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.
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.