, so I ignored the Gin sign and marched in.

It’s the craft beer bar

Straight to the loo, whose gender neutrality will delight some (me included) and stir the fires of Hades for others.

Yes, there are two of them
Why are only micropub loos twinned (5 points)

If you’re after bench seating, handpumps and wheezing Old Boys, you’ll not have ong to wait, but Twelve Taps is just the cheery modern beer bar I’ve subjected Stafford Paul to in Bath, Leeds and Stafford.

Have the Gose, Paul

The seating, squeezed against the wall, is truly dreadful, as bad as that New Mills place.

Actual seat

I couldn’t tell the difference between the cask and KeyKeg on the board either, but I’m past caring about such ecumenical matters.

The Cloudwater Pale was superb, just as the coffee had been last time, and I can’t knock a place filled with youngsters drinking beer when they should be at school church the lifestyle store.

With 20 minutes to spare I squeezed my gut down Squeeze Gut Alley, which celebrates the time Messrs Difford and Tilbrook came here for a kebab.


Tight Fit, not the band from ’82

Talking of late ’70s pop legends, I saw Bob Geldof here in the tat street. What a man.

Londoners still come here in their hundreds on winter Sundays, drawn by Shepherd Neame, scarves and sunsets like the one over the Old Neptune.

Sheppey campsites across the water

At least it leaves Thanet to the likes of me.


  1. Is there any aspect of that venue I wouldn’t consider to be “truly dreadful”?
    I think I would prefer Kashenda – or the Rifle Drum..


    1. I’ve been in most of the pubs of Whitstable and it’s spoilt in that way, I think.

      I’ve not been in the Twelve Taps as yet though – I don’t know why – maybe it’s the gin sign?

      It’s always nice to see pictures of the Old Neptune at various times of year, so thanks Martin.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Hello Martin, sorry a bit of travel took me away from your blog for a while; I must be careful because if I don’t keep up I find myself unable to catch all the inside jokes. 😉

    The table in that “Actual seat” photo looks like it is quite literally not even as big as the width of a record sleeve.

    I reckon women have the most to lose with a gender neutral toilet situation, surely. Women’s toilets can’t possibly be as horrific as some men’s toilets I’ve encountered over the years (not that I’ve been into any women’s toilets to know for sure!).


    1. I don’t want to get too involved in this debate, but in relation to the state women’s toilets are often left in, quite a few ladies will tell you otherwise!

      This might just be inverse “bragging rights” but, as I said, this is not a path I wish to venture down, so let’s change the subject.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. You’re still allowed to travel in the States? Wow.

      Inside jokes? You mean the nonsense I guess.

      Yes! Tables smaller than an LP. Goodness knows where you put your newspaper.

      Making jokes about men’s toilet standards isn’t very woke Mark 😉 I’m sure BRAPA managed to hit those train lines, never see a lady do that.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Back in 2010, I wrote, “Whitstable has become second home territory for an increasing number of affluent Londoners; colour supplement readers Guardianista’s and the like! There has been the inevitable rise in property prices, and this influx of high-spending “outsiders” has led to a sharp increase in what pubs and restaurants are charging their customers. Whitstable isn’t quite Southwold (yet), but it’s fast becoming so.”

    You can read more, here.

    I still rather like the place, though.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s