One of my favourite parts of the country next, the Romney Marshes made famous in Great Expectation discovers a new Beer Guide pub selling Doom Bar (secretly, via the back door).

20 minutes south of Ashford, Appledore Station offers you the twin pleasures of Snargate’s Red Lion (R.I.P. Doris) and Appledore (pop. 749), making a return to the Beer Guide for the first time since, well, Dickens.

Long time for a Proper Pub like the Black Lion to be missing from the GBG.

Their Facebook page said it opened at 11:30, and as you know Mark Zuckerberg never lies. What Pub also says 11:30, so that’s almost corroborating evidence, isn’t it. The helpful pub sign clarifies the situation by stating “BAR OPEN ALL DAY – EVERYDAY“. I remember a bar in Ghent listed in then Belgian Beer Guide that would serve you Duvel at 3 in the morning but I doubt that applies in Romney Marshes.

Obviously it wasn’t open, and the website suggested noon as more likely, which gave me time to bring you lots of excting pics from the church graveyard of St Peter & St Paul where Magwitch hid from BRAPA.

If I hadn’t overwritten my notes I’d have excited you with lots of historical detail, but since most of the village history is on the stained glass windows and embroidery that’s no loss.

Note in particular the reference to 1359 (below) when the local CAMRA committee booted new micro Tap & Turnip out of the Guide, leading to centuries of smouldering resentment.

I arrived back at the door of the Black Lion on the stroke of 12, joining two carloads of gentlefolk from Shirkoak and Brenzett staring at an apparently closed front door. See, it’s not just me who wants to be first.

Elected unanimously to explore, I saw the side door wide open, and wandered in to find the Landlord sitting at the bar with a cuppa.

Can I help you ?”

Er, can I get a drink please ?”

We’re closed mate, no staff, all the foreigners have gone home“.

You can’t just get us a beer then ?” .

We’re closed, mate“. No idea when they’d re-open either.

I trudged outside to deliver the sad news that the gentlefolk would need to look elsewhere for their lasagne (good luck with that on a Monday lunchtime, mate).

I’ll leave other to debate the political decisions that have led to “all the foreigners going home“. The most recent posts Facebook page certainly tells a tale of desperation for staff seen around the country this summer.

Frankly, my sympathies are with the pubs. Until they don’t bother to update the media they use to tell us they’re open or shut, causing wasted journeys and ill will.

Us tickers are used to that, gentlefolk diners are less forgiving.


  1. Too much to ask for owners of an independent pub to manage their own pub then… How much staff is needed to run a quiet country pub anyway? The Red Lion in Snargate has eluded me for some time now. Hope to catch them unawares and slip in the door sometime. No point in even trying to have a pint in the Black Lion it seems. I really like the Romney Marsh too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thinking now I’m sure it was Liege as we never got there and I always wanted to. Some comments about always wanting to turn up at 2.47am for a full steak meal. I need to know more about this Utrecht place, Scott.


  2. Pity, good pub and usually well kept local beers. Times we have been there, all the staff seemed to be local ladies, cheerful and charming.

    Re Dickens: not Romney Marsh, Thames Marshes, i.e. North Kent. Try Dr Syn instead for your literary allusions!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve never understood why anyone would want to call a book “Big Gobs*”? It certainly has no appeal for me!

        *Great Expectorations

        (Sorry, lol)

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Clearly struggling to find the time to update his FB page. Quiet time drinking tea in an empty pub would be a great opportunity to do this, but who ever finds time to do that!…


  3. The Beer Guide that I have does have an 0300 closing in Utrecht – ‘Belgie’ – but food service stops at 2030. I can’t remember which pubs I’ve been to there since it was years ago, but coverage is fairly sparse in the Netherlands anyway, the Guide mainly focusing on Belgium. However, my copy dates from 1998 and there has been a more recent edition which I think only covers the Netherlands and is more up to date, but out of print now. The organisation PINT has a magazine and arranges beer festivals but I’m not sure if they do a beer guide.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Romney Marsh ward on the local council is one of the very few places left with UKIP councillors.
    I Wonder if the landlord has taken his concerns up with them?
    People locally could now earn more potato picking or working in warehouses in Ashford that provide transport to work.
    Did you visit newish Micros in Dymchurch New Romney or Rye..
    I presume they are in the guide

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Thanks for pointing out the “smouldering resentment” on the very lovely embroidered scene, predicting the fashion for small pubs in converted premises. I’d have missed it otherwise.

    Liked by 1 person

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