What a great way to finish Northumberland’s new entries in GBG20.

A Proper Pub in Seahouses on the gorgeous Northumbrian coast,

home to stuffed penguins that you can buy instead of actually making the hazardous half hour boat trip to the Farne Islands, home to a very sick unretiredmartin in 2007.

If Holy Island is the Southwold of the North, then Seahouses has become its Felixstowe, home to more chippies and boat trips round the coast than even a thousand gentlefolk on daytrips can fill.

I’ll go back to Farne one day, when a micropub called the Shag & Swallow after the rare bird varieties visible from the boat.

By Pontificalibus

Until then, we have the rustic looking Black Swan….

Oh, that’s not very open, is it. Has Mudgie covered it on his dead pubs site ?

To be honest their Facebook page talks only of a Saltwater Cafe, which I guess COULD be behind that wall but I doubt it. I’ll take the tick.

I took a chance to revisit the Olde Ship, because as the Southworths and Mark Crilley will tell you the best British pubs all have “Olde” in their name.

The beer board outside was there in 2008, and possibly 1908, but sadly the choice inside was more 2020.

Not that I could see much of it as I was escorted through to the corner table of a packed pub, but I remembered the Pagan Queen from Holy Island.

How gorgeous is that ? And what a wonderful spot to be given, in amongst the gentlefolk Geordies drinking Amstel, our national drink.

The chatty chap from Hexham told me business in shop fittings was booming in the market towns, even while the cities slept, and based on recent travels I agreed.

He told me conspiratorially that the Pagan Queen was the locals’ favourites, flying out yesterday. Clearly he wasn’t switching to it from Amstel, and I think he may have been right in his choice.

Lovely pub, but like the Scousers the Geordies just don’t get cask*.

Enough about beer, here’s the reason you MUST visit Seahouses at least once in your lifetime.

Haddock and chips from Lewis’s; Baa Baa Toure couldn’t finish it, but I did.

*Yes, yes, there are exceptions.


  1. How you finding singleton drinking in the table service age? I’ve yet to come across a table for one? and feel so much that I’m being judged at the moment I’m tempted to give it up unless I’m with the missus or social bubblin’…


    1. Difficult, isn’t it ? I picked the prime table in a cafe in Wooler (first in at 8.30) and a succession of gentlefolks judged me for taking a table of four. But you can’t move once seated, can you ?

      We all need to grin and bear it, I feel, Mark.


      1. For me it’s entirely about choosing less busy times, in fact it’s becoming apparent that certain times are just not worth the risk. Friday after work time at the Unicorn in Lutterworth was packed in the bar, pretty busy in the lounge. I could have found a table at the back of the lounge but that kind of defeats the object of drinking in a pub like the Unicorn. Zero bants, bugger-all atmos. Sunday lunchtime at a pub that’s doing food is another time that’s going to become very problematic now that outside drinking is becoming less doable.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. “home to stuffed penguins”

    Puffins, surely. And don’t take any of the stuffed ones to Newfounland. That’s their provincial bird!

    “when a micropub called the Shag & Swallow”

    Here’s me not saying ANYTHING!

    ” but sadly the choice inside was more 2020.”


    “in amongst the gentlefolk Geordies drinking Amstel, our national drink.”

    I say, steady on!

    “Lovely pub, but like the Scousers the Geordies just don’t get cask*.”

    Is it too hard for them to spell? 😉

    “*Yes, yes, there are exceptions.”

    The spice of life that. 🙂


    And with that I shall have to sign off, and try to catch up a wee bit more tomorrow.


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