What click bait today.
Shrimps, Badgers, Ferrets AND a Buffalo. BRAPA would have come up with a better title from that lot.
“Gillingham” would have got the click from my Kent massif, too. Unfortunately it’s not THAT Gillingham (long overdue a new pub THERE).
This is the Gillingham of North Dorset (pop. 11,756), a few miles from Hovisland.
On the face of it, they’re very different places. Kent’s Gillingham is pronounced Gillingham while Dorset’s Gillingham is pronounced Gillingham.
The smaller version is actually scruffier than you’d think, despite the inevitable Waitrose.
The Buffalo, a rare GBG newbie here, scares me with the signs for an Italian restaurant, and unexpected early closing times I only just beat on Sunday.
Proper Pub though, beautifully situated down a little lane like nearly all the best pubs (there’s no logic to that but it’s true).
Lads and Lasses on the benches in the sun, the locals from the Wyke suburb on the wine, a devastatingly attractive stranger caught in profile in the mirror.
The young lad greeted me not with the now customary “Whoa, stand back plague carrier !” but a cheery welcome and smile as I recited my “One beer is plenty, sometimes more than enough” mantra. With all the instructions I actually forgot to pay him the £1.80.
Only one table free, near the loo, but I wasn’t hanging around and if I’m honest the Fursty Ferret (officially the UK’s worst beer name) is well kept but dull.
But the pub just exuded warmth, bouncing along like the late ’80s soundtrack favoured by all (Tanita Tikaram, The Stranglers, The Jesus & Mary Chain).
“Maximum one at a time in the Gents, bolt the door behind you” it said.
I did, but they’re strong round here and the door never stood a chance as I was joined at the colourful urinals by an unapologetic local.
“Have you seen the shrimp ?”
Well there’s no need to be rude.
“It cleans the fish tank”
I couldn’t see it (top) but usual prize if you can.