Back in July, deep in the heart of the rush to Guide completion, I was wasting time and effort visiting NON-GBG pubs, like an unprofessional ticker.
It’s Mrs RM’s fault. She insisted we explore the joys of Winchelsea, a mini-Rye about which I and the GBG know nothing.
The road to Winchelsea along the coast looks like a scene from Breaking Bad,
and for an hour you barely pass a soul, with only pebbles, scrubland,
and a deserted lifeboat station for company.
We didn’t actually reach Winchelsea itself, falling half a mile short at the beachy bit whose caravan parks presumably provide the custom for the enigmatic Pub 31.
“Haunted by the ghost of a barmaid murdered there” says What Pub, attempting and failing to create a bit of mystique around a modern estate pub.
Pub 31 doesn’t need mystique. EVERYTHING you need is on the surface. Singlet bloke, pool cue lass asks for change, four (4) generations of a family with proud new dad changing a nappy thrown by the mum.
It’s not a posh Sussex dining pub, or the cask heaven of the Ypres Castle, for sure.
But it has magic, and when Mrs RM says “SEE !!! The best pubs are outside that beer guide that rules your life” (or similar) I have to agree.
There are pubs like this, mainly near Chorley,
But there’s more going on here than even Coppull could keep up with. “Lucille” follows “Miss You Like Crazy“, “2 pints of Stella please” follows a massive order for shots. Some folk are drinking almost as fast as Mrs RM, who a bit in awe.
The Old Speckled Hen is OK, the Ice Breaker a surprising tasty bit of GK keg.
It’s getting darker, so I nip next door for chips and (more) calamari. Everyone is eating chips on the outside tables,
so we join them. I’ll be honest, the calamari are a let-down, but life’s like that.
The walk back “home” is magical.