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.
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 ”
No bar and no indication at all of how you got served.
“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.
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.
Head east to the New Forest for ponies, pashminas and pebbled beaches.
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 year. Well DONE. How are you coping ?”
“I’m (pause) I’m doing OK” He looked SO miserable as his friend sunk her lager.