With 8 hours to kill until our ferry to Guernsey on Day 2 of the Channel Islands Chug I picked a trip to the edge of St Brelade’s Bay on Jersey’s upmarket west coast.

At the end of May Jersey’s buses were heaving, packed with floppy-haired French families from Brittany saving about 4 euros a pint.

We were the only ones to leave the bust at the top of the hill leading down to the Old Smugglers Inn, which is either a great secret or would turn out to be closed.

Or perhaps they were scared off by the cats…

Mrs RM is generally suspicious of suggested walks, particularly the ones on foot, but 10 minutes down Le Mont du Ouaisne the views to the bay revealed themselves, and I was temporarily forgiven.

I’d remembered the Smugglers from 2014,

but forgotten the beach, which we seemed to have to ourselves.

We had the pub to ourselves at noon, a lovely rambling old thing with giant fireplaces and low expectations of Bass, despite what it said on What Pub.

No Bass then ?

Not for ages, since they stopped doing it in kegs“. I nodded, without a clue what that meant.

What Pubs says “the jewel in the crown of the Jersey real ale scene for many years“. 

I had my doubts that still held, but the Liberation IPA was, again, a lovely cool pint, close to a 4.

First out of the barrel” said the barman.

It was so good we had a second pint. By that time, half an hour in, a few Old Boys had joined a couple of visiting South Africans (not tickers). Saffers are always good for blog material; take your own to the pub.

One complained that his preferred Heineken 0.0 wasn’t available on draught, the other spent the whole meal comparing the size of the fish and chips with other Jersey restaurants.

It was all jolly. One Old Boy asked about the next guest beer, and scoffed hearing that the Butcombe Jubilee Special was a mere 4.1%. “4.1% ? What’s the point ?”. Good point.

Just as we left I spied the landlady’s treasure trove behind the bar.

Sadly, that copy of BEER isn’t the one with me in it.


  1. BRAPA would provide the detail as to whether a larger or smaller meal is better in the person’s view. I’m curious which way they leaned?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Older folk are obsessed with portion size; they like the fish to be spreading over the dish at both ends so they cam say “It was the size of a whale !”. The quality of fish and chips varies enormously here.


  2. I must pay more attention to my copies of Beer. I’m obviously not reading them comprehensivevly as I can’t recall when you were featured 🤔


  3. “pubs selling a lot of one or two cask ales, even common ones, are generally better than those with 10 pumps dispensing more adventurous beers in somewhat lackluster condition” is probably even more true now than four years ago.


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