This blog exists partly as a diary to let Mrs RM know where I am (not that I’ve been out of her sight these last 3 months) and partly to promote lesser-known Britain, in what used to be known as “a public service“.

Instead of heading down to the Sodom and Gomorrah that is Bournemouth, I recommend Christchurch.


Mrs RM enjoys nothing more than shouting at the TV,

Such lack of imagination !  Thousands of miles of coast and they drive 5 hours from Milton Keynes to **** on the beach at Bournemouth“.

And she’s right; much more space to **** on the beach in Christchurch Bay, though the residents there probably do have bigger dogs.

You’ll know you’ve driven too far if you reach the Wight Bear in Southbourne. TURN BACK.  The beach is bad, but this is far worse.

You’ve been warned

A micro, but a posh one, all 30-somethings with pashminas and Prosecco and a bloke about to do Coldplay covers (allegedly) back in 2018.

“Excuse me”

“May I”

“Excuse ME ”

No bar and no indication at all of how you got served.

This is HELL, and not compliant with Social Distancing
What can it mean

“Speak to your Bear handler” it said on the wall.

My Bear handler appeared, an enthusiastic young man who clearly wanted to advise me on beer styles.  I picked the cheap one; it was awful.

No, stick to Christchurch. The Brantwood B & B near the station is fantastic, you can get anywhere on the train, and the Indian restaurant is good.

Apropos of nothing

There’s a crafty micro here, too, but there’s also some Proper brown beer in the Thomas Tripp.


This will be a challenge for the post 4 July world.  A dining pub with live music and locals at the bar, a good all-rounder trying to make different worlds feel welcome.

Nice worn carpet
dreadful toilet pun can rescue the dullest of dull dining pubs

Head east to the New Forest for ponies, pashminas and pebbled beaches.


Super-worn Navigator

On toward Milford, passing four hotels offering “wedding packages“. Another first time visit, and another archetypal Hampshire town with no visitors under 50.


My Ringwood house beer was impressively cool and chewy (NBSS 3.5), the beer of the day. I wrote down Black Velvet, which might describe the décor or the 1989 classic by Alannah Myles, who can say.  Milford is a very 1989 sort of place.

To my left two gents were mixing doms and cider quite enjoyably, “May the best man win” someone said; they take their doms very seriously.


To my right a lady was consoling a male “friend”.

Shall we have munchies ?”       Munchies !

He was a tee-totaller, for fitness reasons, dry for a year.

A yearWell DONE. How are you coping ?”

I’m (pause) I’m doing  OK”    He looked SO miserable as his friend sunk her lager.




  1. You shouldn’t have such a downer on pashminas -they can be very useful particularly in the coming weeks,as a face covering or used to keep warm in a chilly beer garden & as you may have guessed -I like the New Forest ,although not the hot spots & definitely not Bournemouth at the moment.I have made similar pithy comments to Mrs RM on that matter

    Liked by 2 people

      1. But they are the finest the National Trust had to offer ! Anyway I’ve not worn one for months & generally go around looking like a bag lady at the moment

        Liked by 1 person

  2. “the Sodom and Gomorrah that is Bournemouth” – I don’t remember it being that interesting three years ago.

    “Shall we have munchies ?” – Are we expected to guess what “munchies” is a euphemism for ?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You couldn’t bear the micro? This could have been a very useful post – I was meant to be in Bournemouth at this very moment on my stag weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. My parents had their honeymoon in Bournemouth, and it’s possible I may have been conceived there!

    Only been there the once, and that was for the day during my own honeymoon – the first one! I dragged the previous Mrs Bailey there, away from our campsite in the New Forest, for the express purpose of visiting a GBG-listed pub, called the Cricketers. Brickwoods Ales if my memory is correct.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. T’other Paul.
      I don’t blame you. The Cricketers was the only pub in Bournemouth worth going to three years ago.
      I’ve only had one honeymoon and that was at the GBG listed Bay Hotel in Robin Hoods Bay.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I don’t feel any urge to return, especially as Stafford Paul says, the only pub worth drinking in is the one I visited 43 years ago.


      2. Paul is right. People called Paul usually are.

        There’s a charming bar called Chaplin’s near the Cricketers I could recommend, but all the other GBG pubs lately are micros and Spoons, bar the Goat & Tricycle Wadworth pub.


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