I mentioned that Southborough, home of the in-laws and Meow’s is not well pubbed, but we actually stayed in what most folk would consider a pub for 3 nights last weeks.

The Hand & Sceptre is decidedly not a pub. In fact, I’m sure the words “Rooms and Edibles” is probably scribbled on the ancient walls somewhere.

As one of the remaining Innkeepers Lodges not flogged by Mitchells & Butler to Travelodge a few years back, it gets custom from folk attracted by a chain hotel on the edge of an ancient cricket green where Kent’s Chris Tavare once batted for two days without scoring.

The exterior is as grubby as you’d expect from a building along the A26, the rooms are small, the staff incredibly helpful in rustling up a complimentary breakfast for Mrs RM.

But a pub ? Let’s examine the evidence…

Exhibit 1.

Exhibit 2.

And that’s is the pubby bit !

I left it till gone 9pm on our last night before deciding that I’d better have a pint of Harvey’s Best as it was the lone cask beer and you know what I always say about that.

I enter to a soundtrack of something called “Daytime club” and “hairy electropop” from Frenship, who probably approve of pubs that price their menus as 13,7 rather than £13.70.

There’s a group of four gentlefolk hiding in the corner, an empty dining room, and me.

Yes, my pint was £4.80*, almost Stirchley prices.

but the pleasant bar man offered, nay insisted, I had a top up. So that’s OK.

And the Harvey’s was OK, better than OK, in fact; a cool and creamy NBSS 3+. Not Royal Oak standard, but better than you’ll find in a lot of Sussex gastros.

The other barperson strolled over to me; I thought I was going to get told off for taking photos (see also : the giant Barnsley bunny affair), but instead she said;

Last orders at 9.40, we shut at 10“. Who remembers that promise of 24 hour drinking ?

*I won’t tell you what Mrs RM’s large Chardonnay cost. Stay north, folks

8 thoughts on “ONE BEER IS PLENTY (PART 337)

    1. I suspect the opening hours of pubs have REDUCED more since 24 hour drinking was allowed than at any time in history. Few pubs outside city chains open Monday, no lunchtime sessions, early closing. And don’t start me on micros…

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I’ve only set foot inside the Crown & Sceptre, twice. Both occasions were a long time ago, one being a survey as part of a CAMRA reconnaissance party, and the other was a meal with Mrs PBT’s.

    The pub was underwhelming on both visits, which might explain why it is sometimes referred to locally, as the Crown & Septic!

    Liked by 1 person

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