Mrs RM insisted we spend the night in Dover.

Well, actually she just insisted we didn’t stay in the campervan before visiting the in-laws as she needed to wash her hair. Vanity, I tell you.

Luckily, Dover is home to one of my final GBG22 ticks, and a newish Premier Inn.

It was a scruffy town a decade ago, 2 decades after Bill Bryson’s withering assessment in “Notes From A Small Country” but it’s scrubbing up quite nicely if you ask me.

OK, it’s not Fplkestone yet, but the seafront is pleasant,

and the scary underpass has been tidied up,

and of course it still has some of the best micropubs in the country.

The Elephant & Hind, which I made at 10.30pm (bit scary so close to closing) ISN’T a micropub; it feels “Stonegate youngster pub with pool and ’70s music and local homebrew” which is a niche category.

The Landlady seemed genuinely delighted I’d chose the homebrew, I think I was swayed by the word ESB.

Enjoy !” she said, handing me a branded beer mat and far too much change for a strong beer in Kent. I shall be kind; the pub was not complicit in my lack of enjoyment of the beer.

That apart, it really was a happy place.

Hard to be anything but cheery with Billy Ocean blasting out.

This is the North/South divide; in Sheffield the only Billy you hear is “Red Light Spells Danger“, and in Maidenhead it’s”Love Really Hurts Without You“.

The only danger here was from an errant pool cue, but I’m no fan of high tables either,

so I joined a group outside on a sea of tables facing the market place (top), which has had diggers and warning signs outside since before they built the castle mound (1066, I think).

In the morning Google told us that Market Square Kitchen was our best option to start the day, as only weird people have breakfast at Premier Inns.

If I tell you I rated the staff 10/10, the value for money 9/10, and the overall score 8/10, you can work out my score for the goat’s cheese on sourdough (10 marks, show workings).

3 thoughts on “DOVER – A HAPPY PLACE

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